Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 6-4-1974


The White Oaks mining district is 12 km northeast of Carrizozo, in Lincoln County, New Mexico. Hydrothermal gold and tungsten mineralization occurs in north-trending veins and breccia zones in portions of the central district. Permian sandstones, limestones, and gypsum of the San Andres Formation are upwarped marginal to and by the Lone Mountain intrusive in the northwest portion of the map area. Triassic Santa Rosa and Chinle sandstones and shales are inclined to the south with Cretaceous Dakota, Mancos, and Mesaverde sediments. Approximately 640 m of sedimentary strata is exposed in the district.

Igneous rocks in the map area range from basalt to syenite, occurring as dikes, small discordant plutons, sills, or as part of a large stock. The oldest intrusive rock occurs in two parallel dikes of basalt. Sills and dikes of trachytic compositions intruded the sediments of the district prior to the emplacement of a syenite porphyry stock. Margins of the stock are brecciated. The roughly circular outline of the stock is modified by radiating, sinuous extensions of syenite porphyry into the surrounding sediments.

Rhyolite and intrusive rhyolite breccias occur in portions of the district. A series of small intrusive plugs and sets of short, parallel dikes outcrop in the central district. The plugs have an elongate or roughly circular shape in plan view. Dikes occur as simple dikes in sets; individual sets do not correlate with adjacent sets. Compositions include syenodiorite, trachyte porphyry, melatrachyte porphyry, trachyandesite, and mica trap.

Sediments have been altered to hornfels or quartzite at the margins of intrusives. Igneous rocks throughout the district have been highly sericitized; propylitic alteration is evident in the majority of the samples studied.

The major structural element in the district is the White Oaks Fault, a normal fault downthrown to the southeast. Regionally, the White Oaks district is on the margin of the Mescalero Arch to the east, the Claunch Sag to the west, and the Sierra Blanca Basin to the south.

The metallic minerals in the district include magnetite, hematite, pyrite, wolframite, gold, and pyrrhotite. The economic mineralization is classified as part of an epithermal ore deposit.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert Masakiyo Kudo

Second Committee Member

Gary Perrin Landis

Third Committee Member

J. Paul Fitzsimmons

Document Type


Included in

Geology Commons