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Depositional Environment and Sequence Stratigraphy of the Dakota Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous) in the Ridgway Area, SW Colorado

Hayet Serradji
Geology Department University of Kansas (KU) 1475 Jayhawk Blvd Lawrence, Kansas
[email protected]

     Facies and sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Lower Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone was completed in SW Colorado. Delta-front sandstones, channel-fill sandstone, and deltaplain and/or floodplain siltstone are the dominant facies. Delta-front sandstones are upward-coarsening intervals, with abundant planar-to-current-rippled beds indicating river dominance. Individual deltas can be traced for up to 10 km and show facies changes from distributary channel to proximal delta to distal delta-front settings. The facies belts are usually over 3 km width. Arenicolites, found throughout the deltaic intervals, is interpreted to indicate stressed, possibly brackish-water conditions.

Eight parasequences are present. Parasequence boundaries correspond to a sudden increase of accommodation seen by the vertical stacking of the various depositional facies. In places, a thin (cm-thick) coal horizon defines the Parasequences boundaries, which can be traced up to 5km. Parasequences at the base of the studied interval usually contain floodplain/deltaplain or fluvial deposits. Paresequence toward the top of the studied interval contain deltaic deposits and record the sudden input of coarser material to the study area. Progressively greater wave influence is observed in the deltas that are stratigraphically higher in the section, seen through the presence of thick HCS and (10 to 15 cm) wave-ripple beds towards the top of the formation. This vertical stacking of parasequences (greater marine influence up section) is interpreted to reflect a gradual landward movement of the shoreline across the study area throughout while the Dakota accumulated. Based on this, a retrogradational parasequence stacking pattern is inferred.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90070 © 2007 AAPG Foundation Grants in Aid