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Current Address: Devon Energy, 333 West Sheridan Ave, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

ABSTRACT

Mississippian depositional systems in the subsurface of Oklahoma consist of a mix of carbonates and siliciclastic rocks that were variously interpreted as deposited on a regional shelf, ramp, or distally steepened ramp. These varied interpretations resulted in significantly different models for associated facies types and distribution, including potential reservoir types and the distribution of these units that may occur in the subsurface. Fundamental differences in the facies types and distribution of a shelf and shelf margin system versus a ramp or distally steepened ramp include the varying regional distribution for high- and low-energy facies, reef facies, and downslope mass transport deposits. Recent work in both the subsurface of Oklahoma, as well as local outcrops in Arkansas and Missouri, indicates that the facies were deposited on a distally steepened ramp due to the lateral facies distribution and the vertical facies successions identified throughout the system. The presence and characteristics associated with debris flows as described in this study, especially when defined within the context of a sequence stratigraphic hierarchy, supports the interpretation of a distally steepened ramp conceptual model and provides insight into similar mass transport deposits that may occur in the subsurface.

INTRODUCTION

The Mississippian depositional system in the subsurface of Oklahoma is a mixed carbonate and siliciclastic system that was interpreted as being deposited on a regional shelf, ramp, or distally steepened ramp (Handford, 1986; Wilhite et al., 2011; Le Blanc, 2014; Price, 2014; Childress, 2015; Flinton, 2016; Thompson, 2016). Recent work in both the subsurface of Oklahoma, as well as local outcrops in Arkansas and Missouri, indicates these rocks were deposited on a distally steepened ramp due to the lateral facies distribution and the vertical facies successions identified throughout the system (Handford, 1986; Wilhite et al., 2011; Le Blanc, 2014; Price, 2014; Flinton, 2016; Thompson, 2016).

There are numerous examples of “blocks,” “mounds,” or “reefs” exposed at various Mississippian outcrops in the tristate region of Oklahoma-Arkansas-Missouri. These blocks were variously interpreted as displaced bioherms (Mazzullo, 2011; Morris and Mazzullo, 2013; Mazzullo et al., 2019), Waulsortian-type in situ mounds (Unrast, 2012), slump blocks (Evans et al., 2011), olistoliths (Tennyson et al., 2008), and mounds (Manger and Thompson, 1982).

A significant component of the distally steepened ramp depositional model, as originally defined by Read (1995), is the presence of downslope mass transport deposits (especially debris fows) sourced from subtidal environments. The Compton Limestone at the Jane outcrop in southwest Missouri contains some of these anomalous blocks that were studied in the past by several other workers, many of which utilize different terminology and propose different depositional interpretations. The interpretation and conceptual model proposed here is that these blocks are best characterized as “outrunner blocks” deposited along a distally steepened carbonate ramp, a term utilized to describe blocks encased within debris flow deposits that have been transported downslope along with smaller clasts supported by a mud matrix. Herein, we discuss the characteristics of the interpreted debris flow deposits from the Jane outcrop in Missouri. The goals of this study are to: (1) characterize the composition and associated sedimentary structures of these deposits, (2) to propose a mechanism for their formation, and (3) to discuss likely distribution and possible reservoir potential of similar deposits in the subsurface.

Previous Studies

The blocks present at the Jane outcrop in southwestern Missouri were the subject of much debate in recent publications (Unrast, 2012; Morris and Mazzullo, 2013). Features observed at the Jane outcrop have been termed “reefs” and defined as “limestone lithosomes of convex-up lensoid geometry with presumed relief above the seafloor during deposition whose allochemical composition is dominated by what are regarded as impoverished Mississippian reef building biota” (Morris and Mazzullo, 2013). In this case, the term reef may be more consistent with the term bioherm, defined by Wilson (1950) as consisting of any dome-like, mound-like or other mass, built exclusively or mainly by organisms such as corals, stromatoporoids, algae, brachiopods, mollusks, and crinoids, and enclosed in matrix material of different lithologic character.

Mississippian Waulsortian and Waulsortian-type mounds from multiple outcrop locations throughout the U.S. midcontinent were compared to Waulsortian mounds in Ireland (Unrast, 2012). Waulsortian mounds are described as mud-rich carbonate mounds primarily composed of bryozoans and crinoids. The mounds often contain sparry calcite cement-filled voids, including stromatactis. These mounds had depositional relief above the seafloor, were up to hundreds of meters thick, and are interpreted as being deposited below wavebase in carbonate ramp settings. Waulsortian-type mounds are characterized by smaller dimensions, lower depositional relief, and were deposited in higher energy settings (Webb, 1994; Unrast, 2012; Morris and Mazzullo, 2013). Two mounds recognized at the Jane outcrop were classified as Waulsortian-type, and interpreted to be in situ mounds (Unrast, 2012). Evidence to support the term Waulsortian-type included one example of stromatactis in thin section, and various geopetal structures documented to be at the same angle (Unrast, 2012). The stromatactis cavities were described as being characterized by an irregular, digitate roof and a flat base (Unrast, 2012). The cavities are filled with inclusion-rich radiaxial fibrous cement and late blocky, sparry calcite cement. This explanation was previously documented by Wright et al. (2003), Lees and Miller (1985, 1995), and Somerville et al. (1992). An alternative, inorganic origin for stromatactis suggests the stromatactis cavities were opened by creep, slumping, or compaction and held open by the hydrostatic pressure of water trapped in the cavities until precipitation of cement occurred (Heckel, 1972).

The differences in classification of these features as either in situ reefs or transported blocks, and the corresponding differences in depositional interpretations have resulted in significant confusion in terminology and lead to potential errors in the interpretation of the overall depositional system. These varying depositional interpretations may adversely affect the ability to predict facies distribution and potential reservoirs in the subsurface. This study incorporates a multistep approach to evaluate interpreted mass transport deposits that will complement the high-frequency sequence or high-frequency cycle framework and depositional models established in previous studies. The primary data set includes detailed outcrop analysis using the integration of Gigapan® imagery, thin section analysis, bedding geometries, and the incorporation of a proposed depositional environment to explain movement and composition of each block within the Compton Limestone. Additionally, an understanding of mass transport deposition in a Mississippian ramp setting will assist in defining the controls and distribution of reservoir heterogeneity throughout the system.

Geologic Background

Deposition of U.S. midcontinent Mississippian carbonate rocks analyzed in this study occurred at 10–15° south latitude in a foreland ramp setting as part of a system of shallow water facies bordered by deepwater deposits to the south and west (Mazzullo et al., 2013). Conodont biostratigraphy on Lower to Middle Mississippian strata in this region revealed a depositional geometry consisting of diachronous, prograding carbonate wedges (Boardman, 2013). Progradation of these wedges eventually led to a distally steepened ramp depositional setting for Mississippian strata (Wilhite et al., 2011).

Overall, the Mississippian was a period of global regression that occurs between Devonian submergence and Carboniferous emergence (Ettensohn, 1993; Buggisch et al., 2008). During the mid-Visean (late Osagean–Meramecian), eustatic sea level began to significantly decline relative to sea level during the Tournaisian (Kinderhookian and early Osagean), reaching a low in the late Mississippian–Serpukhovian (Chesterian; Figure 1; Haq and Schutter, 2008). This sea level change throughout the entire Mississippian represents a transitional period from overall greenhouse conditions present during the Devonian to icehouse conditions present during the Pennsylvanian and Permian. Multiple third-order composite sequences (duration of 1–6 million years) occur during the Mississippian and are well defined by Haq and Schutter (2008) as global in scale. Additional higher-frequency changes in relative sea level are distinguishable in outcrop and in subsurface cores. As the Mississippian was a transitional period between greenhouse conditions of the Devonian, and icehouse conditions in the Pennsylvanian, it is thought that obliquity (40 kyr) cycles (Read, 1995; Kerans and Tinker, 1997) are dominant during transitional periods, although the duration of these cycles is considerably below biostratigraphic or radiometric temporal resolution.

Figure 1.

Global sea-level fluctuations throughout the Carboniferous period. Stages of the Mississippian are highlighted in gray. Kinderhookian and Osagean strata correspond to the Tournaisian through middle Visean stages over approximately 20 million years. Haq and Schutter (2008) use “known high-frequency cycles” to identify third-order sequences. Three third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Kinderhookian, highlighted in blue. Up to four third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Osagean, highlighted in pink. Fourth-order high-frequency sequences and fifth-order high-frequency cycles were interpreted by several workers (Elrick and Read, 1991; Westphal et al., 2004), but are not identified in this figure (Modified from Haq and Schutter, 2008).

Figure 1.

Global sea-level fluctuations throughout the Carboniferous period. Stages of the Mississippian are highlighted in gray. Kinderhookian and Osagean strata correspond to the Tournaisian through middle Visean stages over approximately 20 million years. Haq and Schutter (2008) use “known high-frequency cycles” to identify third-order sequences. Three third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Kinderhookian, highlighted in blue. Up to four third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Osagean, highlighted in pink. Fourth-order high-frequency sequences and fifth-order high-frequency cycles were interpreted by several workers (Elrick and Read, 1991; Westphal et al., 2004), but are not identified in this figure (Modified from Haq and Schutter, 2008).

