Abstract

Cenomanian-Santonian strata contain about 60% of the known Cretaceous coal resources of Utah. The areal and temporal distribution of these resources can be related to the transgressive-regressive history of the western shoreline of the Interior Cretaceous seaway. Two orders of transgressive-regressive cycles, the larger of which corresponds to third-order cycles of Vail et al., are deemed important in analyzing the distribution of coal in Utah. The largest coal fields are associated with extensive vertical stacking of the deposits of what are here termed fourth-order cycles at the transgressive and regressive maxima of third-order cycles. Deposits of transgressive and regressive phases of third-order cycles contain only minor amounts of coal. This genetic relationship may prove useful in predicting areas of important Cretaceous coal resources in deeper parts of structural basins in the Rocky Mountain region.

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