Mint Canyon Formation


The Mint Canyon Formation (Tm) is a Miocene geologic formation in the Sierra Pelona Mountains of Los Angeles County, southern California.[1] The formation preserves fossils dating back to the Middle to Late Miocene (Barstovian and Clarendonian in NALMA classification).[2]

Mint Canyon Formation
Stratigraphic range: Mid-Late Miocene (Barstovian-Clarendonian)
~16–11 Ma
TypeGeologic formation
UnderliesCastaic & Saugus Formations
OverliesTick Canyon Formation
PrimaryConglomerate & sandstone
Coordinates34°30′N 118°30′W / 34.5°N 118.5°W / 34.5; -118.5Coordinates: 34°30′N 118°30′W / 34.5°N 118.5°W / 34.5; -118.5
Approximate paleocoordinates33°54′N 115°00′W / 33.9°N 115.0°W / 33.9; -115.0
RegionLos Angeles County, California
Country United States
ExtentSierra Pelona Ridge, San Gabriel Mountains
Type section
Named forMint Canyon
Named byKew
Year defined1923
Mint Canyon Formation is located in the United States
Mint Canyon Formation
Mint Canyon Formation (the United States)
Mint Canyon Formation is located in California
Mint Canyon Formation
Mint Canyon Formation (California)


Mint Canyon is a fluvial landform in the Sierra Pelona range. It consists of terrestrial deposits from streams and lakes consisting mostly of sandstone and conglomerate with some claystone.[1][3]

The formation correlates with the Caliente Formation in the Plush Ranch Basin to the northwest and the lower Punchbowl Formation in the Punchbowl Block to the southeast.[4] The Mint Canyon Formation consists primarily of fluvial, alluvial, and lacustrine conglomerates, sandstones, and mudstones. The Mint Canyon Formation is overlain by the dominantly marine Castaic Formation, which consists of shale, sandstone, and minor conglomerate.[5] In the Texas Canyon sub-basin, the formation is overlain by the Saugus Formation.[6] The contact between the Mint Canyon and Castaic Formations is an angular unconformity in some places, and it is apparently conformable and gradational in others.[5]

Fossil contentEdit

The formation preserves vertebrate fossils dating back to the Middle Miocene subperiod of the Neogene period:[2]





  • Pronotolagus apachensis[8]



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Tick Canyon Geology"
  2. ^ a b Mint Canyon Formation at
  3. ^ "Geologic Map of the Mint Canyon Quadrangle" (DF-57) by Thomas W. Dibblee, Jr., 1996.
  4. ^ Coffey et al., 2019, p.480
  5. ^ a b Coffey et al., 2019, p.481
  6. ^ Coffey et al., 2019, p.492
  7. ^ a b c Stirton, 1933
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Maxson, 1930
  9. ^ a b c Alroy, 2002


  • Coffey, Kevin T.; Raymond V. Ingersoll, and Axel K. Schmitt. 2019. Stratigraphy, provenance, and tectonic significance of the Punchbowl block, San Gabriel Mountains, California, USA. Geosphere 15. 479–501.
  • Alroy, J. 2002. Synonymies and reidentifications of North American fossil mammals, .. _.
  • Stirton, R.A. 1933. Critical review of the Mint Canyon mammalian fauna and its correlative significance. American Journal of Science 226. _.
  • Maxson, J. H. 1930. A Tertiary mammalian fauna from the Mint Canyon Formation of Southern California. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 404. 77–112.

Further readingEdit

  • Geology of the Mint Canyon Area by William T. Holser, 1946