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Some questions about the development of Upper Devonian carbonate buildups (reefs), western Canada

Eric Mountjoy
Some questions about the development of Upper Devonian carbonate buildups (reefs), western Canada
Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology (September 1980) 28 (3): 315-344


Some of the key difficulties concerning the development of Upper Devonian carbonate buildups ('reefs') in the Alberta Basin are: recognizing facies and setting up members and formations that reflect as closely as possible the primary depositional patterns.establishing local and regional time markers.determining the causes of carbonate buildup initiation and localization.duration and significance of diastems during carbonate buildup development.determining the factors responsible for termination of the carbonate of basin sedimentation and filling, including factors controlling the Duvernay-Perdrix anoxic basin. In order to help resolve these problems and arrive at suitable buildup and basin models, information from both the subsurface and Rocky Mountain outcrops must be utilized in conjunction with data and concepts derived from Holocene, Pleistocene and other Phanerozoic reefs. The Swan Hills and Leduc carbonate buildups of central and western Alberta have a similar pattern of development: beginning with a shallow-water carbonate platform often above an unconformity or abrupt shift in facies, followed by biohermal and reef complex growth on local carbonate shoals. This pattern represents a major transgressive sequence starting with a slow rise of sea level, followed by a more rapid rise, and finally a period of sea-level stability or still-stand. Carbonate sedimentation kept pace with sea-level changes and probably exposure was frequent, resulting in more gaps than rock record within individual buildups. The main factor that controlled carbonate buildup location and development appears to be sea-level fluctuations. The major changes in sea level seem to be basin wide and probably are epeirogenic or eustatic in origin. Later the amount of terrigenous and carbonate sediment deposited in the basin, controlled by both rates of supply and sea-level changes, also had a major influence on the location and development of the carbonate buildups as irregular carbonate shelf sequences of limited and irregular distribution extended successively basinward. The dominant north-northeast-south-southwest trends of carbonate buildup and platform margins suggest the presence of linear flexure zones across which slight differential subsidence probably occurred in the underlying crystalline basement.

ISSN: 0007-4802
Serial Title: Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology
Serial Volume: 28
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Some questions about the development of Upper Devonian carbonate buildups (reefs), western Canada
Author(s): Mountjoy, Eric
Affiliation: McGill Univ., Dep. Geol. Sci., Montreal, QC, Canada
Pages: 315-344
Published: 198009
Text Language: English
Publisher: Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Calgary, AB, Canada
References: 102
Accession Number: 1981-065184
Categories: Sedimentary petrologyStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Originally presented at Can. Soc. Pet. Geol. Symp. on Recent advances in carbonate sedimentology in Canada, Calgary, Sept. 1979
Illustration Description: illus. incl. chart, sects., strat. cols., geol. sketch map
N50°00'00" - N57°00'00", W119°00'00" - W110°00'00"
Country of Publication: Canada
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1981
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