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Topography and Sedimentary Processes in an Epicontinental Sea

By
Donald L. Woodrow
Donald L. Woodrow
Department of Geoscience, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456
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Published:
January 01, 1983

ABSTRACT

The Devonian Catskill Sea of the Appalachian region was stratified much of the time as recorded by the deposition in it of black shale and evaporites. Submarine topography which developed along the southeastern perimeter of the sea consisted of a basin margin and a gently sloping clinoform constructed by sediment progradation. Intersection of the surface of stratification (pycnocline) with the seafloor marked the basin margin-clinoform junction and it caused a separation of sedimentary processes. Shoreward of the intersection, on the basin margin, bottom flow driven by various current-producing phenomena, transported, deposited and reworked sediment. A complex mosaic of facies resulted, including a typical suite of lenticular sandstone, bioturbated shales and mudstones, most of which are abundantly fossiliferous. Basinward of the intersection, on the clinoform, density currents originating at or shoreward of the intersection moved down the clinoform onto the basin floor. Relatively simple facies accumulated, including turbidites and other, pelagic sediments, with very few fossils. At the intersection, internal waves moved along the pycnocline, shoaled, broke and reworked sediment, leaving a record of relatively thick sandstones, some with hummocky cross-bedding. This separation of process is likely to have been a hallmark of sedimentation in epicontinental seas where stratification can be inferred.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

The Shelfbreak: Critical Interface on Continental Margins

Daniel Jean Stanley
Daniel Jean Stanley
Division of Sedimentology Smithsonian Institution
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George T. Moore
George T. Moore
Chevron Oil Field Research Company La Habra California
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
33
ISBN electronic:
9781565761636
Publication date:
January 01, 1983

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