Geologic Map of the Spring Water Canyon 7.5' Quadrangle, Pima County, Arizona
KeywordsArizona Geological Survey Digital Geologic Maps
Santa Rita Mountains
San Pedro River Valley
Cienegas National Conservation Area
Spring Water Canyon
Willow Canyon Formation
Apache Canyon Formation
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CitationSpencer, J.E., Youberg, A., and Shipman, T.C., 2010, Geologic Map of the Spring Water Canyon 7.5’ Quadrangle, Pima County, Arizona: Arizona Geological Survey Digital Geologic Map DGM-79, version 1.0, map scale 1:24,000.
DescriptionBedrock in the Spring Water Canyon 7 ½' Quadrangle consists primarily of the Lower Cretaceous Bisbee Group. Formation names were applied during earlier mapping by Finnell (1971). Bisbee Group deposition began during a Late Jurassic period of intracontinental rifting that produced the basal Glance Conglomerate (not identified in the map area). Overlying Lower Cretaceous strata of the Bisbee Group, widely exposed in the map area, were deposited largely in the context of extensional topography inherited from previous Jurassic extension (Dickinson and Lawton, 2001). Overlying strata in the southeastern corner of the map area, previously thought to be middle Tertiary in age, contain dinosaur fossil fragments ( Ferguson, C.A., unpublished) and so are interpreted as related to the Laramide Fort Crittenden Formation (e.g., Hayes, 1987). Bedrock units are generally tilted and broadly folded into a southward plunging syncline, presumably of Laramide age. Felsic hypabyssal intrusions are locally abundant, but it uncertain if these are Laramide or middle Tertiary. The surficial geology of the Spring Water Canyon 7 ½' Quadrangle was mapped using a combination of aerial imagery, digital elevation models, topographic maps, and field mapping. The physical characteristics of Quaternary alluvial surfaces (channels, alluvial fans, floodplains and stream terraces) were used to differentiate their associated deposits by age. Alluvial deposits of similar ages have a distinctive appearance and soil characteristics because they have undergone similar post-depositional modifications. These differences can be seen in the shape and texture of the surfaces as well as the amount of soil development. Younger surfaces retain evidence of their original depositional topography and have little or no soil development, while older surfaces are generally more eroded and rounded with moderate to strongly developed, reddened and clay-rich soil. The distribution of surfaces of different ages and sources in the Spring Water Canyon 7 ½' Quadrangle is associated with Cienega Creek and its tributaries from the Whetstone, Empire and Santa Rita Mountains. The majority of surficial units in this quadrangle are composed of late Tertiary basin fill deposits (Tc). Remnants of the oldest Quaternary units (Qi1 and Qo) are found only in the southern portion of the mapping area and probably represent the highest aggradation in the basin. Alluvial fan and stream terrace remnants of younger surfaces are found along Cienega Creek and its tributaries.
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Fire and Flood in a Canyon Woodland: The Effects of Floods and Debris Flows on the Past Fire Regime of Rhyolite Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument: Final ReportSwetnam, Thomas; Baisan, Christopher; Caprio, Tony; McCord, Alex; Brown, Peter; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona (1990)Prior research in the Rhyolite Canyon area of Chiricahua National Monument (Swetnam et. al. 1989) revealed an anomalous 50 year fire-free interval between 1901 and 1851. Disruption of fire spread resulting from flooding and mass soil movement (debris flows) were postulated as potential causes of this long interval. The present study gathered additional evidence of fire and floods in the canyon system. Sampling of flood-scarred trees along stream channels successfully identified several flood events in Rhyolite canyon. Pulses of pine regeneration on debris flow deposits were associated with one of these events. However, no definitive linkage of flood events with changes in fire regime was established. Analysis of new fire scar samples combined with previous results indicated that the area affected by the change in fire regime includes the uplands between Jesse James Canyon and Rhyolite drainage. Source areas for fires prior to 1900 were not identified within the study area indicating that ignitions outside the present monument boundaries may have been important in the past. Evidence from the maximum ages of overstory conifers within Rhyolite Canyon suggests the occurrence of a major disturbance within this drainage prior to 1600.
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