The Raton Basin : A Structural Basin

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The Raton Basin is a structural basin situated in Las Animas and Huerfano counties of southeastern Colorado, and Colfax County of northeastern New Mexico (Speer, 1976). Although millions of years ago the Raton Basin was much different than the present. Colorado and New Mexico were covered by large shallow seas (Murray, 1978). The Basin is bounded on the west by the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range and on the east by two subsurface elements, the Apishapa Arch and the Sierra Grande Uplift. The Apishapa Arch is a northwest-southeast oriented structural extension of the Wet Mountain Uplift which terminates the basin on the northeast, whereas the Sierra Grande Uplift is a northeast-southwest oriented subsurface arch that forms the basin 's…show more content…
These rocks grade abruptly northward into a marine geo-synclinal facies up to as much as 6,000 feet thick in the Las Vegas sub-basin. The Magdalena Group is missing from the Cimarron arch, but it most likely present in the western part of the northern Raton Basin. Orogenic debris of the Sangre de Cristo Formation of Pennsylvanian and Early Permian age was derived mainly from the San Luis uplift, filled the Rowe-Mora and Central Colorado basins, and lapped onto Precambrian rocks of the other bounding uplifts. The Sangre de Cristo Formation is 700-3,500 feet thick at the south, and 6,000-9,500 feet thick at the north (Baltz 1965). The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are a structurally complex block having a Precambrian igneous core that is bounded by major, high-angle reverse faults and highly contorted, steeply dipping to overturned sedimentary beds of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age. The range resulted from uplift and eastward thrusting during the Laramide orogeny commencing in Late Cretaceous time and continuing intermittently to possibly late Tertiary time (Wanek and Read, 1956). Oil and Gas exploration has been an ongoing project in the Raton Basin, but a quite unsuccessful one at best. The Raton Basin is primarily a flood plain paludal deposit which is not ordinarily an ideal unit to recover oil or gas from (Speer, 1976). The sandstones within the Raton are predominantly coarse grained, poorly sorted, fluvial sandstones which have been shown

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