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Sedimentology of Upper Paleocene-Lower Eocene Sepultura Formation near Colonet, Baja California, Mexico

Victor V. Miller, Patrick L. Abbott

Upper Paleocene-lower Eocene braided-stream conglomerate of the Sepultura Formation crops out extensively within a paleovalley incised into the Cretaceous Peninsular Ranges batholith and the Alisitos Formation volcanics. The paleovalley trends just north of west as shown in 22-km long exposures within the modern San Telmo Canyon. Remnants of Sepultura fluvial-conglomerate infill reach a maximum thickness of 250 m and widths of 5-10 km. Conglomerate-clast assemblages are dominated by volcanic clasts (68-81%) along with the metamorphic (12-20%) and plutonic (2-8%) stones. The clast assemblage of andesitic and dacitic porphyries, volcaniclastics, granodiorites, aplites, and various metasediments appears to have been locally derived; all clasts are similar to the basement roc s exposed in the paleostream drainageway or just to the east of the metasedimentary belt. The Sepultura Formation contains none of the exotic, far-travelled, ultradurable rhyolitic gravels analogous to the Poway clasts that mark the time-equivalent deposits of the Mt. Soledad Formation in the San Diego area 220 km to the north.

The Sepultura fluvial system supplied a gravel-rich braid delta that prograded westward over the inner shelf. Outcrops are up to 15 km wide and 23 km long, spanning braid-delta, transition-zone, and shallow-marine facies. Excellent exposures of reworked gravelly and biotite-rich sandy marine facies, some of which exhibit hummocky cross-stratification, occur in the vicinity of Punta Colonet.

A late Paleocene age is indicated by the presence of Turritella peninsularis. A late Paleocene-early Eocene age is suggested by a sparse foraminiferal fauna (Ceratiopsos sp., Lanternosphaeridium lappaceum, Deflandrea spesiosa, and Spinidinium sp.).

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91035©1988 AAPG-SEPM-SEG Pacific Sections and SPWLA Annual Convention, Santa Barbara, California, 17-19 April 1988.