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Kato

New Mexico - Sacramento Mountains; Mississippian Lake Valley Formation

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Kato

Mother Nature graced us locally with another temperate day so I had time to squeeze in a long exploration into some hidden canyons that comprise a large subset of the local Mississippian formation known as 'Lake Valley'

 

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To get to the canyons of interest I walked through Silurian-Devonian exposures but I did not stop to explore for anything.

 

Here was my first view toward the hidden Lake Valley Formation canyons. You can see deformation from the mud mounding. 

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More to follow.

 

 

 

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Kato

I tend to take the most difficult way in the first time I visit a locale. This time was no different. Once at this location I spotted a narrow game trail I will use in future trips.  This time I followed along the bottom of the tiny butte on a different game trail. At this point the first hidden canyon is not visible.

 

The ground and formation is absolutely littered with crinoid remnants.

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Kato

Traipsing around the bend affords the first view into the small bowl preceding the first of 2 hidden canyons.

 

It's my thought there is a small igneous dike under this bowl/canyon. There is evidence of small camptonite debris just at the bottom left of the bowl.

 

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I hiked to the opposite end of the bowl to take a photo

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Kato

Down in the bowl revealed these layers with, possibly, some thin igneous veins of camptonite shooting through.

 

image.thumb.png.4f0843968f21fa8b1ccbbf6d92d66ccb.png

 

 

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Kato

A different layer in the formation containing crinoids, horn corals and brachiopods

 

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Kato

I collected some small samples and proceeded to climb out of the small bowl to ascend the first hidden canyon

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Kato

Up the first canyon was very little bedrock and mostly boulder scramble and bushwhacking. I did come across this nice trace fossil. Zoophycos, I think.

image.thumb.png.dbcdc1714224631ce4e8b8f0524f7475.png

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Kato

Also, some of the boulders had large diameter chert type nodules full of crinoids. This nodule 6" in diameter (15-16 cm).

image.thumb.png.215af13dd0c8b53cbd1e440c7d7dff71.png

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Kato

At the top of this canyon there was a formation full of nodules of various diameters. It was like walking on ball bearings. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a photo of that. I did whack a few nodules and they had small crystals inside. I didn't find any obvious fossils.

 

Turning I descended into a different canyon that was older Lake Valley. 

 

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From a hiking point of view, this 2nd canyon was much more of a joy to hike as almost 75% of it was sheer bedrock that afforded one the opportunity to view the rock strata.

 

 

 

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Kato

Turning the corner one officially enters the 2nd canyon which descends, for the most part, on a marble like limestone layer.

image.thumb.png.43a168419203b6410c14ea8f4c9575b3.png

 

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Kato

Small bowls worn into the bedrock

image.thumb.png.4d4ef5eec2a9734236ef74ae7566fcb0.png

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Kato

Pinons, tamarisk, sotil, banana yucca and other local vegetation. A great place for a picnic or to throw down a sleeping mat and bag to cowboy camp during dry weather.

image.thumb.png.742f2d1f662dc24dcfce1ced96e5a65b.png

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Kato

Interesting pink colored crinoid sample

image.thumb.png.eae6277a9011683c07b09a495b52888b.png

 

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Tidgy's Dad

Nice report with some super photos. :)

It's a productid brachiopod, but i wouldn't like to guess which one.

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Monica

Such beautiful scenery!!!  Thanks for taking us along, and congrats on finding some sweet fossils!

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