The interplay between sedimentation and salt rise around a diapir results in distinct geometries that can be used to determine the structural and stratigraphic history within a basin. Using new geologic mapping, measured stratigraphic sections, and subsurface interpretations of seismic and well logs, we describe circum-diapir stratal geometries and deformation at the Sinbad Valley salt wall in the proximal, northeastern Paradox Basin, southwest Colorado (USA). We interpret these geometries in the context of newly recognized halokinetic features and salt-associated deformation (megaflaps, counterregional faults, intrasalt inclusions), present a revised stratigraphic and salt tectonic history of Sinbad Valley diapir, and compare these proximal features to those at the distal Gypsum Valley diapir and infer local versus regional controls on their formation. The deposition of conglomerates within the Paradox Formation, now preserved as intrasalt inclusions in the center of Sinbad Valley, record early elevation of the Uncompahgre Uplift. Subsequent differential sedimentary loading resulted in initiation of passive diapirism during the late Pennsylvanian through the latest Triassic/Early Jurassic, facilitated by movement on a NE-dipping, listric, counterregional fault that extends for >22 km southeast of the diapir. Exposures of a steeply dipping stratal panel of late Pennsylvanian-aged Honaker Trail Formation along the southwestern flank of Sinbad Valley are interpreted as a megaflap, a preserved remnant of the diapir roof that was folded into a vertical position by drape-folding during passive salt rise. Significant lateral changes in the surface geometry and depositional facies of the megaflap define four structural domains that may result from a combination of radial faulting and varying degrees of folding via limb rotation or limb rotation with minor hinge migration. Using key differences between Sinbad Valley and Gypsum Valley salt walls in regard to the megaflap facies, timing of megaflap formation, and the presence of a Paradox Formation conglomeratic intrasalt inclusion, we conclude that salt wall position (i.e., proximal versus distal) within a basin influences the characteristics of some of these features, whereas the timing of other features (e.g., megaflap formation) appears to be similar throughout the basin suggesting a more regional control.
Controls on the structural and stratigraphic evolution of the megaflap-bearing Sinbad Valley salt wall, NE Paradox Basin, SW Colorado
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Jessica Ann Thompson Jobe, Katherine A. Giles, Thomas E. Hearon, Mark G. Rowan, Bruce Trudgill, C. Evelyn Gannaway Dalton, Zane R. Jobe; Controls on the structural and stratigraphic evolution of the megaflap-bearing Sinbad Valley salt wall, NE Paradox Basin, SW Colorado. Geosphere doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/GES02089.1
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