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Deflation Origin of Mississippian Carbonate Eolianites, Southwestern Kansas, U.S.A.

By
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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C. Robertson Handford
C. Robertson Handford
Consultant, 10744 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Austin, Texas 78726, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2001

Abstract

Upper Mississippian carbonate eolianites in the subsurface of southwestern Kansas formed by deflation of underlying subaerially exposed carbonates and/or inland migration of coastal dunes. Subaerial exposure and deflation resulted from a relative sea-level fall, as indicated by an abrupt basinward shift of lithofacies at the base of the carbonate eoliarutes. These carbonate eolianites rest directly on subtidal carbonates, such as skeletal wackestones; beach or tidal-flat strata are absent in all observed locations. Further evidence for deflation includes broken and abraded ooids, rounded syntaxial overgrowths on echinoderms, and lithoclasts. Detrital quartz, typically 5 to 30 percent volumetrically, is interpreted as mixing of deflationary carbonates with a continental source of siliciclastics, inasmuch as siliciclastic sand is rare in most subtidal deposits.

A model for the origin of deflation-sourced carbonate eolianites involves three stages: deflation, deposition, and stabilization. The deflation surface occurs at the basal contacts of the eolian limestones, where a poorly developed calcrete is locally overlain by a conglomerate that contains clasts of the underlying subtidal lithofacies. Deposition of deflation-sourced carbonate eolianites occurred during continued regression that exposed a large area to deflation and lowered the water table to allow for a greater depth of deflation. Stabilization of carbonate eolianites occurs when grains most easily deflated had been redeposited by winds or upon base-level rise. Transgression reduces the area for deflation and cuts off sedimentary pathways, and it also raises the water table, which both limits the depth of deflation and promotes growth of vegetation.

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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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