METHODS

Gigapan® Imaging

Gigapan® EPIC Pro hardware and software was used in this study to allow over 800 individual photographs of the outcrop to be stitched together to produce a very high-resolution, seamless photograph of the entire outcrop (Figure 2) where individual beds and sedimentary structures are visible down to the centimeter scale. Once the high-resolution image was stitched together, individual blocks and beds were traced for lateral continuity and geometry, an important step in distinguishing each block from the surrounding bedding and allowing for the identification of potential mass transport (Figure 3).

Figure 2.

Gigapan® photograph showing the debris flow deposits highlighted in orange. Each outrunner block is shaded in gray. Block 1 is the primary outrunner block and largest in size with dimensions of 9.2 feet (2.8 m) high and 30.0 feet (9.1 m) wide. The debris flow beds occur throughout the entire outcrop and thin out to the northwest.

Figure 2.

Gigapan® photograph showing the debris flow deposits highlighted in orange. Each outrunner block is shaded in gray. Block 1 is the primary outrunner block and largest in size with dimensions of 9.2 feet (2.8 m) high and 30.0 feet (9.1 m) wide. The debris flow beds occur throughout the entire outcrop and thin out to the northwest.

Figure 3.

(A) Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop, showing the locations of Vertical Section 1 (VS 1), Vertical Section 2 (VS 2), a subsection of Vertical Section 2 (Vertical Section 2–3C), and Vertical Section 3 (VS 3). These mark the locations where samples were collected by Childress (2015). Sample locations are marked with red dots. (B) A line interpretation of bed architecture of the entire outcrop, including a magnified view. Beds were traced using the high-resolution Gigapan® image in A. Bed tracing revealed lateral continuity and geometry of each bed, an important step in understanding the depositional environment and building the sequence stratigraphic framework. Note the length of the entire outcrop is 770 feet (235 m) along strike (northwest–southeast).

Figure 3.

(A) Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop, showing the locations of Vertical Section 1 (VS 1), Vertical Section 2 (VS 2), a subsection of Vertical Section 2 (Vertical Section 2–3C), and Vertical Section 3 (VS 3). These mark the locations where samples were collected by Childress (2015). Sample locations are marked with red dots. (B) A line interpretation of bed architecture of the entire outcrop, including a magnified view. Beds were traced using the high-resolution Gigapan® image in A. Bed tracing revealed lateral continuity and geometry of each bed, an important step in understanding the depositional environment and building the sequence stratigraphic framework. Note the length of the entire outcrop is 770 feet (235 m) along strike (northwest–southeast).

Outcrop Observations

A debris flow is a plastic, poorly sorted flow in which clasts “float” in a fine-grained matrix with finite shear strength (Tripsanas et al., 2008). The Gigapan® photograph in Figure 2 highlights multiple outrunner blocks shaded in gray, each of which is set within debris flow deposits, shaded in orange. Figure 4 is a sample of the debris flows shaded in orange (Figure 2) and highlights the characteristics of the debris flows more closely. This sample shows subrounded mud clasts ranging in grain size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles (2–64 mm) supported by a crinoidal–bryozoan micrite matrix, confirming it is a debris flow deposit. There are a total of six blocks set within the outlined debris flows in Figure 2, and the size of each can be compared in Table 1.

Table 1.

Width and height dimensions for the six blocks within the Compton Limestone at the Jane outcrop for comparison.

Block #WidthHeight
Block 130 ft (9.1 m)9.2 ft (2.8 m)
Block 26.5 ft (2.0 m)2.1 ft (0.6 m)
Block 35.4 ft (1.6 m)2.5 ft (0.8 m)
Block 47.2 ft (2.2 m)3.5 ft (1.1 m)
Block 52.1 ft (0.6 m)1.8 ft (0.5 m)
Block 63.1 ft (0.9 m)0.7 ft (0.2 m)
Block #WidthHeight
Block 130 ft (9.1 m)9.2 ft (2.8 m)
Block 26.5 ft (2.0 m)2.1 ft (0.6 m)
Block 35.4 ft (1.6 m)2.5 ft (0.8 m)
Block 47.2 ft (2.2 m)3.5 ft (1.1 m)
Block 52.1 ft (0.6 m)1.8 ft (0.5 m)
Block 63.1 ft (0.9 m)0.7 ft (0.2 m)
Figure 4.

Sample of the debris flow within the Compton Limestone. Mud clasts ranging in grain size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles (2–63.5 mm) are set within a crinoidal–bryozoan micrite matrix very similar to the composition of the Compton Limestone. Note the scale is in centimeters and the up direction is to the left.

Figure 4.

Sample of the debris flow within the Compton Limestone. Mud clasts ranging in grain size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles (2–63.5 mm) are set within a crinoidal–bryozoan micrite matrix very similar to the composition of the Compton Limestone. Note the scale is in centimeters and the up direction is to the left.

Thin Section Analysis

Each outrunner block at the Jane outcrop was sampled for thin section analysis to aid in determining its composition. The debris flows were sampled at multiple locations to investigate its composition relative to the composition of the blocks. Fifteen thin section photomicrographs from the six outrunner blocks and four thin section photomicrographs from the debris flow deposits were examined and classified based on Dunham (1962) and Choquette and Pray (1970) classification schemes. Thin sections used in this study were standard size (27 × 46 mm [1 × 1.8 in.]) and vacuum impregnated with blue epoxy to illustrate presence of porosity. The abbreviations used to label skeletal grains are shown in Table 2.

Table 2.

Thin section image labels. Porosity types are based on the classification by Choquette and Pray (1970).

Thin Section Image Labels
Feature keyPorosity key
BRbrachiopodMWmud wispFRfracture
BYbryozoanMCmud clastsIPinterparticle
CcoralOostracodIXintercrystalline
CCcalcite cementOILoil/dead oilMOmoldic
CRcrinoidPHphosphateVUvug
DdolomitePYpyriteWPintraparticle
FRfractureQquartzWXintracrystalline
GSTgastropodSstylolite  
LlaminationSPspicule  
Mmud/mudstoneTtrilobite  
Thin Section Image Labels
Feature keyPorosity key
BRbrachiopodMWmud wispFRfracture
BYbryozoanMCmud clastsIPinterparticle
CcoralOostracodIXintercrystalline
CCcalcite cementOILoil/dead oilMOmoldic
CRcrinoidPHphosphateVUvug
DdolomitePYpyriteWPintraparticle
FRfractureQquartzWXintracrystalline
GSTgastropodSstylolite  
LlaminationSPspicule  
Mmud/mudstoneTtrilobite  

Stratigraphic Setting

The study area is located in southwestern Missouri, near Jane, Missouri, where Kinderhookian and Osagean strata are exposed (Figure 5). This location is approximately 100 miles (160 km) west of the Ozark uplift and 150 miles (240 km) north of the Arkoma Basin. Mississippian lithostratigraphic nomenclature throughout the U.S. midcontinent varies by state, which when combined with a general paucity of biostratigraphic data and the time-transgressive nature of the deposits (Boardman, 2013; Childress, 2015) leads to uncertainty in recognizing formations in the subsurface. Some of the most sought-after reservoir facies of the Mississippian were deposited during the Kinderhookian and Osagean (Mazzullo, 2011; Mazzullo et al., 2013). The units exposed at the Jane outcrop, from base to top, include the Bachelor, Compton, Northview, and Pierson formations (Figure 6).

Figure 5.

(A) Location of the outcrop study area is in McDonald County, Missouri. (B) Google Earth image of the outcrop location along Highway 71. (C) Close up view of outcrop exposure along highway 71. The outcrop is oriented parallel to the northwest–southeast regional Mississippian strike direction (Google Earth, 2014; after Shoeia, 2012).

Figure 5.

(A) Location of the outcrop study area is in McDonald County, Missouri. (B) Google Earth image of the outcrop location along Highway 71. (C) Close up view of outcrop exposure along highway 71. The outcrop is oriented parallel to the northwest–southeast regional Mississippian strike direction (Google Earth, 2014; after Shoeia, 2012).

Figure 6.

Stratigraphic nomenclature of the entire Mississippian period for northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri. Multiple names for each formation exist within each state, complicating outcrop and subsurface investigations. A new standardized stratigraphic nomenclature was proposed for the formations present in the tristate area (right column; Mazzullo et al., 2013). The formations exposed at the Jane outcrop are outlined in red and include the Bachelor, Compton, Northview, and Pierson formations.

Figure 6.

Stratigraphic nomenclature of the entire Mississippian period for northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri. Multiple names for each formation exist within each state, complicating outcrop and subsurface investigations. A new standardized stratigraphic nomenclature was proposed for the formations present in the tristate area (right column; Mazzullo et al., 2013). The formations exposed at the Jane outcrop are outlined in red and include the Bachelor, Compton, Northview, and Pierson formations.

The Bachelor Formation is the lowermost Mississippian unit in this region, which unconformably overlies the Devonian Woodford (Chattanooga) Shale. The general lithology of the Bachelor Formation consists of quartz arenite sandstone beds intercalated with green calcareous shale (Kreman, 2011; Friesenhahn, 2012). Thickness of the Bachelor Formation varies little throughout southwestern Missouri, reaching a maximum thickness of approximately 3.9 feet (1.2 m) with an average thickness of 1 foot (0.3 m; Mehl, 1961; Manger and Shanks, 1976).

