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Fluvial and lacustrine deposits of the Miocene Wassuk Group, exposed in Coal Valley, west-central Nevada, are divided into five lithofacies: (1) diatomite, claystone, siltstone, and carbonaceous siltstone deposited in a lake with paludal conditions at the margin; (2) upward-coarsening sequences of sandstone deposited on a delta and fan-delta; (3) channel-form sandstone deposited on a distal braided alluvial plain; (4) clast-supported conglomerate deposited on a proxial braided alluvial plain or distal alluvial fan; and (5) matrix-supported conglomerate deposited on a distal to middle alluvial fan. Petrographic analysis records an upsection change from a predominantly andesitic to a predominantly plutonic provenance....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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This fraction, which is enriched in heavy minerals relative to the sand fraction, is mainly detrital but contains a strong authigenic component. The authigenic silt heavy-mineral fraction is largely a product of the lateritic weathering and dominated by iron oxides and alterites. Grains of bladed rutile and leached ilmenite are common. Spatial variability in silt-fraction mineralogy is considerable. Within the Rio Cibuco system variability is related to compositional differences in rapidly eroding source rocks. On the shelf, silt heavy-mineral abundances are greatest at the river mouths and decrease seaward. Variability in the shelf samples is controlled primarily by source rivers and shelf sorting processes.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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Because lower Cook Inlet and Kodiak shelf are being explored and developed for their petroleum resources, it is essential for environmental reasons to understand the sediment dispersal routes and current patterns. The Susitna River flows into upper Cook Inlet and is the source of clay minerals in Holocene deposits found in western lower Cook Inlet. The Copper River, in the northern Gulf of Alaska, provides clay minerals to the Kodiak shelf and southeastern lower Cook Inlet. In addition, crosion of local bedrock outcrops on the shelf produces some clays that are deposited on the Kodiak shelf. Current patterns can be inferred from the clay-mineral distribution pattern. This is true even if the clay-size fraction is...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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High-resolution seismic-reflection data from Great Salt Lake show that the basinal sediment sequence is cut by numerous faults with N-S and NE-SW orientations. This faulting shows evidence of varied timing and relative offsets, but includes at least three events totaling about 12 m following the Bonneville phase of the lake (since about 13.5 ka). Several faults displace the uppermost sediments and the lake floor. Bioherm structures are present above some faults, which suggests that the faults served as conduits for sublacustrine discharge of fresh water. A shallow, fault-controlled ridge between Carrington Island and Promontory Point, underlain by a well-cemented pavement, separates the main lake into two basins....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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The seafloor of the central part of lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, is characterized by the presence of different sizes and types of bedforms. The bedforms in the sandy sediments include straight-crested to sinuous to lunate ripples, small, medium, and large sand waves, sand ridges, sand ribbons, and sand patches. In addition, rocky and pebbly seafloor has been identified. The water depth ranges from 25 to 120 m, and surface currents average 3.8 kt (2 m/s). Bottom currents have been measured at as much as 42 cm/s at 1 m above bottom. Underwater television observations have shown that the rate of sand transport is lower than expected because small amounts of clay and organic matter appear to inhibit remobilization. Only...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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The late Wisconsin Laurentide Ice Sheet advanced across permafrost and reached its maximum extent in Wisconsin between about 18,000 and 15,000 years ago. Deep permafrost persisted in southern Wisconsin until about 14,000 years ago and in northern Wisconsin until about 13,000 years ago. We suggest that during maximum glaciation a zone about 5 km wide in the south and 20 km wide in the north along the margin of the late Wisconsin glacier was frozen to its bed. Meltwater from farther behind the margin, where the bed was at least locally thawed, cut a series of closely spaced tunnel channels through the frozen-bed zone. These channels most likely formed episodically, and they were the source for much of the meltwater-stream...