Structural Geology PDF Print E-mail

Structural Geology at New Mexico Tech



New Mexico Tech has a large and diverse group of people involved in structural research, located in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, and the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. Interests of this group range from structures developed in metamorphic tectonites to faulting of unconsolidated sediments. Studies are conducted from detailed field work at all scales, modeling, and timing of deformation (fission track analysis and Ar/Ar geochronology). A recent thrust of members of this group has been to look at relationships between faulting and fluid flow in unconsolidated sediments.

New Mexico is, geologically speaking, a very diverse state, and many structural studies are possible within 1-2 hours of New Mexico Tech. Facilities for structural research include: a Starkey X-ray texture camera for complete crystallographic preferred orientations, a structural lab with image analysis facilities for the texture camera, petrographic microscopes, and U-stage, a state of the art automated lab forAr/Ar geochronology, and a lab for fission track analysis. We recently got a Cameca SX100 Microprobe. Information about specific research interests in structural geology can be found on the appropriate faculty home pages.

We usually have 2 or 3 structurally related seminars per semester in our departmental seminar series. The structure group also meets weekly; in these meetings we discuss such things as our current research, any particular problems we are having in our research (a collective brain-storming session, interesting papers we have read recently, etc.).


The Structurions

Geology & Geochemistry Program

Hydrology Program

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources


Areas of Research Interest

  • Proterozoic geology of New Mexico
  • Active tectonics
  • Tectonic geomorphology
  • Laramide Tectonics
  • Faults and fluid flow
  • Development of psudotachylyte
  • Time-space evolution of plutons
  • Geomechanics/theoretical studies
  • Experimental deformation
  • Geochronology (including 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology and Fission track dating)


Links to Structural Geology Resources

The Structural Geology Page (by Smith College's Department of Geology)

Structure and Tectonics Division of the Geological Society of America



  • A large faulted fold along Arroyo del Tajo, east of Socorro, NM. Students are involved in a field trip for the introductory Structural geology class.
  • Cleavage refraction in Proterozoic metasediments, Monzano Mountains, NM.
  • Preferential cementation of the Sand Hill fault by calcite. Because the sediments outside of the fault zone are unconsolidated, the cemented fault forms a wall. See faults and fluid flow for more details.
  • Large cordierite porphyroblasts in the Picuris Mountains, south of Taos. Note the layering preserved in the porphyroblast.
  • View of the Great Unconformity, Manzano Mountains, central NM.
  • Unconformity between brecciated Proterozoic granite and Pennslyvanian sediments. This outcrop on the Santa Fe ski basin road shows evidence for pre-Pennslyvanian brittle deformation.
  • L-tectonites developed in the Proterozoic rocks of the Joyita Hills.


Field Trips

  • A field trip through Laramide and Rift-related structures across the Rio Grande from Socorro.


Created: ( Wednesday, 12 October 2011 13:32 )
Last Updated: ( Wednesday, 12 October 2011 14:01 )
  Our Essay Help Service