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Sediment-routing controls on sandstone bulk petrographic composition and texture across an ancient shelf; example from Cretaceous Western Interior Basin, Utah and Colorado, U.S.A.

Janifar H. Lupin and Gary J. Hampson
Sediment-routing controls on sandstone bulk petrographic composition and texture across an ancient shelf; example from Cretaceous Western Interior Basin, Utah and Colorado, U.S.A.
Journal of Sedimentary Research (October 2020) 90 (10): 1389-1409

Abstract

Sediment-routing controls on sandstone texture and bulk petrography have been evaluated in linked alluvial-coastal-shelfal deposits of the Upper Cretaceous Castlegate Sandstone, Blackhawk Formation, Star Point Sandstone, and Mancos Shale (Western Interior Basin, Utah and Colorado, USA) using thin-section analysis of representative outcrop samples in the context of a high-resolution sequence stratigraphic and paleogeographic framework. The studied strata record deposition from two styles of sediment-routing system within an overfilled foredeep and contiguous intra-continental seaway. First, multiple transverse drainages supplied sand to fluvial, shoreline, and shelf segments of sediment-routing systems characterized by down-dip transport distances of 150-450 km and significant strike-oriented sediment transport along the shoreline. Second, the distal shoreline-shelf segment of an axially supplied sediment-routing system was characterized by sand transport for a distance of c. 300 km. Bulk petrographic composition indicates that transverse sediment-routing systems were sourced from catchments that supplied quartz-rich sand with a subordinate lithic component, while the large axial sediment-routing system was sourced from a catchment(s) supplying slightly more feldspathic sand. Thin-section measurements of mean grain size, sorting, skewness, and ratio of minimum-to-maximum diameter (a proxy for sphericity) are similar for sandstones deposited in fluvial, shoreline, and shelf segments of the transverse sediment-routing systems and in the shoreline-shelf segment of the axial sediment-routing systems, although hydrodynamic sorting is important in locally segregating grain-size populations within each segment. Further, textural analysis of detrital quartz, feldspar, and lithic sand-grain populations shows little evidence of relative change in mean grain size or apparent grain sphericity with downsystem distance, implying that sand-grain populations of different petrographic composition did not undergo significant differential mechanical breakdown during transport. Instead, the textural characteristics of these sand-grain populations are inferred to have been controlled mainly by bedrock lithology and recycling in source catchments. The textural signal of sediment-source areas then propagated downsystem in the sand fraction of detrital sediment supply. This inference is supported by the fine- to medium-grained, well- to very well-sorted character of all sandstone samples, consistent with recycling of sandstones and quartzites from the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt.


ISSN: 1527-1404
EISSN: 1938-3681
Serial Title: Journal of Sedimentary Research
Serial Volume: 90
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Sediment-routing controls on sandstone bulk petrographic composition and texture across an ancient shelf; example from Cretaceous Western Interior Basin, Utah and Colorado, U.S.A.
Affiliation: Imperial College London, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, South Kensington Campus, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 1389-1409
Published: 202010
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 97
Accession Number: 2021-003325
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 2 tables, sketch maps
N37°00'00" - N42°00'00", W114°04'60" - W109°04'60"
N37°00'00" - N41°00'00", W109°00'00" - W102°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2021, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 2021
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