MS-49 Geologic Map and Coal Bed Stratigraphy, Fruitland Formation, Western Archuleta County, Colorado


This CGS publication describes the Upper Cretaceous geology, Fruitland coal bed outcroppings and cleats, gas seeps and distressed vegetation along a twenty-three mile transect in western Archuleta County. CGS staff geologist Chris Carroll, consulting geologists David Gonzales, Gary Gianniny, and Karen Houck, along with field assistants Emilee Skyles and Tor Stetson-Lee completed the field work on this project during the summer of 2008. The sedimentary bedrock and quaternary unit descriptions, structural geology, and coal resource sections of this report were written by Mr. Carroll. Dr. Gonzales completed the sections on fractures and structural geology. Dr. Gianniny, Dr. Houck, Mr. Stetson-Lee, and Ms. Skyles contributed the measured section compilation. Nick Watterson of the CGS compiled the GIS data into map cartographic format. This mapping project was funded by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The CGS created this map with funds received under the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Severance Tax Operational Funds raised from the Severance Tax paid on the production of natural gas, oil, coal, and metals in Colorado. Digital ZIP/GIS/PDF download. MS-49D

From the abstract:

The western part of Archuleta County, Colorado is a new frontier for coalbed methane (cbm) in the northern San Juan Basin. Detailed coal bed stratigraphy is important to both exploration and environmental compliance efforts in this area. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) oversee most of the prospective land for mineral development in this area. The environmental and regulatory concerns are also very important to the citizens of Archuleta County. Past considerations of methane gas seeps, coal fires, and groundwater withdrawal from the Fruitland Formation cbm play in nearby La Plata County are a major concern here as well.