In the Jemez Springs area of Sandoval County, northern New Mexico, siliciclastic red beds of the upper Paleozoic Abo Formation are well exposed and yield fossil plants and vertebrates. The local Abo Formation section is more than 190 m thick and rests disconformably on the Upper Pennsylvanian Guadalupe Box Formation and is conformably overlain by the Lower Permian DeChelly Sandstone (Yeso Group). Abo sandstone sheets are low sinuosity river deposits, and intercalated sandstone beds and lenses represent sheet splays and minor channel fills that formed during overbank flooding. The dominant Abo lithofacies is mudstone, which represents floodplain deposits, many with calcareous paleosols. Fossils are present in three stratigraphie intervals of the lower to middle Abo Formation. All three intervals yield eupelycosaur-dominated vertebrate fossil assemblages of Coyotean age (Coyotean = late Virgilian-Wolfcampian on the North American provincial marine timescale: Lucas 2006). The lowest interval also yields the Spanish Queen Mine paleoflora of pteridosperms and conifers. Strata of the Guadalupe Box Formation disconformably below the Abo Formation contain late Virgilian fusulinids. We correlate the Abo Formation fossil assemblages in the Jemez Springs area to the Coyotean-age fossil assemblages in the upper part of the El Cobre Canyon Formation in the Arroyo del Agua area and in the Canon del Cobre in the Chama basin of northern New Mexico. This suggests a middle Wolfcampian age for the Jemez Springs area fossil assemblages, an age very close to the Pennsylvanian-Permian boundary.
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Vol. 80 • No. 4