This study focuses specifically on the depositional blocks within the Compton Limestone, which is generally described as a light gray crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone to packstone unit (Manger and Shanks, 1976; Kreman, 2011). The clasts within the debris flow deposits (Figure 4) are similar in texture and composition to the samples taken from the Compton Limestone. The Compton Limestone is Kinderhookian and overlies the Bachelor Formation in the Lower Mississippian. The average thickness of the Compton Limestone ranges from 5 to 15 feet (1.5–4.6 m), but can reach up to 30 feet (9 m) in some regions (Thompson and Fellows, 1970). Near Jane, Missouri, the average thickness of the Compton is 12–22 feet (3.7–6.7 m) thick (Wilhite et al., 2011).

The Northview Formation is the upper unit of the Kinderhookian and conformably overlies the Compton Limestone and is unconformably overlain by the Pierson Limestone. The Northview Formation occurs throughout southwestern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, and northeastern Oklahoma (Shoeia, 2012). The lithology of the Northview Formation is olive green calcareous shale or marlstone with an average thickness of 2–5 feet (0.6–1.5 m), although it may reach over 80 feet (24 m) in places (Huffman, 1960). The amount of shale within the Northview Formation increases northward, where this unit becomes more calcareous to the south (Shoeia, 2012). The Northview Formation, along with the Bachelor, Compton, and Pierson Formations all thin to the south (Wilhite et al., 2011).

The Northview Formation was previously referred to as the “Northview Shale,” and interpreted as a deeper water facies due to contradicting lithologic correlations and lack of evidence to support a definite age assignment (McDuffie, 1964). Based on observations made in the field at the Jane outcrop, the Northview Formation is 2–5 feet (0.6–1.5 m) thick and contains flaser bedding, lenticular bedding, multiple subaerial exposure surfaces and bidirectional ripples at the top of the formation (Childress, 2015). The lithologies throughout the Northview include skeletal wackestone, packstone, and grainstone beds separated by two thin, discontinuous shaly beds. Each of these outcrop observations led to the current interpretation that at least the upper portion of the Northview Formation at Jane was deposited in a tidal flat environment.

The Pierson Formation occurs at the base of the Osagean, and unconformably overlies the Northview Formation. It is unconformably overlain by the Reeds Spring Limestone and has been described as a fine-grained limestone (Heinzelmann, 1964; Shoeia, 2012). The Compton and Pierson Formations are lithologically similar and differentiated primarily through the identification of the overlying and underlying strata, particularly through the identification of the intervening Northview Formation (Manger and Shanks, 1976). Regionally, the Pierson Formation occurs in southwestern Missouri, northeastern Oklahoma, and northwestern Arkansas (Wilhite et al., 2011). The Pierson Formation consists of skeletal grainstones and packstones, suggestive of a relatively high-energy depositional environment. Average thickness of the Pierson Formation is 4–18 feet (1.2–5.5 m; Kreman, 2011; Wilhite et al., 2011).

Primary Depositional Facies

To define the controls and distribution of heterogeneity observed within the units of the Jane outcrop, samples were collected to identify facies types and vertical stacking patterns (Childress, 2015). The Dunham (1962) and Choquette and Pray (1970) classifications and descriptions were used to define texture, classification, and pore types observed in hand specimen and thin section. Four primary lithofacies, Facies 1–4, were defined based on specific attributes, which include sedimentary structures, texture and fabric, composition, size and geometry of grains, bedding geometry, and stratigraphic stacking patterns (Figure 7; Childress, 2015).

Figure 7.

Thin section photomicrographs of the primary depositional facies types defined within the Mississippian strata at the Jane outcrop. Classifications from Dunham (1962) and Choquette and Pray (1970) were used to define texture, classification, and pore types seen throughout each thin section photomicrograph. Each thin section is shown in CPL. (A) Facies 1, crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone, very fine to coarse grained (62.5 μm to 2 mm), poorly sorted. (B) Facies 2, crinoidal wackestone to packstone, medium to coarse grained (250–500 μm), poorly moderately sorted. (C) Facies 3, crinoidal–bryozoan mud-lean packstone to grainstone, fine to very coarse grained (125 μm to 2 mm), moderately to poorly sorted. (D) Facies 4, skeletal grainstone, very fine to medium grained (62.5–500 μm), moderately to well sorted. The skeletal types in each facies are representative of a normal marine depositional environment. Each of these facies types occur throughout all Kinderhookian and Osagean strata exposed at the Jane outcrop. This repetitive stacking pattern consists of a shallowing-upward sequence from a more distal facies (Facies 1) to a shallower, more proximal facies (Facies 4).

Figure 7.

Thin section photomicrographs of the primary depositional facies types defined within the Mississippian strata at the Jane outcrop. Classifications from Dunham (1962) and Choquette and Pray (1970) were used to define texture, classification, and pore types seen throughout each thin section photomicrograph. Each thin section is shown in CPL. (A) Facies 1, crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone, very fine to coarse grained (62.5 μm to 2 mm), poorly sorted. (B) Facies 2, crinoidal wackestone to packstone, medium to coarse grained (250–500 μm), poorly moderately sorted. (C) Facies 3, crinoidal–bryozoan mud-lean packstone to grainstone, fine to very coarse grained (125 μm to 2 mm), moderately to poorly sorted. (D) Facies 4, skeletal grainstone, very fine to medium grained (62.5–500 μm), moderately to well sorted. The skeletal types in each facies are representative of a normal marine depositional environment. Each of these facies types occur throughout all Kinderhookian and Osagean strata exposed at the Jane outcrop. This repetitive stacking pattern consists of a shallowing-upward sequence from a more distal facies (Facies 1) to a shallower, more proximal facies (Facies 4).

Depositional Model

Depositional models assist in understanding sediment deposition, regional geometries, and facies stacking patterns of the area of interest. Based upon observed facies types and vertical successions at the Jane outcrop in southwestern Missouri, the best fit for a depositional model for the units described in this study is a distally steepened ramp, consistent with other recent studies in the region (Handford, 1986; Wilhite et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013; Le Blanc, 2014; Price, 2014; Childress, 2015; Flinton, 2016; Thompson, 2016) and similar to other distally steepened ramps described in the literature (Handford, 1986; Handford and Loucks, 1993; Kerans et al., 1994; Grafe and Wiedmann, 1998). The predominant facies types at the Jane outcrop range from crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone to crinoidal–bryozoan mud-lean packstone with an average ratio of 65% skeletal grains to 35% micritic mud. These facies types fall between the boundaries of fair weather wave base and storm wave base in a distally steepened ramp setting (Childress, 2015). This succession of lower-energy facies suggests deposition more distal and further from the shelf margin region originally defined by Gutschick and Sandberg (1983) and Lane and De Keyser (1980). Significant complexity and heterogeneity of facies distribution exists within the Mississippian distally steepened ramp setting (Figure 8). Deposition of the Jane outcrop facies would have likely occurred within the red outline of Figure 8, which includes the tidal flat environment of the Northview Formation and common mass transport features deposited along the ramp.

Figure 8.

Schematic diagram illustrating the distribution of depositional environments for the Jane outcrop formations. This schematic diagram is a conceptual model illustrating deposition on a distally steepened ramp between fair weather wave base and storm wave base as outlined by the red box. The portion of the ramp within the red box also contains mass transport features commonly associated with a ramp depositional environment (Modified from Handford, 1986).

Figure 8.

Schematic diagram illustrating the distribution of depositional environments for the Jane outcrop formations. This schematic diagram is a conceptual model illustrating deposition on a distally steepened ramp between fair weather wave base and storm wave base as outlined by the red box. The portion of the ramp within the red box also contains mass transport features commonly associated with a ramp depositional environment (Modified from Handford, 1986).

Cycle Hierarchy and Sequence Stratigraphy

Third-order sequences were constrained throughout the U.S. midcontinent using distinctive conodont types to recognize biostratigraphic correlations (Boardman, 2013). The biostratigraphic framework from Boardman (2013) does not specifically constrain temporal resolution due to overlapping conodont zonations. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of temporal resolution at the Jane outcrop, the stratigraphic framework defined by stacking patterns of primary depositional facies (Childress, 2015) and the biostratigraphic framework from Boardman (2013) was compared to the eustatic sea-level curve from Haq and Schutter (2008) to identify two probable third-order sequences represented by the Kinderhookian and Osagean strata exposed at the study area (Childress, 2015). The sequence stratigraphic framework defined by stacking patterns of primary depositional facies and biostratigraphy was further refined to delineate higher-frequency stratigraphic cycles (herein termed fourth-order high-frequency sequences and fifth-order high-frequency cycles), identified by a combination of exposure horizons, flooding surfaces, and vertical stacking patterns. An understanding that this system is influenced by high-frequency (probable Milankovitch band) sea-level change, in addition to the third-order sea-level changes constrained by biostratigraphy, is fundamental to understanding facies migration through time, and at the Jane outcrop, underscores the vertical and lateral heterogeneity of facies and potential reservoirs within such a system (Grammer et al., 1996).

The transgressive phase of the first third-order sequence occurs within the Bachelor and Compton limestones. The regressive phase occurs as the Northview Formation. A flooding event occurred after the subaerial exposure surface at the top of the Northview. The second third-order sequence is represented by the Pierson Formation, deposited during the next third-order sequence.

