Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Highlights—Throwing the Book Cliffs at Cretaceous Correlations

Exposures of Upper Cretaceous strata in the Book Cliffs have played a key role in the formulation of modern sequence stratigraphic concepts, and yet correlations with time-equivalent strata in nearby regions remain uncertain. This study by Seymour and Fielding presents detailed correlations of the Upper Cretaceous stratigraphy between the Book Cliffs, the Wasatch Plateau, and the western Henry Mountains Syncline in Utah, with focus on facies stacking patterns, and changes in sediment dispersal directions at discrete stratigraphic horizons. Much of the Campanian succession can be characterized as a single, low-frequency (third order) depositional sequence, within which are nested high-frequency sequences.  Although every high-frequency sequence cannot be correlated regionally, four regionally continuous intervals of strata form the basis for the interpretation.  These new correlations, and the improved understanding of paleogeography that they allow, have the potential to inform basin-scale stratigraphic interpretations to a greater extent than has been hitherto possible.

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