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Abstract: Controls on the Depositional Architecture of the Pennsylvanian Hermosa Group, Paradox Basin.

BROWN, ALAN LEE, Amoco Production Company, Houston, TX.


The depositional architecture of the Carboniferous System associated with the Paradox Basin is controlled by basin configuration, the interactive effects of eustasy and tectonism, with an overprint of local climatic fluctuations causing variations in transport and deposition of sedimentary material. The dominant effects of each of these controls can be identified within this commingling array of sequential sedimentary strata and used to describe their depositional consequences.

The apparent cyclic nature of the Carboniferous System of the Four-comers area has been cited as an ancient example of the dominance of eustasy on depositional architecture in a predominately carbonate-evaporite sequence. However, the close association of thick intervals of clastic fan-delta facies adjacent to and in relative time equivalent position suggest a more complex control on deposition.

Eustasy, tectonics and climate probably all affected sediment yields, dispersal patterns, and timing of delivery. It is hypothesized that the effects and roles of these factors can be differentiated through a thorough regional study combining outcrop and an extensive subsurface data base, managed and analyzed in a workstation-based environment.

By delineating the stratal architecture along several trends around the Paradox basin, the depositional consequences of eustatic and tectonic process interaction should be definable. This presentation will discuss the initial results and evaluation techniques employed to deferenciate these depositional responses from each of the forces that affected them.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah