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Timing of Mid-Cretaceous Relative Sea Level Changes in the Western Interior: Amoco No. 1 Bounds Core

By
Robert W. Scott
Robert W. Scott
1
Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR 3 Box 103-3, Cleveland, Oklahoma 74020
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Paul C. Franks
Paul C. Franks
2
2720 S. Cincinnati, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114
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Michael J. Evetts
Michael J. Evetts
3
1227 Venice Street, Longmont, Colorado 80501
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James A. Bergen
James A. Bergen
4
Amoco Corporation, 501 WestLake Park Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77079
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Jeffry A. Stein
Jeffry A. Stein
4
Amoco Corporation, 501 WestLake Park Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77079
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Published:
January 01, 1998

Abstract

The Upper Albian-Coniacian section cored in the Amoco No. 1 Rebecca K. Bounds well in Greeley County western Kansas, serves as a reference section for the timing of depositional events in the Western Interior Seaway. Chronostratigraphy of this section was calibrated by a multidisciplinary study of nannofossils, dinoflagellates, spores, pollen, foraminifers, and mollusks. Range data of the biota in the Bounds core were compared by graphic correlation to a global composite standard that includes key reference sections in Europe and North Africa.

The basal Upper Albian sequence boundary is overlain by transgressive facies of the Purgatoire Formation dated as 102.8 Ma. The upper Upper Albian sequence boundary between the Purgatoire and Dakota Formations marks a hiatus in deposition from 99.4 to 98.2 Ma. The Albian-Cenomanian intra-Dakota sequence boundary spans from 96.0 to 94.1 Ma. The Turonian-Coniacian sequence boundary between the Carlile and Niobrara Formations spans from 89.9 to 88.3 Ma. Maximum flooding is documented within the Purgatoire at 101.4 Ma and in the Graneros Shale at 93.7-92.8 Ma. The Albian-Cenomanian boundary defined by European ammonites and correlated by dinoflagellates is placed at the intra-Dakota unconformity.

Graphic correlation is an independent method of measuring the durations of Milankovitch-scale depositional cycles and can separate climatic cycles from longer tectono-eustatic cycles. Four orders of depositional cycles are recorded by lithological changes, and their durations are constrained by graphic correlation. The longest cycles range from 2.0 to 3.4 My and are found in the sequences defined by the Purgatoire Formation, the lower part of the Dakota Formation, the upper Dakota and Graneros Formations, and the Greenhorn and Carlile Formations. The next lower order comprises transgressive-regressive subcycles of about 0.5 My long in the Purgatoire. The third-scale cycles include sandstone-mudrock cycles in the Dakota, limestone-marl cycles in the lower part of the Greenhorn, and cyclical strata in the Fort Hays Limestone Member of the Niobrara Formation that are about 100 ka long. The shortest cycles are limestone-marl couplets in the upper Greenhorn that are about 41 ka long.

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Contents

SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology

Stratigraphy and Paleoenvironments of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, USA

Walter E. Dean
Walter E. Dean
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado
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Michael A. Arthur
Michael A. Arthur
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
6
ISBN electronic:
9781565762299
Publication date:
January 01, 1998

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