Since the four primary depositional facies are repetitive throughout each formation, an idealized facies succession was recognized within the biostratigraphically and eustatically constrained third-order sequences. Each facies, displayed in an asymmetrical, shallowing-upward sequence (Figure 9), represents the facies deposited during one rise and fall in sea level. The idealized facies succession begins with deposition of Facies 1 (crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone) at the base of the cycle. This facies contains the highest mud content and represents the transgressive portion of the succession. The overall succession is dominated by the regressive portion of the sequence, which starts with deposition of Facies 2 (crinoidal wackestone–packstone), followed by Facies 3 (crinoidal–bryozoan mud-lean packstone–grainstone) and Facies 4 (skeletal grainstone). The repetitive packages range in thickness from 3 to 10 feet (1–3 m). This repetition illustrates facies within the same depositional system were migrating laterally during specific times of deposition for the Bachelor, Compton, Northview, and Pierson formations. This succession, and associated facies partitioning, allows for recognition of a hierarchy of sequences and cycles, which can increase the predictability of facies distribution related to the reservoir architecture in the subsurface (Eberli and Grammer, 2004).

Figure 9.

(A) Partial Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop including third-order sequences constrained by biostratigraphy (Shoeia, 2012; Boardman, 2013). Overall, there are two third-order sequences represented at the Jane outcrop. The transgressive leg of the first third-order sequence is represented by the Bachelor and Compton limestones. The regressive leg is represented by the Northview Formation, which is interpreted as a tidal flat depositional environment. The second third-order sequence is represented by the Pierson Formation, deposited during a highstand systems tract after a flooding event. Evidence for the flooding event is not present at the outcrop, but is inferred due to the exposure surface at the top of the Northview Formation. During the highstand, the Pierson Formation aggraded to base level and prograded seaward. (B) Idealized facies succession showing primary depositional facies deposited during one rise and fall in sea level. The blue triangle represents the transgressive phase of the cycle and the red triangle represents the regressive phase of the cycle. The cycle shallows upward and is vertically repetitive across the entire length of the outcrop.

Figure 9.

(A) Partial Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop including third-order sequences constrained by biostratigraphy (Shoeia, 2012; Boardman, 2013). Overall, there are two third-order sequences represented at the Jane outcrop. The transgressive leg of the first third-order sequence is represented by the Bachelor and Compton limestones. The regressive leg is represented by the Northview Formation, which is interpreted as a tidal flat depositional environment. The second third-order sequence is represented by the Pierson Formation, deposited during a highstand systems tract after a flooding event. Evidence for the flooding event is not present at the outcrop, but is inferred due to the exposure surface at the top of the Northview Formation. During the highstand, the Pierson Formation aggraded to base level and prograded seaward. (B) Idealized facies succession showing primary depositional facies deposited during one rise and fall in sea level. The blue triangle represents the transgressive phase of the cycle and the red triangle represents the regressive phase of the cycle. The cycle shallows upward and is vertically repetitive across the entire length of the outcrop.

As evidenced from the repetitive nature of each facies within the idealized facies succession at different scales (thicknesses), a hierarchy of sequences and cycles is developed within the sequence stratigraphic architecture. The higher-frequency events, superimposed on the biostratigraphically and eustatically constrained third-order sequences, are referred to as fourth-order high-frequency sequences and fifth-order high-frequency cycles (Figure 10), unrelated to actual time (Grammer et al., 2000). It is not possible to constrain the time element in Paleozoic rocks well enough to determine an average cycle duration that is unequivocally definable at the fourth- and fifth-order scale, but evaluation of a general cycle hierarchy is useful for determining stratigraphic ordering (Kerans and Tinker, 1997). This was a vital step in building the high-resolution sequence stratigraphic architecture of the Jane outcrop because higher-frequency sea-level fluctuations often are responsible for controlling vertical and lateral reservoir heterogeneity within a unit, as shown in many carbonate reservoirs (Grammer et al., 1996).

Figure 10.

High-resolution sequence stratigraphy of the Jane outcrop based on third-order sequences and fourth-order high-frequency sequences. Each of the vertical sections were laterally linked across the outcrop and contain the same colors for facies designation as the idealized facies succession in Figure 9 and in the upper right-hand corner. Sequence and cycle boundaries were picked based on a combination of vertical stacking patterns, flooding surfaces, and subaerial exposure surfaces. The two third-order sequences are correlated across the length of the outcrop as green lines. Superimposed on the third-order sequences are the probable fourth-order high-frequency sequences correlated across the length of the outcrop as black lines. As indicated by the stacking patterns and subaerial exposure surfaces seen at Vertical Section 2, a flooding event occurred after deposition of the Northview Formation and before deposition of the Pierson Formation. This figure demonstrates the stratigraphic hierarchy that is discernible at the Jane outcrop.

Figure 10.

High-resolution sequence stratigraphy of the Jane outcrop based on third-order sequences and fourth-order high-frequency sequences. Each of the vertical sections were laterally linked across the outcrop and contain the same colors for facies designation as the idealized facies succession in Figure 9 and in the upper right-hand corner. Sequence and cycle boundaries were picked based on a combination of vertical stacking patterns, flooding surfaces, and subaerial exposure surfaces. The two third-order sequences are correlated across the length of the outcrop as green lines. Superimposed on the third-order sequences are the probable fourth-order high-frequency sequences correlated across the length of the outcrop as black lines. As indicated by the stacking patterns and subaerial exposure surfaces seen at Vertical Section 2, a flooding event occurred after deposition of the Northview Formation and before deposition of the Pierson Formation. This figure demonstrates the stratigraphic hierarchy that is discernible at the Jane outcrop.

RESULTS AND INTERPRETATIONS

Evidence for Block Movement

In addition to the debris flows outlined in Figure 2, multiple lines of evidence support movement of the blocks at the Jane outcrop through analysis of the Gigapan® images. Evidence for block movement includes multioriented geopetal structures, and truncated Compton beds. Geopetal fabrics can serve as guides to the normal or inverted position of strata within complex stratigraphic settings (Honjo et al., 1965). These features are partial sedimentary infillings of rock cavities that may form during times of minimal sedimentation or rapid burial (Wieczorek, 1979). Multiple geopetal structures in the form of partially infilled brachiopods occur at angles ranging from 15˚ to 45˚ on the exposed surface of Block 1 (Figure 11), indicating the feature is a block that may have undergone multiple phases of movement and/or rotation subsequent to initial formation. This is not an unequivocal interpretation, as oblique cuts through the brachiopod shells could give different orientations.

Figure 11.

Location of two geopetal structures within Block 1. Magnified images of each geopetal are shown above the Gigapan® image of Block 1. Enlarged drawings of each geopetal are shown next to the magnified photographs and display the angle of rotation. If the block was in situ, the sediment within both of the geopetal structures would have been oriented in a horizontal direction. Since each geopetal occurs within the same block at different angles of rotation, this suggests multiple phases of movement.

Figure 11.

Location of two geopetal structures within Block 1. Magnified images of each geopetal are shown above the Gigapan® image of Block 1. Enlarged drawings of each geopetal are shown next to the magnified photographs and display the angle of rotation. If the block was in situ, the sediment within both of the geopetal structures would have been oriented in a horizontal direction. Since each geopetal occurs within the same block at different angles of rotation, this suggests multiple phases of movement.

Additional evidence for movement of the blocks occurs within the bedding between Block 1 and Block 3. Movement of each block likely occurred during different times, as indicated by the parallel bedding between the debris flow deposits and the blocks. If one event stemmed the movement of every block in the Compton Limestone simultaneously, the debris flow beds surrounding the blocks would likely be continuous, homogeneous deposits with no intervening parallel bedding. The debris flow beds (orange) are heterogeneous and intermixed with flat-lying, horizontal bedding in between the blocks (Figure 2). This is evidence that at least two of the five blocks moved at different times, complicating the bedding geometry within the Compton Limestone. In the same area between Block 1 and Block 3, intraformational truncation surfaces occur throughout the bedding (Figure 12). These features were likely produced as blocks moved along the ramp and truncated the beds between Block 1 and Block 3 (Ilstad et al., 2004). Similar truncation surfaces were observed within a base-of-slope carbonate apron (western Newfoundland) and are interpreted to represent deposition on an unstable sloping surface (Coniglio, 1986).

Figure 12.

Intraformational truncation features located between Block 1 and Block 3, traced from the Gigapan® photograph. Truncation surfaces are highlighted in red and truncated beds are highlighted in blue. Some of the truncated beds are parallel, suggesting no block movement occurred during deposition associated with each parallel bed. This evidence supports separate phases of movement for each block. Truncated bedding does not surround all blocks, which may be due to the small size of Blocks 2–6 (refer to Table 1 for block dimensions). Similar truncation surfaces have been observed within a base-of-slope carbonate apron (western Newfoundland) and are interpreted to represent deposition on an unstable sloping surface (Coniglio, 1986).

Figure 12.

Intraformational truncation features located between Block 1 and Block 3, traced from the Gigapan® photograph. Truncation surfaces are highlighted in red and truncated beds are highlighted in blue. Some of the truncated beds are parallel, suggesting no block movement occurred during deposition associated with each parallel bed. This evidence supports separate phases of movement for each block. Truncated bedding does not surround all blocks, which may be due to the small size of Blocks 2–6 (refer to Table 1 for block dimensions). Similar truncation surfaces have been observed within a base-of-slope carbonate apron (western Newfoundland) and are interpreted to represent deposition on an unstable sloping surface (Coniglio, 1986).

