Sedimentary-Tectonic Development of the Marathon and Val Verde Basins, West Texas, U.S.A.: A Permo–Carboniferous Migrating Foredeep

  1. P. A. Allen and
  2. P. Homewood
  1. Dirck E. Wuellner,
  2. Lee R. Lehtonen and
  3. W. C. James

Published Online: 5 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303810.ch19

Foreland Basins

Foreland Basins

How to Cite

Wuellner, D. E., Lehtonen, L. R. and James, W. C. (1986) Sedimentary-Tectonic Development of the Marathon and Val Verde Basins, West Texas, U.S.A.: A Permo–Carboniferous Migrating Foredeep, in Foreland Basins (eds P. A. Allen and P. Homewood), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303810.ch19

Author Information

  1. Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas 79968, U.S.A.

  1. Tecton Energy, 277 Arthur Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71105, U.S.A.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 22 DEC 1986

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632017324

Online ISBN: 9781444303810



  • sedimentary-tectonic development of Marathon and Val Verde basins, West Texas, U.S.A - Permo-Carboniferous migrating foredeep;
  • Tesnus, Dimple and Haymond Formations;
  • Ouachita orogenic belt and associated foreland basins (FB) in Texas;
  • pre-orogenic palaeozoic imprint;
  • carboniferous - a time of transition;
  • dissected foreland development;
  • remnant ocean versus peripheral basins;
  • plate convergence - Tesnus Formation;
  • dimple deposition - Morrowan – Atokan crustal “rethickening” (late pre-suturing);
  • Late Wolfcampian peripheral basin development


Upper Palaeozoic strata of West Texas record the convergent history of a portion of the southern North American continental margin and associated development of the Marathon and Val Verde basins.

The Tesnus, Dimple and Haymond Formations (Chesterian—Late Atokan; 3,400 m thick) of the Marathon area were formed within a probable remnant ocean basin setting in part developed adjacent to the more eastern Kerr peripheral basin. The Gaptank, Neal Ranch, Lenox Hills, ‘Wolfcamp’, and equivalent Permo–Pennsylvanian formations (Late Desmoinesian–Late Wolfcampian) were deposited in orogenic clastic wedge, starved basin, submarine fan, and shelf/platform settings (Val Verde Peripheral Basin Facies). A maximum preserved thickness of 6,200 m is present near the southern Val Verde basin margin.

We suggest that structural weaknesses developed in the Late Precambrian/Early Cambrian were reactivated in the late Palaeozoic as reverse faults in response to compressional stresses. These reactivated structural elements, in conjunction with Ouachita orogenesis, apparently influenced the distribution of intrabasin palaeohighs and concomitant patterns of sedimentation. Northward migration of the Val Verde basin axis was accompanied by continued fold-thrust belt development and reworking of earlier deposits of the Val Verde Peripheral Basin Facies.