Part 6: Summary and Conclusions
Isolated linear sand bodies in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway have been remarkably resistant to a consensus interpretation. The best known of these deposits is the Shannon Sandstone, the primary focus of this volume and the SEPM Research Conference from which it derived. Our purpose in this summary paper is to attempt an objective evaluation of the various interpretations for the Shannon, given our own backgrounds, experience, and resultant biases. We are not charged with coming up with our own model for this enigmatic deposit and its isolated linear sand body siblings. We compare and find substantial differences in the investigators' perceptions of the Shannon in outcrop in the Salt Creek anticline area in northeastern Wyoming and in the subsurface in the relatively nearby Hartzog Draw Field. We examine their interpretations in light of modern analogues and paleogeographic constraints and conclude that no interpretation proposed to date adequately explains all aspects of the Shannon. We suspect that the Shannon Sandstone may be more complex than previously thought and that a single interpretation may not be sufficient to explain the whole system. We also came away with renewed respect for the principle of multiple working hypotheses.
Figures & Tables
Isolated Shallow Marine Sand Bodies: Sequence Stratigraphic Analysis and Sedimentologic Interpretation
Isolated Shallow Marine Sand Bodies: Sequence Stratigraphic Analysis and Sedimentologic Interpretation - Isolated shallow marine sand bodies are significant hydrocarbon reservoirs and understanding sand body genesis and geometry is critical to successful exploration and exploitation of these deposits. Recent advances in sequence stratigraphy have rekindled and refocused the discussions surrounding these important reservoirs. This volume stems from a 1995 SEPM sponsored targeted research conference that brought together the proponents of the differing interpretations to discuss facts and principles as they relate to isolated shallow marine sand bodies, using the controversial Lower Campian Shannon Sandstone as the focus for discussion.