Abby Michels: Looking for faults (the geologic kind!) in Santa Rosalia, Mexico Posted on September 14th, 2017 by

In January 2017 I began researching near Santa Rosalia, Mexico on the Boleo Mineral Mine through a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with other geology students and professors from both the U.S. and Mexico. Over the course of three weeks, my partner, mentor and I explored around the mine site and mapped the locations of faults and their orientations. Along with this, we logged two stratigraphic sections, one on either side of a major fault. We will put our data together with data from past research to create a model of the past seismic activity of the studied area. Everyone involved in the REU reconvened this July at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to complete analyses create posters on our separate projects.

My project focuses on the syntectonic deposition of Plio-Quaternary aged sediments in the Santa Rosalia basin. I am looking to find the relationship between the units on either side of a major fault at the Mesa Soledad outcrop on the Boleo Mineral Mine’s property. The depositional environments of the sediments found on either side change from one side of the fault to the other (ie. Fluvial gravels on one side and fine, fossiliferous marine units on the other). I did this by sieving the sediment samples to different grain sizes, picking for microfossils and identifying them using a scanning electron microscope, creating and analyzing stratigraphic columns and analyzing different thin sections from the outcrop.



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