The Campanian Desert Member and Lower Castlegate Sandstone in the Book Cliffs of east-central Utah to western Colorado, USA, has served as a foundational data set in the development of sequence stratigraphy. Contrary to previous work, no third-order sequence boundaries are recognized. These were originally thought to partition the neighboring coastal plain and shallow marine facies belts into separate systems tracts, unlinked in time or space. In contrast, adjoining channel-coastal plain and shallow marine facies belts are genetically-, temporally-, and spatially-related. Evidence includes the (i) synchronous, strongly progradational stacking patterns within each facies belt, (ii) gradational and conformable transitions between adjoining facies belts, accentuated by the ubiquity of flat-topped, rooted foreshore sandstones passing upwards into carbonaceous-rich-mudstone-dominated coastal plain, (iii) parasequence-scale interfingering of coastal plain-channel and foreshore-shoreface deposits, with channels, white caps and coals embedded within stacked shoreface parasequences, (iv) regional correlation of coals and flooding surfaces, and (v) near orthogonal paleocurrent relationship between channels and shorelines. Terminal channels incise into proximal foreshore-shoreface sandstones in most Desert-Castlegate parasequences. Incisions are generally confined to the parasequence in which the channels are nested, rarely cutting deeper. These shoreface-incised channels are cut and filled at a parasequence-scale, and are bounded above by the same flooding surface that caps each foreshore-shoreface package. The ubiquity of ascending regressive shoreface trajectories and near absence of descending regressive trajectories that intersect depositional slope argues against any significant sea level fall. Increased rates of sediment supply, driven by autogenic and/or allogenic processes, likely generated the strongly progradational Desert-Castlegate great tongue of sandstone.

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