--> ABSTRACT: Miocene Fluvial-Tidal Sedimentation in a Residual Forearc Basin of the Northeast Pacific Rim: Cook Inlet, Alaska Case Study, by Gary D. Stricker and Romeo M. Flores; #91019 (1996)

Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Miocene Fluvial-Tidal Sedimentation in a Residual Forearc Basin of the Northeast Pacific Rim: Cook Inlet, Alaska Case Study

Gary D. Stricker and Romeo M. Flores

Cook Inlet in southern Alaska represents a Cenozoic residual forearc basin in a convergent continental margin, where the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the North American Plate. This basin accumulated the >6,700-m-thick, mainly nonmarine, Eocene-Pliocene Kenai Group. These rocks contain biogenic coal-bed methane estimated to be as high as 245 TCF. Lignites to subbituminous coals with subsurface R0 ranging from 0.38 to 0.73 percent and the stage of clay-mineral diagenesis and expandability indicate a thermally "cool" basin.

Miocene Tyonek and Beluga Formations compose 65 percent (>4,300 m thick) of the Kenai Group. The Tyonek includes conglomeratic sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, coals, and carbonaceous shales, interpreted as braided- stream deposits. These fluvial deposits are interbedded with burrowed, lenticular, and flaser-bedded sandstones, siltstones, and mudstones, interpreted as tidal deposits. Tyonek framework conglomerates formed in wet alluvial fans incised on paleovalleys of the Chugach terrane. Coal-forming mires are well developed on abandoned braided-stream deposits. Tyonek drainages formed in high-gradient alluvial plains inundated by tides similar to environments in the modern upper Cook Inlet. The upper Miocene Beluga consists of sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, carbonaceous sha es, and coals deposited in meandering (low sinuosity) and anastomosed fluvial systems. These fluvial deposits alternated vertically with deposits of coal-forming mires. The Beluga drainages formed in low-gradient alluvial plains.

The high-gradient Tyonek alluvial plain was probably controlled by provenance uplift and eustatic change, whereas the low-gradient Beluga alluvial plain was influenced by subdued provenance uplift and rapid basin subsidence. Rapid sedimentation on both these low- and high-gradient alluvial plains, which kept up with subsidence, produced a thermally "cool" basin.

AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California