Mesozoic Geologic History of Texas

Mesozoic Geologic History of Texas -...

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Mesozoic Geologic History of Texas               A. Gulf of Mexico, Salt, Limestone and Petroleum               Somewhat after the beginning of Mesozoic time (about 220 million years ago), the  supercontinent of  Pangaea,  from Nova Scotia to southern Mexico, began splitting to form  a series of elongated, fault-bound basins. Like Paleozoic rifting before, the Mesozoic split  left another foldbelt (Ouachita) attached to North America. By middle Mesozoic time  (Jurassic period), the rift basins had widened and subsided to such an extent that the sea  entered and began depositing thick layers of salt. Salt deposits are especially thick  beneath the Palestine area of East Texas, the Houston-Beaumont area, and a large region  south of San Antonio. A relatively brief period of rapid rifting produced the Gulf of Mexico.                           Late Mesozoic time (Cretaceous period) brought a period in which Gulf waters  spilled onto the continental margin and over nearly all of Texas. The warm Cretaceous  climate promoted the formation of the light-colored, flat-lying limestone formations found in  abundance from the Red River north of Dallas, through the Hill Country of Central Texas,  to SantaElenaCanyon of the Big Bend of the Rio Grande. In places (e.g., Glen Rose),  dinosaurs left their tracks and trails in the limy mud flats bordering these shallow coastal  waters. In other places, the ground was being prepared for petroleum. In East Texas, for  example,   a   fluctuating   Cretaceous   shoreline   was   depositing   the   porous   Woodbine  Sandstone. After gentle uplift briefly exposed the formation to erosion, it was again  submerged and buried beneath an impermeable sedimentary cap. The process created 
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2012 for the course GEOL 1420 taught by Professor Wagner during the Fall '10 term at Texas State.

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Mesozoic Geologic History of Texas -...

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