Thin Section Analysis

Thin section photomicrographs (Figure 13) document the core facies of Block 1 (Unrast, 2012). Blocks 2–6 were documented in this study and representative thin section photomicrograph for the blocks are shown in Figure 13. Each block at the Jane outcrop is similar in composition and can be classified as a crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone–packstone with localized skeletal grains consisting of crinoid and bryozoan fragments with local trilobites and ostracods. All blocks contain similar facies and skeletal components, indicating each block likely originated from the Compton Limestone at a location further updip on the ramp. Additionally, analysis of the debris flows show very poorly sorted, chaotic, unstratified clasts ranging in grain size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles (2–64 mm [0.08–2.5 in.]) supported by a deformed mud matrix, confirming the interpretation of the deposits surrounding each outrunner block are debris flow deposits (Figure 14; Asmus and Grammer, 2013).

Figure 13.

Thin section photomicrographs of samples from Blocks 1, 2, 3, and 6 of Figure 2 to show composition relative to the other blocks and the debris flow deposits. (A) Block 1, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is skeletal wackestone, fine to very coarse grained, poorly sorted. It contains 15% skeletal grains, 82% micrite matrix, and 3% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Grain types include crinoids (200 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm), brachiopods (600 μm to 2 mm), and ostracods (500–800 μm). (B) Block 2, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone containing mud clasts broken up within. The mud clasts range in size from very coarse sand to fine pebbles. Skeletal grains include crinoids (250 μm to 2 mm) and bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm). Pyrite and calcite cement have filled in fractures and void spaces within the micrite matrix. Stylolites have been filled with dolomite. (C) Block 3, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, grain size ranges from fine sand to very fine pebbles, poorly sorted. Contains crinoids (500 μm to 2 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (500 μm to 2 mm), ostracods (125–450 μm), and gastropods (750 μm to 2 mm). (D) Block 6, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, very fine to very coarse grained, and poorly sorted. It contains 25% skeletal grains, 65% micrite matrix, 4% dead oil, and 6% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Skeletal grains include brachiopods (400–750 μm), crinoids (62.5 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (62.5 μm to 2 mm). Dead oil can be seen along the stylolites.

Figure 13.

Thin section photomicrographs of samples from Blocks 1, 2, 3, and 6 of Figure 2 to show composition relative to the other blocks and the debris flow deposits. (A) Block 1, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is skeletal wackestone, fine to very coarse grained, poorly sorted. It contains 15% skeletal grains, 82% micrite matrix, and 3% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Grain types include crinoids (200 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm), brachiopods (600 μm to 2 mm), and ostracods (500–800 μm). (B) Block 2, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone containing mud clasts broken up within. The mud clasts range in size from very coarse sand to fine pebbles. Skeletal grains include crinoids (250 μm to 2 mm) and bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm). Pyrite and calcite cement have filled in fractures and void spaces within the micrite matrix. Stylolites have been filled with dolomite. (C) Block 3, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, grain size ranges from fine sand to very fine pebbles, poorly sorted. Contains crinoids (500 μm to 2 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (500 μm to 2 mm), ostracods (125–450 μm), and gastropods (750 μm to 2 mm). (D) Block 6, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, very fine to very coarse grained, and poorly sorted. It contains 25% skeletal grains, 65% micrite matrix, 4% dead oil, and 6% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Skeletal grains include brachiopods (400–750 μm), crinoids (62.5 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (62.5 μm to 2 mm). Dead oil can be seen along the stylolites.

Figure 14.

Thin section photomicrographs from two separate samples of a debris flow bed surrounding Block 1 of Figure 2 to show its composition relative to each of the blocks. (A) Sample 1, magnification at 25 ×. (B) Sample 1, magnification at 50 ×. (C) Sample 2, magnification at 25 ×. (D) Sample 2, magnification at 50 ×. This facies is a wackestone–packstone from the debris flow deposits within the Compton Limestone. It contains very poorly sorted, chaotic, unstratified mudstone clasts ranging in size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles. The mudstone clasts are surrounded by a deformed matrix of fine to coarse grained bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (400–700 μm), and crinoids (125 μm to 2 mm). These skeletal components are also contained within the mud clasts. Wispy stylolites, calcite cement, and pyrite can also be seen throughout.

Figure 14.

Thin section photomicrographs from two separate samples of a debris flow bed surrounding Block 1 of Figure 2 to show its composition relative to each of the blocks. (A) Sample 1, magnification at 25 ×. (B) Sample 1, magnification at 50 ×. (C) Sample 2, magnification at 25 ×. (D) Sample 2, magnification at 50 ×. This facies is a wackestone–packstone from the debris flow deposits within the Compton Limestone. It contains very poorly sorted, chaotic, unstratified mudstone clasts ranging in size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles. The mudstone clasts are surrounded by a deformed matrix of fine to coarse grained bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (400–700 μm), and crinoids (125 μm to 2 mm). These skeletal components are also contained within the mud clasts. Wispy stylolites, calcite cement, and pyrite can also be seen throughout.

Formation and Flow Mechanism

A plausible explanation for the development of the outrunner blocks within the debris flow beds of the Compton Limestone at Jane includes the activation of a slump. A slump is defined as a rotational slide characterized by displacement of relatively intact blocks over curved or spoon-like slip surfaces with limited downdip transport (Tripsanas et al., 2008). Debris flows are produced from a slump as broken clasts supported by a mud matrix (De Blasio et al., 2006; Tripsanas et al., 2008). Also associated with the slump rotation and debris flows are outrunner blocks, described as nearly intact pieces of debris that detach from a slowing-down submarine slide and flow ahead of the front (De Blasio et al., 2006). Development of the blocks is due to hydroplaning, acceleration, and final detachment of the head of submarine landslides and debris flows (Ilstad et al., 2004; Tripsanas et al., 2008). Elements stimulating the movement of the block include gravity, velocity, shape, surface roughness, and block orientation (De Blasio et al., 2006). Multiple examples of similar mass transport processes can be found in recent and ancient analogs (Rigby, 1958; Crevellow and Schlager, 1980; Harris, 2004).

Formation and flow of outrunner blocks was documented to be closely related to channel systems, which may serve as an avenue for mass transport into the basin (Ilstad et al., 2004; Lee et al., 2008; Tripsanas et al., 2008; Gamberi et al., 2010). An example of a pathway for mass transport on a distally steepened ramp into a Mississippian basin in the U.S. midcontinent is shown (Figure 15). The Petrel image was provided by Devon Energy and shows a channel system entering the basin from the north direction. The image was produced using application of the sweetness attribute to highlight the channel feature. The image was then modified using Petrel’s geobody interpretation tool to create multiple box probes, which extracted the 3-D image in time.

Figure 15.

Petrel image showing a channel system entering a basin composed of Mississippian strata. The image was extracted in time using application of the sweetness attribute and Petrel’s geobody interpretation tool. Vertical lines throughout the image represent current well bores throughout the proprietary area. The image is evidence for mass transport in a distally steepened ramp setting in the Mississippian of the U.S. midcontinent, as the channel may have provided a pathway for flow of mass transport sediments.

Figure 15.

Petrel image showing a channel system entering a basin composed of Mississippian strata. The image was extracted in time using application of the sweetness attribute and Petrel’s geobody interpretation tool. Vertical lines throughout the image represent current well bores throughout the proprietary area. The image is evidence for mass transport in a distally steepened ramp setting in the Mississippian of the U.S. midcontinent, as the channel may have provided a pathway for flow of mass transport sediments.

Triggering Mechanism

The primary processes likely involved with initiating block movement include sediment loading (Coniglio, 1986; Schlager, 2005) and regional tectonism (Moore et al., 1976; Gawthorpe and Clemmey, 1985; Heubeck, 1992; Boardman, 2013; Mazzullo et al., 2019). Autochthonous micrite in the form of layers, lenses, or mounds serves as an in situ growth of a rigid body and adds additional weight to the slope or ramp (Wolf, 1965; Schlager, 2005). The mounds act as a rigid weight and represent localized loads capable of triggering slides and slumps (Schlager, 2005; Figure 16A). A similar form of sediment loading occurs within the Cow Head Group, in the form of a base-of-slope carbonate apron (Coniglio, 1986). In this case, synsedimentary shear zones evidenced by brecciation, truncation surfaces, and slide zones record deposition on an unstable sloping surface that eventually gives way to sediment failure.

Figure 16.

Mechanisms for initiation of block movement on a distally steepened ramp. (A) Block movement initiated by sediment loading involves buildup of automicrite, which forms a rigid body and acts as extra weight on the ramp triggering a slide. (B) Block movement initiated by syndepositional tectonism. Syndepositional tectonism was active during the Early Mississippian in the form of compressional and strike-slip fault movements and is the favored mechanism for initiation of block movement (Evans et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013). Modified from Gawthorpe and Clemmey (1985), Coniglio (1986), and Schlager (2005).

Figure 16.

