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Integrated Study of Ancient Delta-Front Deposits, Using Outcrop, Ground-Penetrating Radar, and Three-Dimensional Photorealistic Data: Cretaceous Panther Tongue Sandstone, Utah, U.S.A.

By
Cornel Olariu
Cornel Olariu
Geosciences Department, University Of Texas At Dallas, P.O. Box, 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, U.S.A.
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Janok P. Bhattacharya
Janok P. Bhattacharya
Geosciences Department, University Of Texas At Dallas, P.O. Box, 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, U.S.A.
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Xueming Xu
Xueming Xu
Center For Lithospheric Studies, University Of Texas At Dallas, P.O. Box, 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, U.S.A.
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Carlos L.V. Aiken
Carlos L.V. Aiken
Center For Lithospheric Studies, University Of Texas At Dallas, P.O. Box, 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, U.S.A.
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Xiaoxian Zeng
Xiaoxian Zeng
Center For Lithospheric Studies, University Of Texas At Dallas, P.O. Box, 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, U.S.A.
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George A. McMechan
George A. McMechan
Center For Lithospheric Studies, University Of Texas At Dallas, P.O. Box, 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

The detailed 3-D facies architecture of “terminal” distributary channels in proximal delta-front deposits of the Cretaceous Panther Tongue delta in central Utah is imaged using digital mapping techniques and ground-penetrating radar (GPR).

Four lithofacies were identified: massive sandstone, parallel-laminated sandstone, rippled heterolithics, and bioturbated heterolithics. Lithofacies interpretations suggest shallow water in a delta-front environment where river processes dominate deposition, but with seasonal wave and storm influence. “Terminal” distributary channels and upstream-accreting bars were observed on cliffs oriented both perpendicular and parallel to the paleoflow direction. The terminal distributary-channel facies die out over less than 100 m distally into heterolithic deposits representing distal mouth bars of the delta front.

GPR and 3-D photorealistic techniques, together with sedimentary section measurements document the 3-D facies architecture. The 3D photorealistic technique consists of draping oblique, close-range photographic images on 3-D terrain models of outcrops to generate a digital three-dimensional model of the outcrop. 2-D GPR profiles, collected parallel to cliff faces, are tied to the 3-D outcrop model using Global Positioning System (GPS). GPR lines are correlated with bedding diagrams of cliff-face exposures to extend mapping of sedimentary features behind the outcrop into three dimensions. Scours elongate downcurrent represent the bases of “terminal” distributary channels and show maximum relief of 5 m.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

River Deltas–Concepts, Models, and Examples

Liviu Giosan
Liviu Giosan
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Janok P. Bhattacharya
Janok P. Bhattacharya
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
83
ISBN electronic:
9781565762190
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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