Abstract

Major deposits of biogenic native sulfur are associated with narrow, northeast-trending grabens and normal faults that disrupt the gently tilted, east-dipping Upper Permian evaporite succession of the western Delaware Basin in Trans-Pecos Texas. Orebodies are restricted to geologic traps in the fractured and dissolution-modified downfaulted blocks of the grabens. Other parallel, regionally distributed grabens and normal faults are commonly the sites of noncommercial sulfur deposits and genetically related secondary-replacement (diagenetic) limestone bodies. The sulfur-bearing structures probably formed during the later of two episodes of Basin and Range extension that have not previously been differentiated in Texas but are well defined elsewhere in the western United States. In Texas several lines of evidence collectively support the existence of late-phase, northwest-directed extension that was initiated in the middle Miocene.

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