Stratigraphy of the Chaco Culture National Historic Park

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Capitol Reef stratigraphy
Click here to take an image tour of Chaco Canyon National Historic Park.

Afternoon sun on Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon. The butte consists of interbedded units (tongues) of the Mesaverde Group, including the cliff-forming Cliff House Sandstone and slope-forming shale beds of the Menefee Formation. These units were deposited along the western margin of the Western Interior Seaway during Late Cretaceous time.
This view is looking down on the ruins of Kin Kletso in Chaco Canyon. A massive outcrop of Cliff House Sandstone is on the right. To learn more about Chaco Canyon and the Chaco Culture National Historic Park, visit the National Park Service Website for Chaco Canyon at:
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Stratigraphy after: Mytton, J. W. and Schneider, G. B., 1987, Interpretive Geology of the Chaco area, northwestern New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigation Series Map I-1777, 1 sheet with map, scale 1:24,000.

Stratigraphic unit information is modified from the USGS GeoLex (Lexicon of Geology):

Information about the Geologic Time Scale is available at:

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Last modified: 1/7/2011
Quaternary deposits Pictured Cliffs Lewis Shale Cliff House Menefee Menifee Cliff House Cliff House Menefee Mesaverde