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Book Chapter

Slope to Basin

Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

The Trenton Limestone of West Virginia was deposited on a gentle carbonate ramp that sloped eastward into a deep foreland basin. Unlike many limestones this unit formed during an early stage of orogeny, is transgressive in nature, and accumulated during a large influx of shale. Initial uplift of an eastern fold-thrust belt, created as the North American plate collided with a volcanic-arc system, led to lithospheric flexure and downwarping of the foreland basin under the load of an accreted terrane. Basin subsidence was rapid, being fast enough to outpace sedimentation but not so fast as to suppress carbonate sedimentation under deep, anaerobic conditions. Thus, limestone deposition continued, although with a deepening-upward sequence. Introduction of terrigenous mud was discontinuous through time, which generated a periodicity to the limestone and shale interbedding. These muds did temporarily downgrade or eliminate skeletal lime production, especially to the east where shale influxes were greater. With each return to clear water, however, carbonate deposition resumed. Eventually plate convergence and uplift of the source area proceeded to the point where clastic deposition overwhelmed the carbonate ramp. Trenton sedimentation then gave way to the flysch wedge of the overlying Martinsburg Formation. Thus, the relationship in space and time between subsiding basin and rising orogenic landmass exerted a major influence on the Trenton’s internal stratigraphy and facies development.

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Contents

SEPM Core Workshop Notes

Mixed Carbonate-Siliciclastic Sequences

Anthony J. Lomando
Anthony J. Lomando
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Paul M. Harris
Paul M. Harris
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
15
ISBN electronic:
9781565762695
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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