Detrital-Zircon and Paleontological Constraints on Correlations of Pennsylvanian-Permian Rocks Near Sedona, Arizona
This research focuses on a geologic controversy regarding the stratigraphic position of the Hermit Formation outside of the Grand Canyon, specifically in Sedona, Arizona. The goal of this research is to provide additional constraints on this dispute by pinpointing the transition to the Hermit Formation in Sedona, if possible. To accomplish this, we use field observations and detrital zircon dating techniques to compare data we collected in Sedona with data previously published for the Grand Canyon. Fossil evidence in Sedona and near Payson, Arizona is also used to aid correlation. Starting from the Grand Canyon, the Hermit Formation pinches out to the southeast and, hypothetically obstructed by the Sedona Arch, does not reach Sedona. Detrital zircon data show similar age distributions between the Grand Canyon and Sedona rock units, but the results are not strong enough to confidently correlate units between these two localities. The data collected for this study suggest that if the Hermit Formation is present in Sedona, it is limited to higher up in the section as opposed to occupying the middle portion of the section as is currently interpreted. To determine with greater accuracy whether the Hermit Formation does exist higher in the section of Sedona, more detrital zircons should be collected and analyzed from the part of the section that yielded a relative increase in young zircons aged 200-600 Ma.