Abstract

The sequence stratigraphic architectures of shallow-marine deposits in the upper Cretaceous Star Point Sandstone are analyzed over a large (c. 100 km), nearly continuous outcrop section aligned oblique to depositional strike. The unit consists of five parasequences that predominantly comprise wave-dominated shoreface–shelf deposits. Two parasequences contain riverdominated delta-front deposits locally. Within each parasequence, wave-dominated shoreface–shelf deposits record 7–45 km of ESE- to ENE-directed progradation of a linear to moderately lobate shoreline that was supplied with sediment by longshore drift and subjected to strong offshore sediment transport by storms. Wave-dominated shoreface sandstones in each parasequence thin and wedge out over short distances (< 500 m) at their updip pinchouts. Lower-shoreface sandstones in each parasequence split down dip into multiple, vertically stacked, upward-coarsening bedsets separated by tongues of offshore mudstones in distal locations associated with rapid deepening of antecedent paleobathymetry. River-dominated delta-front deposits define progradation of strongly lobate shorelines in an overall direction oriented subparallel to the regional shoreline trend and into locations sheltered from wave energy. These progradation directions are consistent with deflection of the deltas by wave-driven longshore currents.

The arrangement of parasequences in the Star Point Sandstone defines an overall concave-landward shoreline trajectory, with decreasing progradation and increasing aggradation through time. Along-strike variations in this trajectory pattern reflect increased tectonic subsidence towards the north combined with highly localized, large-volume, fluvial sediment supply near the northwestern limit of the study area during deposition of an areally extensive (> 800 km2) river-dominated delta-front complex (Panther Tongue). This highly focused fluvial sediment flux probably occurred via a structurally controlled sediment entry point between two active thrusts.

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