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Dr. Peter Scholle, a professor of geology at New Mexico Tech, oversees this site showcasing the geology of the Permian reefs of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The Salado Formation, part of this sequence, has been in the spotlight lately because it contains the newly discovered, 250 million-year-old, salt-dwelling bacteria (see this week's Scout Report's In the News). The classic sedimentary sections of the Guadalupe and Delaware mountains have been well studied because of their magnificent exposures of Permian aged carbonate platform and slope deposits. Each year, geology students flock to the region to learn about sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, and tectonic history, among other things. At this information-rich, well-illustrated site, everyone gets a chance to see and learn about these rocks. Sections of the virtual guidebook feature text with links to the bibliography, and color diagrams and photographs. The site is divided into the following sections: General Settings, Previous Studies, Structural History, Stratigraphic Setting and Nomenclature, Depositional Patterns, Diagenetic Patterns, Recent Models, Oil and Gas Production, and Field Trip and Safety Notes. Especially useful to those planning a field trip are road logs and field stop descriptions of road cuts between El Paso and Carlsbad, McKittrick Canyon, Walnut Canyon, and Dark Canyon-Sitting Bull Falls-Rocky Arroyo. Take a moment to discover the beauty and amazing geology of these classic Permian Reefs.
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