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Abstract

The Ferron Sandstone of east-central Utah has world-class outcrops of dominantly fluvial-deltaic, Turonian-Coniacian-aged strata deposited along the margins of the rapidly subsiding Cretaceous foreland basin. The Ferron consists of a series of stacked, transgressive-regressive cycles which form an eastward-thinning wedge. The Ivie Creek area contains abrupt facies changes in two of these cycles referred to as Kf-1 and Kf-2.

Kf-1 consists of unusual river-dominated delta deposits that prograde southeast to northwest across the Ivie Creek area. Progradation is parallel or onshore to the regional shoreline trend. Distinctive, steeply inclined bedsets or clinoforms, defined by bounding surfaces are classified into four facies: proximal, medial, distal, and cap. Clinoform facies are based on grain size, sedimentary structures, bedding thickness, inclination angle, and stratigraphic position. These deposits accumulated on an arcuate delta lobe which was prograding into a deeper water, fully marine bay. The main delta, which we interpret to have been located to the east and northeast, created a protected embayment in the northwest part of the Ivie Creek area. The Kf-1 clinoforms represent deposition into the embayment fed by river channels from the southeast.

Kf-2 is represented by wave-modified deltaic deposits that generally coarsen east to west, and consist of shoreface and distributary complex facies. These relatively clean, sand-rich deposits accumulated along a local north-south shoreline trend defined by a landward pinchout of marine shoreface facies, as opposed to the more common regional northwest-southeast shoreline trend recognized in other Ferron cycles above and below Kf-2. In the western part of the Ivie Creek area, eastto northeast-flowing distributary channels deposited large amounts of sand in north-south-trending distributary-mouth bars. Shallow- to moderate-depth marine conditions existed in the eastern part of the area. An uncommon transition from shoreface, to bay, to coastal plain/swamp occurred during the late stage of Kf-2 deposition.

As a reservoir analog, the Ferron Sandstone in the Ivie Creek area displays variations in sedimentary structures and lithofacies that influence both its compartmentalization and permeability. Bounding layers like those observed on outcrop were identified from core and geophysical well-log data. These features can be incorporated into reservoir models and simulations for oil field development and secondary or enhanced oil recovery programs.

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