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Abstract

Marine mudstone-encased, inner shelf sandstone bodies are concentrated in a 70–90-m-thick interval that spans the upper Aberdeen and lower Kenilworth members (Blackhawk Formation, Campanian), Book Cliffs, eastern Utah. These sandstone bodies contain a complex mixture of event beds including wave or storm-modi-fied turbidites, hummocky cross stratified sandstones, hyperpycnites, and/or classical turbidites. The turbiditic channel-fills and lobes were deposited below fair weather wave base and are detached from their time equivalent shoreface deposits. Shallow marine facies models should be revised to include turbiditic-rich channels and lobes in some inner shelf settings. A three-component shoreface-to-shelf model, consisting of delta front deposits, subaqueous channels, and prodelta turbidites, is proposed to explain the depositional setting and environment of the Mancos Shale–encased sandstone bodies. Oceanic- or river-flood induced hyperpycnal flows were responsible for cutting a network of subaqueous channels on the inner shelf and for transporting fine-grained sediments from the shoreface to the inner shelf. Other Mancos Shale–encased isolated sandstone bodies in eastern Utah and western Colorado should be reexamined in the light of the new data and models presented herein.

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