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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The Loma del Kilome??tro Member of the Lower Ordovician Suri Formation records arc-related shelf sedimentation in the Famatina Basin of northwest Argentina. Nine facies, grouped into three facies assemblages, are recognized. Facies assemblage 1 [massive and parallel-laminated mudstones (facies A) locally punctuated by normally graded or parallel-laminated silty sandstones (facies B] records deposition from suspension fall-out and episodic storm-induced turbidity currents in an outer shelf setting. Facies assemblage 2 [massive and parallel-laminated mudstones (facies A) interbedded with rippled-top very fine-grained sandstones (facies D)] is interpreted as the product of background sedimentation alternating with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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Kaolinite usually is present in relatively small amounts in most upper Paleocene and lower Eocene neritic deposits of the northern US Atlantic Coastal Plain. However, there is a short period (less than 200,000 k.y.) in the latest Paleocene (upper part of calcareous nannoplankton Zone NP 9) when kaolinite-dominated clay mineral suites replaced the usual illite/smectite-dominated suites. During this time of global biotic and lithologic changes, kaolinite increased from less than 5% of the clay mineral suite to peak proportions of 50-60% of the suite and then returned to less than 5% in uppermost Paleocene/lowermost Eocene strata. This kaolinite pulse is present at numerous localities from southern Virginia to New...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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Thermokarst processes characterize a variety of ice-rich permafrost terrains and often lead to lake formation. The long-term evolution of thermokarst landscapes and the stability and longevity of lakes depend upon climate, vegetation and ground conditions, including the volume of excess ground ice and its distribution. The current lake status of thermokarst-lake landscapes and their future trajectories under climate warming are better understood in the light of their long-term development. We studied the lake-rich southern marginal upland of the Yukon Flats (northern interior Alaska) using dated lake-sediment cores, observations of river-cut exposures, and remotely-sensed data. The region features thick (up to 40...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
High-frequency stratigraphic sequences that comprise the Desert Member of the Blackhawk Formation, the Lower Castlegate Sandstone, and the Buck Tongue in the Green River area of Utah display changes in sequence architecture from marine deposits to marginal marine deposits to an entirely nonmarine section. Facies and sequence architecture differ above and below the regionally extensive Castlegate sequence boundary, which separates two low-frequency (106-year cyclicity) sequences. Below this surface, high-frequency sequences are identified and interpreted as comprising the highstand systems tract of the low-frequency Blackhawk sequence. Each high-frequency sequence has a local incised valley system on top of the wave-dominated...
Freshwater unionid bivalves are spatially and temporally distributed throughout the Morrison depositional basin, and locally dominate the biomass of many aquatic depositional environments. Two bivalve assemblages are identified. Within-channel assemblages are death assemblages that have been transported and may represent mixed assemblages from multiple communities. These assemblages are predominately disarticulated, in current stable orientations, and composed of higher stream velocity ecophenotypes (medium size, lanceolate form, and very thick shells). The floodplain-pond assemblages are disturbed neighborhood assemblages in the mudstones inhabited during life. The bivalves are predominately articulated, variable...
The importance of dust storms on geological processes has only been studied recently. Case-hardening, desert-varnish formation, duricrust development, reddening and cementation of sediments and caliche formation, are some important geological processes related to dust storms. Dust storms can also be a major source for cements in aeolian sandstones. The Jurassic aeolian Entrada Formation in the Ghost Ranch area is composed of quartz with minor amounts of feldspar and rock fragments, and is cemented with smectite as grain coatings and calcite and kaolinite as pore fillings. Smectite shows a crinkly and honeycomb-like morphology which points to an authigenic origin. The absence of smectite as framework grains and the...
Channel- and lens-shaped deposits of non-eolian red sandstone are enclosed within the eolian Leche-e Member of the Page Sandstone in south-central Utah. Detailed analysis of lithology and geometry, and regional correlation of the red sandstone deposits suggests that the channel-shaped scours and in-filling deposits were formed by ephemeral stream processes, in contrast to earlier interpretations that suggested a marine estuarine origin. We hypothesize that ephemeral streams transporting volcanic debris flowed toward the north and northeast along the western edge of the Page erg. Local avulsion, possibly caused by eolian damming of an adjacent drainage, led to stream flow into low areas of the Page erg. Entrainment...
