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Glacio-Eustatic Origin of Permo-Carboniferous Stratigraphic Cycles: Evidence from the Southern Cordilleran Foreland Region

By
William R. Dickinson
William R. Dickinson
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
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Gerilyn S. Soreghan
Gerilyn S. Soreghan
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
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Katherine A. Giles
Katherine A. Giles
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
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Published:
January 01, 1994

Abstract

Shallow-marine and marginal-marine depositional systems of foreland regions between cratons and orogens are sensitive to all the potential influences thought to control stratigraphic cyclicity: autogenic, climatic, tectonic, tectono-eustatic, and glacio-eustatic. In foreland settings, both clastic and carbonate depositional systems of shelf or epeiric seas and adjacent coastal plains are responsive to (a) shifts in shoreline position caused by local or regional variations in sediment supply, and (b) fluctuations in accommodation space controlled by either global eustasy or tectonic flexure that changes relative sea level. For half a century, many have attributed development of prominent Permo-Carboniferous foreland cyclothems to glacio-eustasy in response to Gondwanan glaciations, but dominance of other controls is not easy to exclude. Stratigraphic analysis of key sequences in the southern Cordilleran region supports a primarily glacio-eustatic origin for Permo-Carboniferous cyclothems. This is based on the following observations difficult to reconcile jointly with dominance of other controls: (a) ubiquitous development of stacked cyclothems in both the Permo-Carboniferous foreland of the Ouachita-Marathon orogenic system and in correlative non-foreland settings of Nevada and Utah; (b) absence of comparable cyclicity in older Antler and younger Sevier foreland successions; (c) distinctly diachronous stratigraphic records produced by foreland tectonic flexure and associated migratory forebulges; (d) basinwide distribution of multiple intrabasinal cyclothems in selected Ancestral Rockies basins; (e) provisional interbasinal correlation of individual cyclothems from the midcontinent region through the Ouachita-Marathon foreland; and (f) apparent cyclothem duration within the Milankovitch time band.

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Contents

SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology

Tectonic and Eustatic Controls on Sedimentary Cycles

John M. Dennison
John M. Dennison
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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Frank R. Ettensohn
Frank R. Ettensohn
University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
4
ISBN electronic:
9781565762275
Publication date:
January 01, 1994

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