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WADE, WILLIAM J., Basin Research Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, and CLYDE H. MOORE, JR., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

ABSTRACT: Sequence Stratigraphy of Middle and Upper Jurassic Strata of Southwestern Alabama

Middle and Upper Jurassic systems tracts of southwestern Alabama differ from those of the western Gulf rim, showing: (1) profound influence of antecedent topography; (2) low early subsidence rates; and (3) greater clastic influx from adjacent uplands.

Werner Anhydrite and Louann Salt represent the earliest marine incursion onto the Gulf rim following initial rifting; they onlap upper Paleozoic basement and graben-filling Eagle Mills red beds. Because basin-wide evaporative drawdowns overprint even higher order eustatic sea level changes, transgressive systems tracts (TST) and highstand systems tracts (HST) are indistinguishable. Anhydrite and shale caps accumulated via interstratal halite dissolution.

Oxfordian Norphlet siliciclastics form a continental lowstand systems tract as illustrated by abrupt contact with underlying marine evaporites without intervening progradational marginal marine facies. Marine-reworked uppermost Norphlet sandstone marks the base of a subsequent TST, which includes overstepping lower Smackover lithofacies (laminated mudstone, algal-laminated mudstone, and pellet wackestone).

The upper Smackover HST is characterized by formation of rimmed shelves upon which algal mounds and aggrading ooid grainstone parasequences accumulated. Shallow lagoonal carbonate and evaporite saltern deposition occurred behind ooid shoals; fine-grained siliciclastics accumulated in updip areas. Equivalents of Smackover A, Smackover B, Bossier, and Gilmer sequences are largely masked by influx of Haynesville and Cotton Valley continental clastics. Lack of biostratigraphic data, a consequence of restricted fauna, precludes useful age assignments for these sequences in Alabama. Middle and Upper Jurassic systems tracts of southwestern Alabama are regionally atypical and cannot serve as a model for Gulf-wide sequences.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90989©1993 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 43rd Annual Meeting, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 20-22, 1993.