Magnetostratigraphy and paleopoles of the Kayenta Formation and the Tenney Canyon Tongue

Maureen STEINER, Lawrence H. TANNER


The Kayenta Formation is the third in a series of stratigraphic units making up the Glen Canyon Group that were sampled along US Hwy 89 in southern Utah. The Kayenta is dominantly reversed polarity with a number of very short normal polarity intervals. Above the Kayenta and interbedded in the Navajo Sandstone is the Tenney Canyon Tongue of the Kayenta Formation. The lower half of the Tenney Canyon Tongue was also sampled and is dominantly normal polarity with three short reversed polarity intervals. The dominantly reversed magnetostratigraphy of the Kayenta appears to match that of Early Pliensbachian polarity interval “e-Pli R.” The dominance of normal polarity of the Tenney Canyon Tongue suggests that the Tenney Canyon may have been deposited in the upper half of the Pliensbachian polarity interval “ePli-N.” The suggested polarity matches indicate that the Kayenta and Tenney Canyon Tongue strata are 187–190 Ma in age. The paleopoles of the two units are statistically identical. The combined data of the Kayenta-Springdale-Whitmore Point show that the J-1 Cusp terminated before the deposition of the Kayenta Formation. The North American continent/pole returned to its Late Triassic position during/after Springdale time, apparently along the same path used to reach the apex of the J-1 Cusp.


Pliensbachian magnetostratigraphy; Kayenta Formation; paleopole; J-1 cusp; North America apparent polar wander curve

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