Many sequence stratigraphic studies have emphasized the important role of eustatic change on sequence architecture, led to large extent by studies in the Book Cliffs region of Utah and Colorado. This paper by Madof et al. tests the hypothesis that deposition within the late Cretaceous western interior foreland basin was modulated by the interaction of eustatic change and regional patterns of flexural subsidence—and suggest that it fails. The paper describes new insights concerning relationships among deposition (shallow marine, marginal marine, nonmarine facies), thickness trends, and geometrical relationships. The data suggest syndepositional tilting markedly influenced patterns, and cast doubt on the flexure-eustatic conceptual model for the origin of sequences in this area. Instead, the authors explain the patterns of deposition within the Book Cliffs in terms of an actively deforming basin, and propose that stratigraphic architecture can be fully understood only in three dimensions.
Tectonically controlled nearshore deposition: Cozzette Sandstone, Book Cliffs, Colorado, U.S.A. by Andrew S. Madof, Nicholas Christie-Blick, and Mark H. Anders