Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-19-1968


The White Oaks-Patos Mountain area is in the north­ central portion of the Sierra Blanca basin in central Lincoln County, New Mexico. The rocks consist of Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous strata intruded by early Tertiary sills, dikes, and laccoliths. The 2,900 feet of sedimentary strata include 750 to 800 feet of Permian rocks, 550 feet of Triassic rocks, and 1700 feet of Cretaceous rocks. Extensive Tertiary­ Quaternary pediments cover much of the area.

The mapped area lies in the center of a large concentra­tion of Tertiary intrusive bodies known as the ln County porphyry belt, including Patos Mountain. Igneous rocks include rhyolite, trachyte porphyry, latite porphyry, diabase porphyry, diabase, and several other minor types. The rhyolite is found only in Patos Mountain and the other types occur as sills and dikes.

The Patos laccolith, aside from doming the Mesaverde Formation above it, contains abundant vertical jointing, which in the contact zone is always either parallel or normal to the contact of the intrusion but in the central zone is diversely oriented. Folding, other than doming by the intrusions, is minor. Faulting is common and the large White Oaks fault has 200 to 2,000 feet of throw. A large fault at the eastern edge of the area has about 1,000 feet of throw.

Minerals which were mined in the area are contact meta­ somatic deposits of iron, fissure veins of gold with associated tungsten, and bedded deposits of coal.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Vincent Cooper Kelley

Second Committee Member

Lee Albert Woodward

Third Committee Member

Wolfgang Eugene Elston

Document Type


Included in

Geology Commons