Abstract

The Permian Kookfontein Formation forms part of the upper Ecca Group in the southwestern part of the main Karoo Basin of South Africa. It occupies a stratigraphic position between the underlying Skoorsteenberg Formation and the overlying Waterford Formation, with its regional extent limited to the cut-off boundaries of the Skoorsteenberg Formation. The Kookfontein Formation has an average thickness of 200 m, coarsens upwards, and predominantly comprises dark grey shale, siltstone and thin- to thick-bedded, fine- to very fine-grained, feldspathic litharenite. Characteristic upward-coarsening and thickening successions and syn-sedimentary deformation features reflect rapid deposition and progradation of a predominantly fluvially-dominated prodelta and delta front slope environment. The upward increase in the abundance of wave–ripple marks further indicates a gradual shallowing of the depositional environment through time. The upper contact with the Waterford Formation is gradational, which indicates a transition from deposition in an unstable upper slope/shelf margin environment to a more stable shelf setting.

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