Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 62 Number 2: 144-146 - August 2000

A publication of the National Speleological Society

A preliminary U-Pb date on cave spar, Big Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico
Joyce Lundberg, Derek C. Ford, and Carol A. Hill


U-Pb dating of a football-sized, dogtooth spar, calcite crystal collected from a cave in Big Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA, gave an age estimate of 87 - 98 Ma for calcite deposition. This Upper Cretaceous (Laramide) date is important because: (1) it implies that there may have been a major karsting episode in the Guadalupe Mountains in the Laramide; (2) it implies that the Laramide was a time of heating and deeply circulating hydrothermal water; (3) it relates to the possible time of regional uplift above sea level of the Guadalupe Mountains along with the rest of the western United States; and (4) it relates to a time of possible hydrocarbon maturation and migration in the Delaware Basin.

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