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Outcrops from Central Missouri as Analogs for Microbialite Facies in the Cambro-Ordovician Arbuckle Group of Kansas

Parcell, William 1
1 Department of Geology, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS.

Recent scholarship of the Cambro-Ordovician Arbuckle Group in Kansas has revealed that stratigraphic, depositional and diagenetic processes significantly influenced the reservoir quality of this primarily karst (unconformity-related) hydrocarbon play. These studies also indicate that microbial boundstones represent some of the best reservoir quality lithofacies. Yet, microbialite occurrence and stratigraphic distribution remains poorly understood in this unit.

Exposures of the Arbuckle Group strata in central and southern Missouri provide suitable analogs for microbial reservoir lithofacies in the Arbuckle of Kansas. The Arbuckle of Missouri contains both thrombolitic and stromatolitic lithofacies. There is a predictable relationship between microbial facies and specific lithologies, depositional environments and stratigraphic units. Thrombolite fabrics are typically associated with deep-water mudstones within transgressive deposits. These thrombolitic facies are particularly prevalent in the Gasconade Dolomite. Stromatolitic fabrics are often found within mixed carbonate-siliciclastic deposits, and formed in intertidal to shallow subtidal settings. Stromatolitic facies are found throughout the Arbuckle Group, but are most common in the regressive deposits of the Roubidoux and Jefferson City-Cotter Formations.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009