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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

versión impresa ISSN 1405-3322

Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex vol.59 no.1 México jun. 2007

http://dx.doi.org/10.18268/bsgm2007v59n1a1 

Articles

The first geologic map of Sonora

El primer mapa geológico de Sonora

Max Suter1 

1Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Estación Regional del Noroeste, Apartado Postal 1039, C. P. 83000 Hermosillo, Sonora, México. SuterMax@aol.com

Abstract

The 1888 publication by José Guadalupe Aguilera Serrano about the 3 May 1887 Sonora, Mexico earthquake contains the earliest geologic map of Sonora, a 1:1,000,000 scale color map with six cartographic units, reproduced in this paper. On the map,which covers ~20, 000 km2 of northeastern Sonora, and in the accompanying article, Aguilera delimited and described parts of what is now known as the Jaralito and Oposura batholiths and assigned them, remarkably, an Eocene age. The map unit of volcanic rocks belongs mostly to the vast cover of the middle Tertiary Sierra Madre Occidental volcanic province and the units of Pliocene and Quaternary rocks to the fill of extensional basins. Aguilera assigned a Quaternary age to the basalt flows in the Moctezuma and San Bernardino valleys, which he described as covering the alluvium of these valleys. The rocks of the Pliocene map unit were described by Aguilera as an indurated conglomerate dipping 20°S, overlain with angular unconformity by alluvium, and most of its clasts being of volcanic origin; this unit is now known as the Báucarit Formation of Mioceneage. The Cretaceous map unit, described by Aguilera as ash grey, compact, and fossiliferous limestone beds belonging very probably to the Comanche series, is now known as the Lower Cretaceous Mural Limestone. Aguilera's map covers a series of north-south trending mountain ranges separated by the Moctezuma, Bavispe, San Bernardino, Fronteras, and Agua Prieta River valleys, a landscape pattern typical of the Basin and Range physiographic province. Aguilera described this transition zone between the plateau of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the east and the lowlands in the west as a large-scale staircase pattern, with the steep, fault-bounded side of the mountain ranges always facing west. A rare photograph by Camillus S. Fly possibly shows Aguilera and his field party near Bavispe, Sonora in August 1887.

Keywords: José Guadalupe Aguilera Serrano (1857-1941); history of geology; geologic map; Sonora; Mexico; Basin and Range province; Sonoran batholith

Resumen

La publicación en 1888 por José Guadalupe Aguilera Serrano sobre el terremoto del 3 de mayo de 1887 de Sonora incluye la primera carta geológica de Sonora. Se trata de un mapa en color a escala 1: 1,000,000 con seis unidades cartográficas, el cual es reproducido en este trabajo. En el mapa, que cubre ~20,000 km2 del noreste de Sonora, y en el artículo que acompaña al mapa, Aguilera delimitó y describió partes de lo que se conoce actualmente corno los batolitos de Jaralito y de Oposura y les asignó notablemente una edad eocena. La unidad cartográfica de rocas volcánicas pertenece sobre todo a la cobertura amplia de la provincia volcánica de la Sierra Madre Occidental del Terciario medio y las unidades de rocas del Plioceno y Cuaternario al relleno de cuencas de extensión. Aguilera asignó una edad cuaternaria a los derrames de basalto en los valles de Moctezuma y San Bernardino y los describió corno cubriendo al aluvión de estos valles. A las rocas de la unidad cartográfica pliocénica, Aguilera las describió corno conglomerado bastante resistente con echado de 20° S, cubierto con discordancia angular por aluvión, y con la mayoría de los clastos siendo de origen volcánico. Esta unidad se conoce ahora como Formación Báucarit de edad miocena. La unidad cartográfica del Cretácico, descrito por Aguilera como capas de caliza gris cenicienta compacta y fosilifera, perteneciendo muy probablemente a la serie Comanche, se conoce ahora como la Caliza Mural del Cretácico Inferior. El mapa de Aguilera cubre una serie de valles de orientación norte-sur separados por los valles de los Ríos Moctezuma, Bavispe, San Bernardino, Fronteras y Agua Prieta, lo que es el patrón de paisaje típico de la provincia fisiográfica de cuencas y sierras. Aguilera describió esta zona de transición entre el plateau de la Sierra Madre Occidental al oriente y la tierra baja al poniente como una gigantesca escalinata formada por diversas cordilleras, cuya mayor pendiente ve siempre hacia el oeste. Una fotografia rara por Camillus S. Fly posiblemente muestra a Aguilera con su equipo de campo cerca de Bavispe, Sonora en agosto de 1887.

Palabras clave: José Guadalupe Aguilera Serrano (1857-1941); historia de la geología; carta geológica; Sonora; México; provincia de cuencas y sierras; batolito de Sonora

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Received: February 10, 2006; Revised: March 02, 2006; Accepted: August 25, 2006

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