Magnetostratigraphy of mid-Cretaceous limestones from the Sierra Madre of northeastern Mexico

Bradford M. Clement, Ewald Poetisi, Timothy J. Bralower, Emily Cobabe, Jose Longoria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present the results of a palaeomagnetic study of four mid-Cretaceous limestone sections exposed in northeastern Mexico. The limestones are weakly magnetized and exhibit two- to three-component magnetizations. These magnetization components appear to be carried by both a sulphide mineral and a magnetite-titanomagnetite mineral. The sulphide mineral carries a reverse polarity overprint that often makes it difficult to isolate definitively the higher-unblocking-temperature component. The high-unblocking-temperature component is well defined in the upper portion of the Santa Rosa Canyon section and in the Cienega del Toro section and passes the fold test. The characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) inclinations agree well with predicted mid-Cretaceous inclinations for these sites, although the declinations differ by more than 100°. The relative rotation between these two sites probably occurred as the thrust sheets were emplaced during Laramide deformation. At two of the sections, namely Cienega del Toro and the overturned Los Chorros sections, only normal polarity directions are observed. The La Boca Canyon and Santa Rosa Canyon sections exhibit zones of both normal and reverse polarity magnetization. Correlation of these polarity zones with the geomagnetic polarity timescale provides a time framework for lithostratigraphic and palaeoceanographic studies of these sections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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