Facies analysis and sequence stratigraphic framework of upper Campanian strata (Neslen and Mount Garfield formations, Bluecastle Tongue of the Castlegate sandstone, and Mancos shale), Eastern Book cliffs, Colorado and Utah

Data Series 69-G
By:  and 



Facies and sequence-stratigraphic analysis identifies six high-resolution sequences within upper Campanian strata across about 120 miles of the Book Cliffs in western Colorado and eastern Utah. The six sequences are named after prominent sandstone units and include, in ascending order, upper Sego sequence, Neslen sequence, Corcoran sequence, Buck Canyon/lower Cozzette sequence, upper Cozzette sequence, and Cozzette/Rollins sequence. A seventh sequence, the Bluecastle sequence, is present in the extreme western part of the study area. Facies analysis documents deepening- and shallowing- upward successions, parasequence stacking patterns, downlap in subsurface cross sections, facies dislocations, basinward shifts in facies, and truncation of strata.All six sequences display major incision into shoreface deposits of the Sego Sandstone and sandstones of the Corcoran and Cozzette Members of the Mount Garfield Formation. The incised surfaces represent sequence-boundary unconformities that allowed bypass of sediment to lowstand shorelines that are either attached to the older highstand shorelines or are detached from the older highstand shorelines and located southeast of the main study area. The sequence boundary unconformities represent valley incisions that were cut during successive lowstands of relative sea level. The overlying valley-fill deposits generally consist of tidally influenced strata deposited during an overall base level rise. Transgressive surfaces can be traced or projected over, or locally into, estuarine deposits above and landward of their associated shoreface deposits. Maximum flooding surfaces can be traced or projected landward from offshore strata into, or above, coastal-plain deposits. With the exception of the Cozzette/Rollins sequence, the majority of coal-bearing coastal-plain strata was deposited before maximum flooding and is therefore within the transgressive systems tracts. Maximum flooding was followed by strong progradation of parasequences and low preservation potential of coastal-plain strata within the highstand systems tract. The large incised valleys, lack of transgressive retrogradational parasequences, strong progradational nature of highstand parasequences, and low preservation of coastal-plain strata in the highstand systems tracts argue for relatively low accommodation space during deposition of the Sego, Corcoran, and Cozzette sequences. The Buck Canyon/Cozzette and Cozzette/Rollins sequences contrast with other sequences in that the preservation of retrogradational parasequences and the development of large estuaries coincident with maximum flooding indicate a relative increase in accommodation space during deposition of these strata. Following maximum flooding, the Buck Canyon/Cozzette sequence follows the pattern of the other sequences, but the Cozzette/Rollins sequence exhibits a contrasting offlapping pattern with development of offshore clinoforms that downlap and eventually parallel its maximum flooding surface. This highstand systems tract preserves a thick coal-bearing section where the Rollins Sandstone Member of the Mount Garfield Formation parasequences prograde out of the study area, stepping up as much as 800 ft stratigraphically over a distance of about 90 miles. This progradational stacking pattern indicates a higher accommodation space and increased sedimentation rate compared to the previous sequences.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Facies analysis and sequence stratigraphic framework of upper Campanian strata (Neslen and Mount Garfield formations, Bluecastle Tongue of the Castlegate sandstone, and Mancos shale), Eastern Book cliffs, Colorado and Utah
Series title Data Series
Series number 69
Chapter G
ISBN 0607908645
DOI 10.3133/ds69G
Edition Version 1.0
Year Published 2004
Language ENGLISH
Description 46 p. report, 7 plates and appendices
Scale 1000000
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