Twin Buttes and West Lee Mountain at Sunset, Sedona, AZ

Sedona and the Verde Valley Region


Central Arizona lies across three geologic provences, the Colorado Plateau, the Transition Zone, and the Basin and Range. The Sedona-Verde Valley Region encompasses the first two. The Colorado Plateau comprises mostly flat-lying sedimentary rocks that range in age from Cambrian through Tertiary. The southern escarpment of the Colorado Plateau, the Mogollon Rim (muggy-owen), averages 6500 - 7000 feet above sea level at the top of the rim. Elevations at its base range from 4000-4500 feet. The nearly flat-lying sedimentary rocks dip gently northward, usually less than 2. Permian sedimentary rocks and Miocene volcanic rocks form much of the Rim escarpment, although Cambrian, Devonian, Mississippian, and Pennsylvanian rocks are exposed in some of the deeper canyons.

Verde Valley lies south of the Mogollon Rim in the Transition Zone. The crust here was stretched and broken slightly during Miocene extension in the Basin and Range orogeny; the Basin and Range is approximately 100 miles south. Verde Valley is a structural basin bounded by faults on its SW and NE margins. The faults dropped the bottom of the valley down relative to the Colorado Plateau to the north and the Black Range and Bradshaw Mountains to the south. The center of the valley is just above 3000 feet elevation. Mingus Mountain, the central, prominant element of the Black Range, exposes Precambrian, Cambrian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Tertiary rocks. Central Verde Valley consists of Miocene and Pliocene sedimentary rocks that filled the basin as it subsided. The graphics and photos that follow provide a general guide to these rocks.

Geologic Maps and Panel Sections
  • Geologic Map
  • Stratigraphic Column
  • General Geography of Central Arizona
  • Sedona-Verde Valley Region
  • Geologic Provinces of Central Arizona

  • Outcrop Photos

    The photos indexed on this page show the rocks from the Sedona - Verde Valley Region. The photos are organized as shown on the menu below.

    All photos were take by me and cannot be used for any commercial purposes withuot my permission.

    General Geology and Geography

  • air view south of Sedona, Courthouse Butte in right foreground
  • Bell Rock with Mogollon Rim in background
  • Coffee Pot Rock, a Sedona landmark (Permian Schnebly Hill Fm)
  • Mogollon Rim from Doe Mountain, eolian cross beds in Schnebly Hill Fm
  • Schnebly Hill from House Mountain, Sedona area
  • Castle and Bell Rocks, and Courthouse Butte, Wilson Mountain in background, Sedona area
  • dissected Mogollon Rim, Bear Mountain in foreground, Sedona area
  • Twin Buttes from Bell Rock, Sedona
  • eroded terrane below Schnebly Hill, Sedona
  • Cathedral Rock from Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing, Sedona
  • view south from Giant's Thumb, Schnebly Hill, Sedona area
  • snow on the Redrocks, Sedona

    Precanbrian Through Devonian Rocks

  • Precambrian metamorphic rocks, Yavapi Group, in Bradshaw Mountains
  • Precambrain rocks of Yavapai Group, Bradshaw Mountains east of Prescott
  • close up of Precambrian schist, Bradshaw Mountains
  • Precambrian Del Rio (=Mazatzal?) Quartzite, along Granite Creek
  • ore at Jerome open pit mine, Precambrian Yavapai Group
  • Precambrian Red Rock Rhyolite, New River Mountains east of Black Canyon
  • Cambrian Tapeats Ss overlies irregular surface (dashed white line) on Precambrian rocks, Mescal Gulch near Jerome
  • Cambrian Tapeats Sandstone unconformably overlies Payson Granite (1.7 Ga), East Verde River near Payson
  • Cambrian Tapeats Sandstone on Precambrian Rocks, Verde River near Hell Canyon
  • Cambrian Tapeats Ss with fluvial trough cross beds, East Verde River (NAU Geology Field Trip)
  • stromatolites in Devonian Martin Fm near Jerome
  • Devonian Martin Fm and Mississippian Redwall Limestone, Verde River near Granite Creek

    Mississippian Through Permian Rocks

  • Permian Schnebly Hill Formation dominates outcrops below Camel Rock, east of Sedona
  • Permian Schnebly Hill overlain by Coconino Sandstone, Coffee Pot Rock, Sedona
  • eolian cross beds, Pennsylvanian Manakacha Fm, near Perkinsville
  • Mississippian Redwall Limestone overlain by Pennsylvanian/Permian Supai Group, Sycamore Canyon
  • Labeled Permian rocks, Munds Mountain, Sedona area
  • channel fill deposits, Permian Hermit Formation near Sedona
  • sedimentary pebble conglomerate, Hermit Fm, Sedona area
  • Permian rocks of Mogollon Rim, Boynton Canyon, Sedona area
  • members of Permian Schnebly Hill Fm, Capitol Butte, Sedona
  • Permian Schnebly Hill Fm, Courthouse Butte, Sedona
  • sabkha (red) and dune (tan) deposits, Permian Schnebly Hill Fm, Scheurman Mountain, Sedona
  • Mississippian through Permian rocks, mouth of Sycamore Canyon
  • Supai Group at mouth of Sycamore Canyon
  • Labeled Permian rocks, Wilson Mountain, Sedona

    Tertiary Rocks

  • Oligocene(?) Beavertail gravel; Rim derived gravels document early Mogollon Rim, Dry Beaver Creek, Sedona area
  • Permian Hermit Fm, Tertiary Beavertail gravels, Tertiary House Mountain Basalts, Hidden Valley, near Sedona
  • Oligocene volcanics overlie Oligocene gravels near Paulden
  • Tertiary basalts in Black Canyon north of Phoenix
  • Rim basalts (7 Ma) overlie Oligocene gravels and Permian sedimentary rocks at Wild Horse Mesa and Beaverhead south of Sedona
  • Miocene Verde Formation overlies Schnebly Hill Fm on west side of House Mountain near Sedona

  • Tertiary Geologic History and Paleogeography of Arizona

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