We won't burden you with a comprehensive list of references for this course. The field course manual you will be given should suffice for most purposes. Our literature citations include general references, specific reports on course field areas, and useful, regional field guides. Some will be available at field camp. Others you may want to look up on prior to the field course. Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah have useful, highway, geological maps available. If you want to buy a field guide, map, or regional report, browse through book shops and camping stores in the west. People are geologically literate in this part of the world and you can find good selections of books and maps. National park and monument book stores are well stocked with interesting books and maps. You can spend lots of money wisely at any National Park visitor centre or the bookstore in Gunnison -- on the west side Main Street (the Crested Butte Highway). This store has one of the best selections of geological books and maps you will ever see in a commercial bookstore.

General and Regional Field Guides

Beus, S. S., ed. (1987). Centennial Field Guide Volume 2, Rocky Mountain Section, Geological Society of America.

In general, this is excellent and useful.

Keith Rigby, a geology professor from Brigham Young (Provo, UT) published several popular guides (published by Kendall/Hunt in paperback - available at most bookstores). Those on the Northern and Southern Colorado Plateau are useful, though skimpy on regional tectonics.

The 1990 International Geological Congress (IGC) published a number of guidebooks as part of the Washington, D. C. meeting, including one on the Grand Canyon. Vol. 3 includes trips through the Rio Grande Rift, the transition area from the Colorado Plateau to the Basin and Range, and an overflight of the Plateau.

Avoid the touristy guidebooks written by Halka Chronic. These are nigh-on useless at best, inaccurate and uninformed at worst.

Regional Stratigraphy

Sloss, L. L. (1988). Sedimentary Cover -- North American Craton, GSA Centennial Series, The Geology of North America, vol. D-2 Regional Geography and Geomorphology.

Hunt, C. B. (1967). Physiography of the United States, Freeman and Co.

Highway Maps

Many highway geologic maps available. Be selective. The AAPG series are generally very small scale, covering three or four or more states. They give little more than the age of the cover rocks and generalized tectonic features. Most western state surveys produce highway geologic maps that are uniformly good and worth owning. New Mexico sets the standard; the map is printed on very heavy stock and includes very helpful satellite images.

Northwestern New Mexico

Bauer, P. W. (1989). Stratigraphic nomenclature of Proterozoic rocks, northern New Mexico - revisions, redefinitions, and formalization. New Mexico Geology, volume. 11, no. 3, p. 45-52.

Dethier, David P. and Reneau, Steven L., 1996, Quaternary History of the Western Espanola Basin, New Mexico. New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 46, 289-298.

Hawley, J. D., ed. (1978). Guidebook to the Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico and Colorado, NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Circular 163, 241p. Worth every penny; very good on Jemez Volcanic Field.

Mawer, C. K., Grambling, J. A., Williams, M. L., Bauer, P. W., and Robertson, J. M. (1990). The relationship of the Proterozoic Hondo Group to older rocks, southern Picuris Mountains and adjacent areas, northern New Mexico. In: Bauer, P. W., et al., eds., Tectonic Development of the Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico. New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 41st Field Conf., p. 171-177.

Montgomery, A. (1953). Precambrian geology of the Picuris Range, north-central New Mexico. New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Bulletin 30, 89p.

O'Sullivan, R. B., 1974, The Upper Chinle Formation in north-central New Mexico. In C. T. Siemers (ed) Ghost Ranch (Central-Northern New Mexico), New Mexico Geological Society, 25th Field Conference, 171 - 189.

Williams, M. L. (1990). Proterozoic geology of northern New Mexico: recent advances and ongoing questions. In: Bauer, P. W., et al., eds., Tectonic Development of the Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico. New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 41st Field Conf., p. 151-159.

Woodward, L. A. (1987). Geology and mineral resources of Sierra Nacimiento and vicinity, NM, NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Memoir 42.

The New Mexico Geological Society (NMGS) has an annual field conference and publishes excellent guidebooks with road logs and technical articles. Although focused on New Mexico, the conferences often roam into Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Trips have been run in the San Juan Basin (1967, 1977, 1992), the Albuquerque Basin (1982), Central-Northern New Mexico (1974), Monument Valley (1973), and western Colorado (1981) Arizona .

Colorado (Gunnison Region)

Hansen, W. R. (1987). The Black Canyon of the Gunnison - In Depth, Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, Tucson, AZ

Prather, T. (1982). Geology of the Gunnison Country. Printed in Gunnison and available at most local bookstores many authors,

1981 Western Slope Colorado; 32nd Field Conf. Guidebook, New Mexico Geological Society (road logs and articles on the Gunnison region).


Although the geology field course no longer does field projects in Arizona, knowledge of the changes in regional geology as well as the structural and tectonic implications are useful in preparing for a field project.

Beus, S. S. (1990). Grand Canyon Geology, Oxford University Press. Good book, available in paperback.

Nations, J. D., Conway, C. M., and Swann, G. A., eds. (1986). Geology of Central and Northern Arizona, Field Trip Guidebook for GSA Meeting, Rocky Mountain Section, Flagstaff, AZ.

Smiley, T. L., Nations, J. D., Pewe, T. L., and Schafer, J. P., eds. (1984). Landscapes of Arizona, University Press of America.

Specific Arizona References

Prescott area Karlstrom, K. E., Bowring, S. A., and Conway, C. M. (1987). Tectonic significance of an Early Proterozoic two-province boundary in central Arizona. GSA Bull., volume 99, p. 529

Krieger, M. H. (1965). Geology of the Prescott and Paulden Quadrangles, Arizona. USGS Prof. Paper 467.

Weigand, D. L. (1981). Geology of the Paradox Basin, Rocky Mountain Geological Society (RMAG) 1981 Field Conference Guidebook.

Doelling, H. H. (1985). Geology of Arches National Park, Utah Geological and Mineral Survey Map 74; accompanied by a brief, useful text .

Last Update: 12 January 200