Mechanisms for initiation of block movement on a distally steepened ramp. (A) Block movement initiated by sediment loading involves buildup of automicrite, which forms a rigid body and acts as extra weight on the ramp triggering a slide. (B) Block movement initiated by syndepositional tectonism. Syndepositional tectonism was active during the Early Mississippian in the form of compressional and strike-slip fault movements and is the favored mechanism for initiation of block movement (Evans et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013). Modified from Gawthorpe and Clemmey (1985), Coniglio (1986), and Schlager (2005).

The alternative explanation for triggering block movement is regional and/or local tectonism (Figure 16B; Moore et al., 1976; Gawthorpe and Clemmey, 1985; Heubeck, 1992; Evans et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013; Mazzullo et al., 2019). Conodont biostratigraphy and identification of unconformities throughout the US midcontinent region supports the interpretation for active syndepositional tectonism throughout Kinderhookian and Osagean strata (Boardman, 2013). Regional tectonic behavior in southwestern Missouri records northwest–southeast trending transpressional faults that would have effected sedimentation during the late Devonian and Early Mississippian (Evans et al., 2011). Flexure, loading, and tectonic subsidence were associated with the northwest–southeast regional faults (Evans et al., 2011). Recently, a strong case has been made for syndepositional tectonic activity related to a forebulge high where gravity induced dislodging of blocks and sediments likely occur (Mazzullo et al., 2019). Syndepositional tectonism is the favored mechanism for block movement within the Compton Limestone analyzed in this study (Evans et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013; Mazzullo et al., 2019).

Sequence Stratigraphy

Block deposition within the Compton Limestone has disrupted the sequence stratigraphy at the Jane outcrop. The newly defined conodont zonations do not definitively correlate to the eustatic sea-level changes throughout the Kinderhookian and Osagean (Figure 1; Boardman, 2013). The eustatic sea-level curve shows three third-order sequences in the Kinderhookian and two third-order sequences in the early Osagean. Based on conodont biostratigraphy at the Jane outcrop, there is only one third-order sequence in the Kinderhook formations and one third-order sequence in the Osagean formations. The discrepancy between the biostratigraphic zones and third-order sequences in the Kinderhookian strata at the Jane outcrop could be related to a sequence masked or eroded by deposition of the blocks and debris flows throughout the Compton Limestone or erosion at the top of the Northview Formation. The discrepancy between the biostratigraphic zones and third-order sequences in the Osagean strata at the Jane outcrop could be related to a combination of an incomplete Osagean section and erosion at the top of the Pierson Formation.

CONCLUSIONS

The blocks distributed throughout the Compton Limestone at the Jane outcrop are clearly not in situ features and are interpreted as outrunner blocks within debris flow deposits. These mass transport deposits are common in distally steepened ramp settings and were likely initiated by syndepositional tectonism throughout the Mississippian of the U.S. midcontinent. Outrunner blocks documented in the literature range in size from tens to hundreds of meters and can travel up to several kilometers on very gentle slopes (1–2˚).

A plausible explanation for the development of the outrunner blocks observed within the debris flow deposits of the Compton Limestone includes the activation of a slump. Debris flows are often produced from a slump as broken clasts supported by a mud matrix. The debris flow beds and block deposits are interpreted as being downslope from the original slump, which cannot be seen in the Jane outcrop. Often associated with the slump rotation and debris flows are outrunner blocks, defined as nearly intact pieces of debris that detach from a slowing-down submarine slide and flow ahead of the front. Development of the blocks is due to hydroplaning, acceleration, and final detachment of the head of submarine landslides and debris flows.

The outrunner blocks were deposited during the transgressive leg of the first third-order sequence, during a time when more accommodation space was available. This is reflected in the thickness of the high-frequency sequences and cycles in the Compton Limestone (1–2 m [3–6 ft] thick) relative to the Northview and Pierson formations (0.5–1.5 m [1.6–5 ft] thick). During this time of increased accommodation, the blocks and debris flow deposits were deposited across the outcrop in phases, indicated by parallel bedding in between each of the truncated beds.

Mass transport deposits and turbidites constitute a large volume of strata within subaqueous slope and basinal settings, making them a dominant strata type in most deepwater basins around the world (up to 50%; Posamentier and Walker, 2006). Due to this abundance, petroleum exploration efforts have focused much of their attention on these potential reservoirs (Asmus and Grammer, 2013). Although the Jane outcrop contains smaller outrunner blocks and thin debris flow deposits, if the flow is traced to more proximal settings, perhaps larger blocks and more laterally extensive debris flows could form limited targets, similar to examples in both recent and ancient analogs.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This work was completed as a part of Oklahoma State University’s Mississippian Consortium, funded by Devon Energy, Chesapeake, Marathon Oil, Sinopec, Maverick Brothers Energy, SM Energy, Newfield, Redfork Energy, Unit Petroleum, Chaparral Energy, Longfellow Energy, Samson Energy, American Energy Partners, and Trey Industries. Many thanks to the OSU students who helped with field work and data collection: Buddy Price, Stephanie LeBlanc, Beth Vanden Berg, Taylor Thompson, Scott Shelley, Ahmed Elbelasy, Ashley Dupont, Yulun Wang, Lara Jaeckel, and Ibukun Bode. Early versions of the manuscript were improved by Ashley Dupont’s individual reviews. Subsequent reviews by Mike Pope and an anonymous reviewer made the manuscript much stronger and are appreciated. We’d like to thank OSU faculty, Jim Puckette, Jay Gregg, and Darwin Boardman II for their valuable review and comments. We are grateful for the donation of the Petrel image provided by Devon Energy and Mouin Almasoodi’s assistance in extracting the image. The contents of this chapter were derived primarily from the first author’s master’s thesis.

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Figures & Tables

Figure 1.

Global sea-level fluctuations throughout the Carboniferous period. Stages of the Mississippian are highlighted in gray. Kinderhookian and Osagean strata correspond to the Tournaisian through middle Visean stages over approximately 20 million years. Haq and Schutter (2008) use “known high-frequency cycles” to identify third-order sequences. Three third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Kinderhookian, highlighted in blue. Up to four third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Osagean, highlighted in pink. Fourth-order high-frequency sequences and fifth-order high-frequency cycles were interpreted by several workers (Elrick and Read, 1991; Westphal et al., 2004), but are not identified in this figure (Modified from Haq and Schutter, 2008).

Figure 1.

Global sea-level fluctuations throughout the Carboniferous period. Stages of the Mississippian are highlighted in gray. Kinderhookian and Osagean strata correspond to the Tournaisian through middle Visean stages over approximately 20 million years. Haq and Schutter (2008) use “known high-frequency cycles” to identify third-order sequences. Three third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Kinderhookian, highlighted in blue. Up to four third-order sequences were globally identified throughout the Osagean, highlighted in pink. Fourth-order high-frequency sequences and fifth-order high-frequency cycles were interpreted by several workers (Elrick and Read, 1991; Westphal et al., 2004), but are not identified in this figure (Modified from Haq and Schutter, 2008).

Figure 2.

Gigapan® photograph showing the debris flow deposits highlighted in orange. Each outrunner block is shaded in gray. Block 1 is the primary outrunner block and largest in size with dimensions of 9.2 feet (2.8 m) high and 30.0 feet (9.1 m) wide. The debris flow beds occur throughout the entire outcrop and thin out to the northwest.

Figure 2.

Gigapan® photograph showing the debris flow deposits highlighted in orange. Each outrunner block is shaded in gray. Block 1 is the primary outrunner block and largest in size with dimensions of 9.2 feet (2.8 m) high and 30.0 feet (9.1 m) wide. The debris flow beds occur throughout the entire outcrop and thin out to the northwest.

Figure 3.

(A) Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop, showing the locations of Vertical Section 1 (VS 1), Vertical Section 2 (VS 2), a subsection of Vertical Section 2 (Vertical Section 2–3C), and Vertical Section 3 (VS 3). These mark the locations where samples were collected by Childress (2015). Sample locations are marked with red dots. (B) A line interpretation of bed architecture of the entire outcrop, including a magnified view. Beds were traced using the high-resolution Gigapan® image in A. Bed tracing revealed lateral continuity and geometry of each bed, an important step in understanding the depositional environment and building the sequence stratigraphic framework. Note the length of the entire outcrop is 770 feet (235 m) along strike (northwest–southeast).

Figure 3.

(A) Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop, showing the locations of Vertical Section 1 (VS 1), Vertical Section 2 (VS 2), a subsection of Vertical Section 2 (Vertical Section 2–3C), and Vertical Section 3 (VS 3). These mark the locations where samples were collected by Childress (2015). Sample locations are marked with red dots. (B) A line interpretation of bed architecture of the entire outcrop, including a magnified view. Beds were traced using the high-resolution Gigapan® image in A. Bed tracing revealed lateral continuity and geometry of each bed, an important step in understanding the depositional environment and building the sequence stratigraphic framework. Note the length of the entire outcrop is 770 feet (235 m) along strike (northwest–southeast).

Figure 4.

Sample of the debris flow within the Compton Limestone. Mud clasts ranging in grain size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles (2–63.5 mm) are set within a crinoidal–bryozoan micrite matrix very similar to the composition of the Compton Limestone. Note the scale is in centimeters and the up direction is to the left.

Figure 4.

Sample of the debris flow within the Compton Limestone. Mud clasts ranging in grain size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles (2–63.5 mm) are set within a crinoidal–bryozoan micrite matrix very similar to the composition of the Compton Limestone. Note the scale is in centimeters and the up direction is to the left.

