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Fluvial Sedimentology of the Joggins Formation (Pennsylvanian), Cumberland Basin, Nova Scotia

M. C. Rygel
Dalhousie University, Department of Earth Sciences, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Joggins Formation provides a unique opportunity to study the 1.5 m.y. evolution of fluvial style in a rapidly subsiding Carboniferous flood plain. This 1500 m thick formation outcrops along the Bay of Fundy, where the world’s highest tides expose over 100 channel bodies in a series of 20mhigh cliffs and a 400mwide wave-cut platform.

Despite their abundance and superb three-dimensional exposure, relatively little is known about the Joggins channel bodies. Initial reconnaissance suggests that they represent a wide range of fluvial styles, from small paleovalley fills to meandering, crevasse splay, and fixed-channel deposits. The geometry, depositional environment, architecture, and stratigraphic position of each channel body will be described in order to construct a fluvial classification and hierarchy scheme. This type of detailed sedimentological study is necessary to explain the dramatic changes in paleoflow direction, channel-body geometry, and fluvial architecture present in the Joggins Formation.

Once the channel bodies have been characterized, they will be interpreted in light of the sequence stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental framework of Davies and Gibling (in prep.). Using this approach, it may be possible to gain insight into the role that allo-and autocyclic controls play in determining channel-body geometry and style. In addition, this study will provide valuable information about reservoir facies and heterogeneity.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90902©2001 AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid