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ACE FT 08 | Revised Stratigraphic Framework for the Cutoff Formation and Implications for Upper Bone Spring and Avalon Reservoirs

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017, 7:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.  |  El Paso, Texas, United States

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Who Should Attend

Geologists interested in mixed carbonate and siliciclastic systems and/or low permeability slope and basinal reservoirs in the Permian Basin.


To gain an understanding of the deposits, architectural elements, and sedimentological processes associated with a middle Permian mixed carbonate and siliciclastic slope system modified by antecedent topography of a drowned carbonate platform margin.

About Field Trip

Outcrops of the middle Permian (late Leonardian – early Guadalupian) Cutoff Formation in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park provide an excellent view of a mixed carbonate and siliciclastic succession that accumulated on the slope of the northwest Delaware Basin, largely coeval with the deposition of San Andres carbonates on the shelf. Organic-rich mudstone hemipelagites and fine-grained sandstone turbidites are thought to represent “Avalon Shale” and “Avalon Sandstone” reservoirs in the subsurface respectively. These deposits accumulated during periods of carbonate-starvation along the slope which alternated with downslope shedding of shelf and open-marine detritus.

Submarine erosion and slope failure associated with antecedent topography of a drowned carbonate margin (Victorio Peak/Bone Spring Formation) was critical in controlling depositional facies and architecture of the Cutoff Formation in the lower slope/basinal environment. The field trip will include stops at Shumard Canyon and Bone Canyon to observe the scale and internal architecture of submarine channels incising the bedrock of the relict platform. Other field-trip stops will include Stratotype Canyon, Black Stove Canyon, and Rest Area Gully to observe basin-restricted carbonate and siliclcastic sediment gravity flow deposits, carbonate channel-levee complexes, failure scours associated with the downslope transport of olistostromal blocks, and thick (>50 m) accumulations of recumbently folded deposits associated with these failure events. Observations made on the outcrop will be discussed in the context of limited biostratigraphic zonation and a sequence-by-sequence link to the San Andres shelf system in order to illustrate that alloycyclic mechanisms exerted an important temporal control on patterns of sediment dispersal and accumulation in the slope and basinal environment.


Wednesday, 5 April

8:00 PM – Brief introduction and presentation of logistics and agenda for field trip at Wyndham Hotel in El Paso.

Thursday, 6 April

7:30 AM – Depart from El Paso International Airport heading east on highway 62-180 to Guadalupe Mountains National Park entrance via Williams Ranch Road

10:00 AM – Arrive at Patterson Hills overview

11:00 AM – Depart Patterson Hills overview and head to Williams Ranch House

12:00 PM – Arrive at Williams Ranch House for lunch

1:00 PM – Shumard Canyon

4:30 PM – Entire party is back at vehicles, return to Carlsbad, NM

Friday, 7 April

7:30 AM – Depart from hotel to park entrance at Williams Ranch Road via highway 62-180

9:30 AM – Stops 1 and 2, Bone Canyon and Stratotype Canyon

12:30 PM – Lunch back at vehicles

1:30 PM – Stop 3, Black Stove Canyon

4:30 PM – Entire Party is back at vehicles, depart from outcrop, return to Carlsbad, NM

Saturday, 8 April

7:30 AM – Depart from hotel, head to rest area overview below Salt Flat Bench via highway 62-180, and fuel up on the way if needed

9:30 AM – Begin hike to rest area gully

12:00 PM – Entire party is back at vehicles, return to El Paso International Airport for flight home


Professionals/Students: $1,400

Applicable Credits: 20 PDH, 20 CEU

Limit: 20 people

Includes: Ground transportation, hotel with complimentary breakfast (Thursday, Friday, Saturday), lunch (Thursday, Friday, Saturday), entry fees, refreshments and guidebook

Notes: The hikes on this trip are extremely difficult. Please ensure that you are capable of rigorous physical activity prior to registering for this trip. Rugged, closed-toed shoes and long-rugged pants are required. Transportation to the starting point is not included in the cost of this trip. Temperatures can range from 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit during this time period. Please bring warm clothing.


El Paso, TX - El Paso International Airport
El Paso, TX - El Paso International Airport
6701 Convair Rd
El Paso Texas 79925
United States
(915) 780-4749
05 April, 2017 05 April, 2017 ACE FT 08 | Revised Stratigraphic Framework for the Cutoff Formation and Implications for Upper Bone Spring and Avalon Reservoirs /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace17-ft-08-hero.jpg?width=750&height=314&quality=90&mode=crop&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true El Paso, TX - El Paso International Airport El Paso, TX - El Paso International Airport 7:30 AM 2:00 PM


AAPG Instructor  
AAPG Instructor  
Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin

Important Notes Regarding Field Trips

  • Field trips are limited in size and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and must be accompanied by full payment.
  • If you do not plan on attending the convention, a US $30 enrollment fee will be added to the field trip fee. This fee may be applied toward registration if you decide to attend the convention at a later date.
  • A wait list is automatically created if a field trip sells out. The AAPG Convention Department will notify you if space becomes available.
  • Before purchasing non-refundable airline tickets, confirm that the trip will take place, as trips may be canceled if under-subscribed.
  • Please register well before 23 February. Field trip cancellation due to low enrollment will be considered at this time. No refunds will be allowed on field trips after this date.
  • We will continue to take registrations for field trips not canceled until they are either sold out or closed.
  • It is important that you note your gender when registering for hotel room assignments.
  • Prior to the field trip you will receive an itinerary with details of meeting points, transportation with the trip phone numbers and email addresses of hotels and trip leaders, etc.
  • Proper clothing and supplies are needed for the outdoors (hat, windbreaker, sturdy footwear and rucksack).
  • Depending on location, temperatures can range from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with or without rain. Participants are advised to check local weather forecasts for latest updates.
  • Insect repellent and sun protection (sunscreen and hats) are recommended.
  • AAPG, the sponsoring organizations nor field trip leaders and their employers maintain insurance covering illness or injury for individuals.


There are a limited number of discounted registrations available for students on a first-come, first-served basis. If a discounted space is still available, it will show up during the online registration process. If discounted spots are no longer available, you may register at the full fee; if we are able to add additional discounted spots we will refund the difference at that time.

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Kendra McColloch
Meeting Planner
+1 918 560 2689
Alicia Collins
Events Coordinator
+1 918 560 2616