|Mesa Rica Sandstone|
Stratigraphic range: Albian
|Unit of||Dakota Group|
|Overlies||Tucumcari Shale, Glencairn Formation|
|Thickness||33 meters (108 ft)|
|Region||New Mexico, Oklahoma|
|Named for||Mesa Rica|
|Named by||Dobrovolny, Summerson, and Bates|
The Mesa Rica Sandstone consists of crossbedded white to buff sandstone. The sandstone is massive and medium- to coarse-grained. It is a very mature sandstone, consisting of almost pure quartz and kaolin, which may reflect its provenance as reworked sediments of the Morrison Formation, or may be due to a slow rate of deposition that permitted meteoric water to circulate through the sediments for an unusually long time. In some locations, there is minor quartz-pebble conglomerate at the base of the formation, which lies on the Tucumcari Shale or Glencairn Formation. It is overlain by the Pajarito Formation and has a thickness of up to 33 meters (108 ft).
The upper part of the formation preserves dinosaur trackways and is part of the "dinosaur freeway" megatracksite of New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Dinosaur tracks were discovered in the formation at the spillway of Clayton Lake State Park in 1982, at Mosquero Creek in 1986, and at Mills Canyon in 1995. The Mills Creek site shows twelve distinct trackways. The Clayton Lake trackways are unusual in showing trail dragging traces. The trackways here are accessible by a trail with interpretive signage but are rapidly eroding in the lake spillway. Most of the tracks at the three sites have been identified as Charirichnium leonardii.
History of investigation
The unit was first named the Mesa Rica sandstone member of the Purgatoire Formation by Ernest Dobrovolny, Charles Summerson, and Robert Bates in 1947. It was raised to formation rank by Robert Griggs and Charles Read in 1959, who also abandoned the use of the Purgatoire Formation in northeastern New Mexico.
- Cotton, William D.; Cotton, Jennifer E.; Hunt, Adrian P. (December 1998). "Evidence for social behavior in ornithopod dinosaurs from the Dakota group of northeastern New Mexico, U.S.A.". Ichnos. 6 (3): 141–149. doi:10.1080/10420949809386445.
- Dobrovolny, Ernest; Summerson, Charles Henry; Bates, Robert Glenn (1947). "Geology of northwestern Quay County, New Mexico". USGS Oil and Gas Investigation Map. 62. doi:10.3133/om62. Retrieved 2 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Griggs, R.L.; Read, C.B. (1959). "Revisions in Stratigraphic Nomenclature in Tucumcari-Sabinoso Area, Northeastern New Mexico: GEOLOGICAL NOTES". AAPG Bulletin. 43. doi:10.1306/0BDA5E8E-16BD-11D7-8645000102C1865D.
- Hunt, Adrian P.; Lucas, Spencer G. (1998). "Tetrapod ichnofaunas from the lower Cretaceous of northeastern New Mexico,USA". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 14: 163–168. Retrieved 3 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Lucas, Spencer G.; Hunt, Adrian P. (2000). "The lower Cretaceous ammonite Mortoniceras equidistans (Cragin) from the Mesa Rica Sandstone, Quay County, New Mexioco". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletins. 16: 97–100. Retrieved 3 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Van Yperen, Anna E.; Holbrook, John M.; Poyatos-Moré, Miquel; Midtkandal, Ivar (25 July 2019). "Coalesced Delta-front Sheet-like Sandstone Bodies from Highly Avulsive Distributary Channels: The Low-accommodation Mesa Rica Sandstone (Dakota Group, New Mexico, U.S.A.)". Journal of Sedimentary Research. 89 (7): 654–678. doi:10.2110/jsr.2019.27. hdl:10852/74350.
- Van Yperen, Anna E.; Line, Lina H.; Holbrook, John M.; Poyatos-Moré, Miquel; Midtkandal, Ivar (2019). "Revised Stratigraphic Relationships of the Dakota Group in the Tucumcari Basin, San Miguel County, New Mexico, USA" (PDF). New Mexico Geological Society Field Conference Series. 70: 89–100. Retrieved 8 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; Osmólska, Halszka, eds. (2004). The dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
- Ziegler, Kate E.; Ramos, Frank C.; Zimmerer, Matthew J. (2019). "Geology of Northeastern New Mexico, Union and Colfax Counties, New Mexico: A Geologic Summary" (PDF). New Mexico Geological Society Field Conference Series. 70 (4): 47–54. Retrieved 1 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)