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Paleocene Sepultura Formation: Submarine Canyon at La Mesa, Baja California, Mexico

M. A. Tellez-Duarte, J. C. Navarro-Fuentes, M. A. Valdez-Noriega

The Paleocene Sepultura Formation has been interpreted as the result of both deposition in a basin that varied in depth from strandline to at least 30-40 fathoms, and to widely distributed fluvial deposition. At La Mesa, east of Puerto Santa Catarina, Baja California, an excellent exposure exhibits canyon-fed sediments not reported in other places for this formation.

The sediments at La Mesa consist of a sequence of alternating clastics and resedimented carbonate materials. The sequence begins with fine sandstone cut by channels, which indicates gravity-induced catastrophic sedimentation, such as debris flows. The channels are filled with massive nodular algal limestone with rip-up clasts of sandstone, some of them 1 m wide, with abundant Turritella pachecoensis and Venericardia sp. The massive limestone is overlain by clastic sediments that, in places, exhibit slumping and laminar bedding with limestone rip-ups. Apparently this unit is an upper-fan deposit.

The nodular limestone grades laterally into thin-bedded calcarenites. These allodapic limestones exhibit A and B divisions of the Bouma sequence, similar to overbank levee deposits.

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