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Outcrop descriptions and fossils from the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation, Wind River Basin and adjacent areas, Wyoming: Chapter 11 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas resources in the Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming

Data Series 69-J-11

This report is Chapter 11 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas resources in the Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming. For more information, see: Data Series 69-J.
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Abstract

The Wind River Basin of central Wyoming trends west-northwest from near the community of Alcova to near the town of Dubois (fig. 1). On the perimeter of the basin, outcrops of the Frontier Formation were examined and described during the years 1972-1975. Invertebrate fossils were collected from those outcrops during the years 1972-1996, in places with the assistance of other earth scientists (see Acknowledgments). The Frontier Formation in the Wind River Basin, ranging in thickness from 650 to 1,000 ft thick, consists mainly of sandstone, siltstone, shale, and bentonite of early Late Cretaceous age. The Frontier conformably overlies the Mowry Shale and is conformably overlain by the Cody Shale. A basal unit of the Cody, a sequence of marine noncalcareous shale, is named the Sage Breaks Member. The Frontier consists of two or three members, separated by disconformities; in ascending order, the Belle Fourche, Emigrant Gap, and Wall Creek. At several localities, the Emigrant Gap Member is missing. The formation was deposited mainly in marine environments, although nonmarine beds are conspicuous in the western part of the basin. Strata of the Frontier record a succession of marine regressions and transgressions. Molluscan fossils from the marine beds were identified and related to the chronostratigraphic chart shown in figure 2. The absolute ages on the chart were determined and supplied by J.D. Obradovich (Cobban and others, 2006). In this region, the Belle Fourche is of Cenomanian age, the Emigrant Gap is of early middle Turonian age, and the Wall Creek is of late Turonian and early Coniacian ages. The main purpose of this report is to present biostratigraphic information from studies of the Frontier Formation in the Wind River Basin that could be useful for future stratigraphic investigations of the formation throughout Wyoming. Locations of outcrop sections and associated fossil collections are depicted on accompanying maps and aerial photographs. Graphic descriptions of strata in the outcrops and identifications of fossils from nearby localities also are presented. Those fossils named on the graphic sections commonly have the most restricted time-spans. Fossils collected near the outcrops studied are not always named on the enclosed graphic sections because (1) the specimens are less useful for dating the enclosing beds, (2) the specimens are duplicates, or (3) the specimens could not be related to specific strata in the sections. The names, locations, and members of the outcrop sections and the approximate ages of the constituent strata are summarized in table 1. The index maps used to show locations of outcrop sections and fossil collections are from scanned versions of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps of various scales and were obtained from TerraServer®. The portion of each map used depended on the areal distribution of the localities involved. The named quadrangles used for locality descriptions, however, all refer to 7½-minute, 1:24,000-scale quadrangles (for example, “Alcova”). The aerial photographs also are from TerraServer®; http://www.terraserver.com/.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Outcrop descriptions and fossils from the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation, Wind River Basin and adjacent areas, Wyoming: Chapter 11 in Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas resources in the Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming
Series title:
Data Series
Series number:
69-J-11
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Wind River Basin Province Assessment Team
Description:
vi, 95 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Petroleum systems and geologic assessment of oil and gas resources in the Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming (Data Series 69-J)
Country:
United States
State:
Wyoming
Other Geospatial:
Wind River Basin Province