Figure 5.

(A) Location of the outcrop study area is in McDonald County, Missouri. (B) Google Earth image of the outcrop location along Highway 71. (C) Close up view of outcrop exposure along highway 71. The outcrop is oriented parallel to the northwest–southeast regional Mississippian strike direction (Google Earth, 2014; after Shoeia, 2012).

Figure 5.

(A) Location of the outcrop study area is in McDonald County, Missouri. (B) Google Earth image of the outcrop location along Highway 71. (C) Close up view of outcrop exposure along highway 71. The outcrop is oriented parallel to the northwest–southeast regional Mississippian strike direction (Google Earth, 2014; after Shoeia, 2012).

Figure 6.

Stratigraphic nomenclature of the entire Mississippian period for northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri. Multiple names for each formation exist within each state, complicating outcrop and subsurface investigations. A new standardized stratigraphic nomenclature was proposed for the formations present in the tristate area (right column; Mazzullo et al., 2013). The formations exposed at the Jane outcrop are outlined in red and include the Bachelor, Compton, Northview, and Pierson formations.

Figure 6.

Stratigraphic nomenclature of the entire Mississippian period for northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri. Multiple names for each formation exist within each state, complicating outcrop and subsurface investigations. A new standardized stratigraphic nomenclature was proposed for the formations present in the tristate area (right column; Mazzullo et al., 2013). The formations exposed at the Jane outcrop are outlined in red and include the Bachelor, Compton, Northview, and Pierson formations.

Figure 7.

Thin section photomicrographs of the primary depositional facies types defined within the Mississippian strata at the Jane outcrop. Classifications from Dunham (1962) and Choquette and Pray (1970) were used to define texture, classification, and pore types seen throughout each thin section photomicrograph. Each thin section is shown in CPL. (A) Facies 1, crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone, very fine to coarse grained (62.5 μm to 2 mm), poorly sorted. (B) Facies 2, crinoidal wackestone to packstone, medium to coarse grained (250–500 μm), poorly moderately sorted. (C) Facies 3, crinoidal–bryozoan mud-lean packstone to grainstone, fine to very coarse grained (125 μm to 2 mm), moderately to poorly sorted. (D) Facies 4, skeletal grainstone, very fine to medium grained (62.5–500 μm), moderately to well sorted. The skeletal types in each facies are representative of a normal marine depositional environment. Each of these facies types occur throughout all Kinderhookian and Osagean strata exposed at the Jane outcrop. This repetitive stacking pattern consists of a shallowing-upward sequence from a more distal facies (Facies 1) to a shallower, more proximal facies (Facies 4).

Figure 7.

Thin section photomicrographs of the primary depositional facies types defined within the Mississippian strata at the Jane outcrop. Classifications from Dunham (1962) and Choquette and Pray (1970) were used to define texture, classification, and pore types seen throughout each thin section photomicrograph. Each thin section is shown in CPL. (A) Facies 1, crinoidal–bryozoan wackestone, very fine to coarse grained (62.5 μm to 2 mm), poorly sorted. (B) Facies 2, crinoidal wackestone to packstone, medium to coarse grained (250–500 μm), poorly moderately sorted. (C) Facies 3, crinoidal–bryozoan mud-lean packstone to grainstone, fine to very coarse grained (125 μm to 2 mm), moderately to poorly sorted. (D) Facies 4, skeletal grainstone, very fine to medium grained (62.5–500 μm), moderately to well sorted. The skeletal types in each facies are representative of a normal marine depositional environment. Each of these facies types occur throughout all Kinderhookian and Osagean strata exposed at the Jane outcrop. This repetitive stacking pattern consists of a shallowing-upward sequence from a more distal facies (Facies 1) to a shallower, more proximal facies (Facies 4).

Figure 8.

Schematic diagram illustrating the distribution of depositional environments for the Jane outcrop formations. This schematic diagram is a conceptual model illustrating deposition on a distally steepened ramp between fair weather wave base and storm wave base as outlined by the red box. The portion of the ramp within the red box also contains mass transport features commonly associated with a ramp depositional environment (Modified from Handford, 1986).

Figure 8.

Schematic diagram illustrating the distribution of depositional environments for the Jane outcrop formations. This schematic diagram is a conceptual model illustrating deposition on a distally steepened ramp between fair weather wave base and storm wave base as outlined by the red box. The portion of the ramp within the red box also contains mass transport features commonly associated with a ramp depositional environment (Modified from Handford, 1986).

Figure 9.

(A) Partial Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop including third-order sequences constrained by biostratigraphy (Shoeia, 2012; Boardman, 2013). Overall, there are two third-order sequences represented at the Jane outcrop. The transgressive leg of the first third-order sequence is represented by the Bachelor and Compton limestones. The regressive leg is represented by the Northview Formation, which is interpreted as a tidal flat depositional environment. The second third-order sequence is represented by the Pierson Formation, deposited during a highstand systems tract after a flooding event. Evidence for the flooding event is not present at the outcrop, but is inferred due to the exposure surface at the top of the Northview Formation. During the highstand, the Pierson Formation aggraded to base level and prograded seaward. (B) Idealized facies succession showing primary depositional facies deposited during one rise and fall in sea level. The blue triangle represents the transgressive phase of the cycle and the red triangle represents the regressive phase of the cycle. The cycle shallows upward and is vertically repetitive across the entire length of the outcrop.

Figure 9.

(A) Partial Gigapan® photograph of the Jane outcrop including third-order sequences constrained by biostratigraphy (Shoeia, 2012; Boardman, 2013). Overall, there are two third-order sequences represented at the Jane outcrop. The transgressive leg of the first third-order sequence is represented by the Bachelor and Compton limestones. The regressive leg is represented by the Northview Formation, which is interpreted as a tidal flat depositional environment. The second third-order sequence is represented by the Pierson Formation, deposited during a highstand systems tract after a flooding event. Evidence for the flooding event is not present at the outcrop, but is inferred due to the exposure surface at the top of the Northview Formation. During the highstand, the Pierson Formation aggraded to base level and prograded seaward. (B) Idealized facies succession showing primary depositional facies deposited during one rise and fall in sea level. The blue triangle represents the transgressive phase of the cycle and the red triangle represents the regressive phase of the cycle. The cycle shallows upward and is vertically repetitive across the entire length of the outcrop.

Figure 10.

High-resolution sequence stratigraphy of the Jane outcrop based on third-order sequences and fourth-order high-frequency sequences. Each of the vertical sections were laterally linked across the outcrop and contain the same colors for facies designation as the idealized facies succession in Figure 9 and in the upper right-hand corner. Sequence and cycle boundaries were picked based on a combination of vertical stacking patterns, flooding surfaces, and subaerial exposure surfaces. The two third-order sequences are correlated across the length of the outcrop as green lines. Superimposed on the third-order sequences are the probable fourth-order high-frequency sequences correlated across the length of the outcrop as black lines. As indicated by the stacking patterns and subaerial exposure surfaces seen at Vertical Section 2, a flooding event occurred after deposition of the Northview Formation and before deposition of the Pierson Formation. This figure demonstrates the stratigraphic hierarchy that is discernible at the Jane outcrop.

Figure 10.

High-resolution sequence stratigraphy of the Jane outcrop based on third-order sequences and fourth-order high-frequency sequences. Each of the vertical sections were laterally linked across the outcrop and contain the same colors for facies designation as the idealized facies succession in Figure 9 and in the upper right-hand corner. Sequence and cycle boundaries were picked based on a combination of vertical stacking patterns, flooding surfaces, and subaerial exposure surfaces. The two third-order sequences are correlated across the length of the outcrop as green lines. Superimposed on the third-order sequences are the probable fourth-order high-frequency sequences correlated across the length of the outcrop as black lines. As indicated by the stacking patterns and subaerial exposure surfaces seen at Vertical Section 2, a flooding event occurred after deposition of the Northview Formation and before deposition of the Pierson Formation. This figure demonstrates the stratigraphic hierarchy that is discernible at the Jane outcrop.

Figure 11.

Location of two geopetal structures within Block 1. Magnified images of each geopetal are shown above the Gigapan® image of Block 1. Enlarged drawings of each geopetal are shown next to the magnified photographs and display the angle of rotation. If the block was in situ, the sediment within both of the geopetal structures would have been oriented in a horizontal direction. Since each geopetal occurs within the same block at different angles of rotation, this suggests multiple phases of movement.

Figure 11.

Location of two geopetal structures within Block 1. Magnified images of each geopetal are shown above the Gigapan® image of Block 1. Enlarged drawings of each geopetal are shown next to the magnified photographs and display the angle of rotation. If the block was in situ, the sediment within both of the geopetal structures would have been oriented in a horizontal direction. Since each geopetal occurs within the same block at different angles of rotation, this suggests multiple phases of movement.

Figure 12.

Intraformational truncation features located between Block 1 and Block 3, traced from the Gigapan® photograph. Truncation surfaces are highlighted in red and truncated beds are highlighted in blue. Some of the truncated beds are parallel, suggesting no block movement occurred during deposition associated with each parallel bed. This evidence supports separate phases of movement for each block. Truncated bedding does not surround all blocks, which may be due to the small size of Blocks 2–6 (refer to Table 1 for block dimensions). Similar truncation surfaces have been observed within a base-of-slope carbonate apron (western Newfoundland) and are interpreted to represent deposition on an unstable sloping surface (Coniglio, 1986).