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Contingency table analysis of pebble lithology and roundness is an effective way to identify the source terrane of a drainage basin and to distinguish changes in basin size, piracy, tectonism, and other events. First, the analysis to terrace gravel deposited by the Huangshui River, northeastern Tibet Plateau, China, shows statistically contrasting pebble populations for the oldest terrace (T7, Dadongling, 1.2. Ma) and the youngest terraces (T0-T3, ?. 0.15. Ma). Two fluvial processes are considered to explain the contrast in correlation between lithology and roundness in T7 gravel versus T0-T3 gravel: 1) reworking of T7 gravel into T0-T3 gravel and 2) growth in the size of the river basin between T7 and T0-T3 times....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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The degree of early diagenesis in eolian dune and interdune sands at White Sands, New Mexico, is largely a function of the relationship between sand location and the water table. Most active and vegetation-stabilized dune sands are in the vadose zone, whereas interdune sands are in the capillary fringe and phreatic zones. Crystallographically controlled dissolution of the framework gypsum grains results in elongate, prismatic etch pits on sand grains from the capillary fringe and phreatic zones, whereas dissolution of sand grains in the vadose zone is slight, causing minute irregularities on grain surfaces. Vadose water percolating through the sand is manifest as meniscus layers. Consequently, dune sands in the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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Field observations and sediment samples at a coastal-plain setting in southeastern Sri Lanka were used to document the erosional and depositional impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and to interpret the hydrodynamic processes that produced an extensive sand-sheet deposit. Tsunami deposit thicknesses ranged from 6 to 22??cm with thickness being controlled partly by antecedent topography. The deposit was composed of coarse to medium sand organized into plane-parallel laminae and a few laminasets. Vertical textural trends showed an overall but non-systematic upward fining and upward thinning of depositional units with an upward increase in heavy-mineral laminations at some locations. Repeated patterns in the vertical...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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The Morrison Formation contains six plant taphofacies: Wood, whole-leaf, leaf-mat, root, common carbonaceous debris, and rare carbonaceous debris. None of these taphofacies is common in the Morrison; particularly striking is the paucity of wood, even in more reducing environments. The flora of the Morrison Formation is distinct in the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian parts of the section. The plant taphofacies are consistent with a predominantly herbaceous vegetation. Evidence from the plant taphofacies, floras, and sedimentology of the Morrison is consistent with a warm, seasonal, semi-arid climate throughout, changing from dry semi-arid to humid semi-arid from the Kimmeridgian to the Tithonian parts of the formation....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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New paleocurrent data indicate that the widespread Late Silurian and Devonian flysch and molasse succession in Maine was deposited in an ancestral, migrating foreland basin adjacent to an advancing Acadian orogenic belt. The foreland-basin sequence spread across a varied Silurian paleogeography of deep basins and small islands-the vestiges of an intraoceanic arc complex that not long before had collided with the Laurentian passive margin during the Ordovician Taconic Orogeny. We report paleocurrents from 43 sites representing 12 stratigraphic units, the most robust and consistent results coming from three units: Madrid Formation (southwesterly paleoflow), Carrabassett Formation (northerly paleoflow), and Seboomook...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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Exposures in the Lake Superior region, and associated geophysical evidence, show that a 2000 km-long rift system developed within the North American craton ??? 1109-1087 Ma, the age span of the most of the volcanic rocks. This system is characterized by immense volumes of mafic igneous rocks, mostly subaerial plateau basalts, generated in two major pulses largely by a hot mantle plume. A new ocean basin was nearly formed before rifting ceased, perhaps due to the remote effect of the Grenville continental collision to the east. Broad sagging/subsidence, combined with a system of axial half-grabens separated along the length of the rift by accommodation zones, provided conditions for the accumulation of as much as...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology