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Carbonate Facies and Stratigraphic Framework of Middle Magdalena (Middle Pennsylvanian), Hueco Mountains, West Texas

Lance L. Lambert, Robert J. Stanton, Jr.

The middle Magdalena of the Hueco Mountains, west Texas, is best exposed in the vicinity of Pow Wow Canyon, particularly along the western scarp of the range. It can be divided into two major depositional sequences, the lowermost of which consists predominantly of alternating bank, interbank, and shoal deposits of Atokan age. These banks are low-relief accumulations of Donezella, with coeval slack-water skeletal wackestones and interbedded deposits of foraminiferal sands. A prominent zone of intertonguing Chaetetes biostromes punctuates the middle part of this sequence. The Desmoinesian sequence begins as a series of rubbly limestones in association with abundant silicified plant remains and is interpreted as a set of paleosols. These are overlain by argillaceous, low-div rsity wackestones and packstones of lagoonal origin, followed by carbonates of more open-marine circulation with abundant corals and other stenotypic fossils. In turn, these deposits are succeeded by a sequence of phylloid algal banks that increase in resistance upward to where they represent strata of the upper Magdalena. At this locality, however, the upper Magdalena is very thin because it is truncated by the pre-Hueco unconformity which, so prominent at the head of the canyon, can now be traced to the western scarp. These deposits are directly analogous to subsurface reservoir facies of the same age on the opposite side of the Diablo uplift in the Permian basin and thus provide an opportunity to generate reservoir models based on extensive outcrop exposure.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91034©1988 AAPG Southwest Section, El Paso, Texas, 21-23 February 1988.