Figure 12.

Intraformational truncation features located between Block 1 and Block 3, traced from the Gigapan® photograph. Truncation surfaces are highlighted in red and truncated beds are highlighted in blue. Some of the truncated beds are parallel, suggesting no block movement occurred during deposition associated with each parallel bed. This evidence supports separate phases of movement for each block. Truncated bedding does not surround all blocks, which may be due to the small size of Blocks 2–6 (refer to Table 1 for block dimensions). Similar truncation surfaces have been observed within a base-of-slope carbonate apron (western Newfoundland) and are interpreted to represent deposition on an unstable sloping surface (Coniglio, 1986).

Figure 13.

Thin section photomicrographs of samples from Blocks 1, 2, 3, and 6 of Figure 2 to show composition relative to the other blocks and the debris flow deposits. (A) Block 1, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is skeletal wackestone, fine to very coarse grained, poorly sorted. It contains 15% skeletal grains, 82% micrite matrix, and 3% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Grain types include crinoids (200 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm), brachiopods (600 μm to 2 mm), and ostracods (500–800 μm). (B) Block 2, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone containing mud clasts broken up within. The mud clasts range in size from very coarse sand to fine pebbles. Skeletal grains include crinoids (250 μm to 2 mm) and bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm). Pyrite and calcite cement have filled in fractures and void spaces within the micrite matrix. Stylolites have been filled with dolomite. (C) Block 3, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, grain size ranges from fine sand to very fine pebbles, poorly sorted. Contains crinoids (500 μm to 2 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (500 μm to 2 mm), ostracods (125–450 μm), and gastropods (750 μm to 2 mm). (D) Block 6, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, very fine to very coarse grained, and poorly sorted. It contains 25% skeletal grains, 65% micrite matrix, 4% dead oil, and 6% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Skeletal grains include brachiopods (400–750 μm), crinoids (62.5 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (62.5 μm to 2 mm). Dead oil can be seen along the stylolites.

Figure 13.

Thin section photomicrographs of samples from Blocks 1, 2, 3, and 6 of Figure 2 to show composition relative to the other blocks and the debris flow deposits. (A) Block 1, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is skeletal wackestone, fine to very coarse grained, poorly sorted. It contains 15% skeletal grains, 82% micrite matrix, and 3% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Grain types include crinoids (200 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm), brachiopods (600 μm to 2 mm), and ostracods (500–800 μm). (B) Block 2, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone containing mud clasts broken up within. The mud clasts range in size from very coarse sand to fine pebbles. Skeletal grains include crinoids (250 μm to 2 mm) and bryozoans (125 μm to 2 mm). Pyrite and calcite cement have filled in fractures and void spaces within the micrite matrix. Stylolites have been filled with dolomite. (C) Block 3, magnification at 25 × shows the upper half of the thin section in CPL. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, grain size ranges from fine sand to very fine pebbles, poorly sorted. Contains crinoids (500 μm to 2 mm), bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (500 μm to 2 mm), ostracods (125–450 μm), and gastropods (750 μm to 2 mm). (D) Block 6, magnification at 25 ×. This facies is a skeletal wackestone, very fine to very coarse grained, and poorly sorted. It contains 25% skeletal grains, 65% micrite matrix, 4% dead oil, and 6% blocky calcite cement (visual estimation). Skeletal grains include brachiopods (400–750 μm), crinoids (62.5 μm to 1 mm), bryozoans (62.5 μm to 2 mm). Dead oil can be seen along the stylolites.

Figure 14.

Thin section photomicrographs from two separate samples of a debris flow bed surrounding Block 1 of Figure 2 to show its composition relative to each of the blocks. (A) Sample 1, magnification at 25 ×. (B) Sample 1, magnification at 50 ×. (C) Sample 2, magnification at 25 ×. (D) Sample 2, magnification at 50 ×. This facies is a wackestone–packstone from the debris flow deposits within the Compton Limestone. It contains very poorly sorted, chaotic, unstratified mudstone clasts ranging in size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles. The mudstone clasts are surrounded by a deformed matrix of fine to coarse grained bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (400–700 μm), and crinoids (125 μm to 2 mm). These skeletal components are also contained within the mud clasts. Wispy stylolites, calcite cement, and pyrite can also be seen throughout.

Figure 14.

Thin section photomicrographs from two separate samples of a debris flow bed surrounding Block 1 of Figure 2 to show its composition relative to each of the blocks. (A) Sample 1, magnification at 25 ×. (B) Sample 1, magnification at 50 ×. (C) Sample 2, magnification at 25 ×. (D) Sample 2, magnification at 50 ×. This facies is a wackestone–packstone from the debris flow deposits within the Compton Limestone. It contains very poorly sorted, chaotic, unstratified mudstone clasts ranging in size from very coarse sand to very coarse pebbles. The mudstone clasts are surrounded by a deformed matrix of fine to coarse grained bryozoans (125 μm to 1 mm), brachiopods (400–700 μm), and crinoids (125 μm to 2 mm). These skeletal components are also contained within the mud clasts. Wispy stylolites, calcite cement, and pyrite can also be seen throughout.

Figure 15.

Petrel image showing a channel system entering a basin composed of Mississippian strata. The image was extracted in time using application of the sweetness attribute and Petrel’s geobody interpretation tool. Vertical lines throughout the image represent current well bores throughout the proprietary area. The image is evidence for mass transport in a distally steepened ramp setting in the Mississippian of the U.S. midcontinent, as the channel may have provided a pathway for flow of mass transport sediments.

Figure 15.

Petrel image showing a channel system entering a basin composed of Mississippian strata. The image was extracted in time using application of the sweetness attribute and Petrel’s geobody interpretation tool. Vertical lines throughout the image represent current well bores throughout the proprietary area. The image is evidence for mass transport in a distally steepened ramp setting in the Mississippian of the U.S. midcontinent, as the channel may have provided a pathway for flow of mass transport sediments.

Figure 16.

Mechanisms for initiation of block movement on a distally steepened ramp. (A) Block movement initiated by sediment loading involves buildup of automicrite, which forms a rigid body and acts as extra weight on the ramp triggering a slide. (B) Block movement initiated by syndepositional tectonism. Syndepositional tectonism was active during the Early Mississippian in the form of compressional and strike-slip fault movements and is the favored mechanism for initiation of block movement (Evans et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013). Modified from Gawthorpe and Clemmey (1985), Coniglio (1986), and Schlager (2005).

Figure 16.

Mechanisms for initiation of block movement on a distally steepened ramp. (A) Block movement initiated by sediment loading involves buildup of automicrite, which forms a rigid body and acts as extra weight on the ramp triggering a slide. (B) Block movement initiated by syndepositional tectonism. Syndepositional tectonism was active during the Early Mississippian in the form of compressional and strike-slip fault movements and is the favored mechanism for initiation of block movement (Evans et al., 2011; Boardman, 2013). Modified from Gawthorpe and Clemmey (1985), Coniglio (1986), and Schlager (2005).

Table 1.

Width and height dimensions for the six blocks within the Compton Limestone at the Jane outcrop for comparison.

Block #WidthHeight
Block 130 ft (9.1 m)9.2 ft (2.8 m)
Block 26.5 ft (2.0 m)2.1 ft (0.6 m)
Block 35.4 ft (1.6 m)2.5 ft (0.8 m)
Block 47.2 ft (2.2 m)3.5 ft (1.1 m)
Block 52.1 ft (0.6 m)1.8 ft (0.5 m)
Block 63.1 ft (0.9 m)0.7 ft (0.2 m)
Block #WidthHeight
Block 130 ft (9.1 m)9.2 ft (2.8 m)
Block 26.5 ft (2.0 m)2.1 ft (0.6 m)
Block 35.4 ft (1.6 m)2.5 ft (0.8 m)
Block 47.2 ft (2.2 m)3.5 ft (1.1 m)
Block 52.1 ft (0.6 m)1.8 ft (0.5 m)
Block 63.1 ft (0.9 m)0.7 ft (0.2 m)
Table 2.

Thin section image labels. Porosity types are based on the classification by Choquette and Pray (1970).

Thin Section Image Labels
Feature keyPorosity key
BRbrachiopodMWmud wispFRfracture
BYbryozoanMCmud clastsIPinterparticle
CcoralOostracodIXintercrystalline
CCcalcite cementOILoil/dead oilMOmoldic
CRcrinoidPHphosphateVUvug
DdolomitePYpyriteWPintraparticle
FRfractureQquartzWXintracrystalline
GSTgastropodSstylolite  
LlaminationSPspicule  
Mmud/mudstoneTtrilobite  
Thin Section Image Labels
Feature keyPorosity key
BRbrachiopodMWmud wispFRfracture
BYbryozoanMCmud clastsIPinterparticle
CcoralOostracodIXintercrystalline
CCcalcite cementOILoil/dead oilMOmoldic
CRcrinoidPHphosphateVUvug
DdolomitePYpyriteWPintraparticle
FRfractureQquartzWXintracrystalline
GSTgastropodSstylolite  
LlaminationSPspicule  
Mmud/mudstoneTtrilobite  

Contents

GeoRef

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