Geological dating of mountains
This mountain range is part of a relatively large geographical area marked by the presence of geological features dating from the Permian period, dated 286 to 245 million years ago.
This area, called the Permian Basin, underlies parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico in the southwestern United States.
In addition, there are various formations identified in the Glass Mountains.
The strata of the Glass Mountains contain a number of fossils, many of which are from the Permian.
The Permian features in the southwestern United States are mostly marine in nature; when the Permian period began, what is now the Glass Mountains were underwater.The selection of fossils includes algae, sponges, bryozoans, brachiopods, crinoids, conodonts, coral, ostracodes, gastropods, nautiloids, and other early forms of marine life.The Permian fossils of the Glass Mountains are shallow, warm-water marine life, like the kinds expected in a modern-day coral reef; the results are to be expected for what was once the Capitan Reef millions of years ago.The Guadalupian series includes two zones based on a sharp change of fusulinid genera, from Parafusulina to Polydiexodina. Fossil correlations from one area to another can be used to evaluate sediments from similar dates.There are also some ammonoid zones and many sponges and algae. King in the first descriptions of the stratigraphy of the mountains. The Ural Mountains, Russia, also contain similar fossil sites (the Permian was named for the Perm area of the Urals).
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Some of these are suitable for stratigraphic correlation, the classification of strata from different areas into a chronological framework to determine which rock was laid down at similar times, because of various factors, like (1) sufficient numbers of fossils, both in an individual site and in other sites to be correlated, (2) sufficient rate of change in the population through time to permit analysis of evolutionary change through the strata, and (3) enough study of the populations to allow for a knowledgeable analysis.