ABSTRACT

Submarine fans deposited in structurally complex settings record important information on basin evolution and tectonic–sedimentary relationships but are often poorly preserved in outcrops due to syndepositional and post depositional deformation. This study aims to understand the influence of tectonics on the deposition of the synorogenic Pennsylvanian lower Atoka submarine fan system deposited in a structurally complex foreland basin during the Ouachita orogeny. This study is a synthesis of new outcrop stratigraphic data as well as published stratigraphic and structural data. The lower Atoka crops out in the Ouachita Mountains and the southern Arkoma Basin and is divided into three structural–depositional zones: the foredeep, the wedge top, and the continental foreland. The mean paleoflow is axial, and each zone exhibits unique patterns in facies distribution. The foredeep consists of two fan systems, a large westward-prograding fan that exhibits significant longitudinal and lateral facies changes, and a small eastward-prograding fan on the western part. The wedge top consists of a westward-prograding fan that exhibits subtle longitudinal facies change. The continental foreland consists of small slope fan systems along the northern and western margins. By comparing to basin morphology and structural styles, we interpret the facies distribution patterns in the three zones as the result of different combinations of lateral structural confinement, axial and lateral sediment supply, and paleogeography. This study provides an improved and comprehensive understanding of the lower Atoka deepwater system and has implications for deciphering the tectonic–sedimentary relationships in laterally confined submarine fan systems.

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