US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Paleotectonic Investigations of the Permian System in the United States By E. D. McKEE, S. S. ORIEL, and others. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PROFESSIONAL PAPER 515. UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON : 1967


U.S. government work


(A) Allegheny region, by Henry L. Berryhill, Jr

(B) Gulf Coast region, by Eleanor J. Crosby

(C) West Texas Permian basin region, by Steven S. Oriel, Donald A. Myers, and Eleanor J. Crosby

(D) Northeastern New Mexico and Texas-Oklahoma Panhandles, by George H. Dixon

(E) Oklahoma, by Marjorie E. MacLachlan

(F) Central Midcontinent region, by Melville R. Mudge

(G) Eastern Wyoming, eastern Montana, and the Dakotas, by Edwin K. Maughan

(H) Middle Rocky Mountains and northeastern Great Basin, by Richard P. Sheldon, Earl R. Cressman, Thomas M. Cheney, and Vincent E. McKelvey

(I) Western Colorado, southern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico, by Walter E. Hallgarth

(J) Arizona and western New Mexico, by Edwin D. McKee

(K) West Coast region, by Keith B. Ketner

References cited


This professional paper is a supplementary volume to "Paleotectonic Maps of the Permian System" by McKee, Oriel, and others (1967), published by the U.S. Geological Survey as Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations Map I-450. The I-450 publication consists of 20 plates isopach and lithofacies maps, cross sections to accompany the maps, and interpretive and environmental maps and a summary of available geological information on each part of the Permian Period, an interpretation or reconstruction of Permian history, and brief discussions of environment, tectonics, and other significant features. The present volume explains and documents the maps and conclusions presented there. This study of the Permian System was made by 15 geologists, who were individually responsible for coverage of 18 regions. These authors are: Henry L. Berryhill, Jr. • Walter E. Hallgarth • Vincent E. McKelvey • Thomas M. Cheney • Keith B. Ketner • Melville R. Mudge • Earl R. Cressman • Marjorie E. MacLachlan • Donald A. Myers • Eleanor J. Crosby • Edwin K. Maughan • Steven S. Oriel • George H. Dixon • Edwin D. McKee • Richard P. Sheldon

The Permian System of the 18 regions is described in 11 chapters. Each chapter presents an analysis of the basic data used, points out significant trends, and presents an interpretation, as well as alternative explanations where each occur, for the region concerned. The chapters and accompanying illustrations were coordinated and assembled by E. J. Crosby, E. D. McKee, W. W. Mallory, E. K. Maughan, and S. S. Oriel.

Descriptive and documentary data are organized according to region, from east to west, and according to chronological sequence. Each chapter discusses, in order, rocks that underlie the Permian, the several intervals or divisions of the Permian (from oldest to youngest (table 1, in pocket)), and, finally, the rock units that directly overlie the Permian. Stratigraphic problems, the nature of contacts, trends in thickness and lithology, possible sources of sediment, environments of deposition, and paleotectonic implications of each interval are treated in that order.