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High-Resolution Sequence Stratigraphic Setting of Mississippian Eolianites, Appalachian and Illinois Basins

By
L.B. Smith
L.B. Smith
New York State Museum, Room 3140 Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York 12230, U.S.A.
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A. Al-Tawil
A. Al-Tawil
Saudi Aramco, P.O. Box 2775, Dhahran, 31311, Saudi Arabia
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J.F. Read
J.F. Read
Department of Geological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Virginia 24061, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2001

Abstract

Carbonate eolianites are abundant in the lower Chesterian (Upper Mississippian) succession in the Appalachian and Illinois Basins. The eolianites are quartz-peloid grainstones composed of well-rounded, very fine to fine sand-size peloids, whole ooids, broken ooids (hat have been re-rounded, skeletal fragments, and generally finer-grained subangular frosted quartz, Eolian deposits are 1 to 8 m thick and tens of meters to many kilometers wide. They have wedge sets of planar and tangential, sharply defined, inverse-graded laminae with dips of up to 20 degrees.

A high-resolution sequence stratigraphic framework was generated using the available biostratigraphy and closely spaced stratigraphic sections and core, and tracing regional disconformities marked by breccia, calcrete, and soil horizons between the sections. Eolianite units backstep within the transgressive part of the Chesterian supersequence and are absent from the highstand part, which is dominated by siliciclastics and likely formed in a more humid setting. Within third-order and fourth-order sequences, the eolianites occux updip in disconformity-bounded parasequences. In the transgressive and early highstand systems tracts of sequences, eolianites overlie exposure surfaces and are preserved in the transgressive parts of the parasequences. In the late highstand parts of sequences, eolianites are preserved in the regressive parts of parasequences and are capped by sequence-bounding disconformities marked by breccia and calcrete.

The abundance of carbonate eolianites in the Upper Mississippian is likely due to seasonal semiarid climate and moderate-amplitude fourth-order eustatic sea-level chaoges. The reservoir potential of the eolianites is limited by tight packing and calcite cementation. However, recognition of the eolianites is critical to understanding the vertical and lateral distribution of reservoir facies within the sequence stratigraphic framework because they indicate subaerial conditions and commonly mark subtle sequence boundaries.

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SEPM Special Publication

Modern and Ancient Carbonate Eolianites: Sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy, and Diagenesis

F. E. (Rick) Abegg
F. E. (Rick) Abegg
Chevron USA Production Company, 935 Gravier St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, U.S.A.
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David B. Loope
David B. Loope
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, U.S.A.
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Paul M. (Mitch) Harris
Paul M. (Mitch) Harris
Chevron Petroleum Technology Company, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
71
ISBN electronic:
9781565761933
Publication date:
January 01, 2001

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