The Manzanita and North Manzano mountains, segments of a north-south fault-block range in central New Mexico, consist of low-dipping Pennsylvanian marine strata, chiefly limestones, which rest on a peneplaned Proterozoic sequence of slightly metamorphosed clastic sediments and acidic and basic volcanics, and a granitic stock. The fault-block range has developed since middle Tertiary times. Previous disturbances include rather high-angle thrusting of late Precambrian and Laramide (?) age, the former from the south, the latter from the west. A broad piedmont zone west of the mountains bevels Permian and upper Triassic sediments which are cut off to the west along the trace of a Recent fault.

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