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Facies Architecture of a Tidal Influenced Channel in Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone, Central Utah


This study documents a tidal-influenced fluvial channel in a late stage valley fill of the Turonian Ferron Sandstone Member in Central Utah. Six measured sections show stacked, fining upward channels filling a valley incised into older marine sediments. The lower valley shows tidally influenced deposits, while channel reconstruction shows high sinuosity meandering channel deposits in the upper part of the valley. The surface hierarchy of Miall (1985) was used to describe a four-story sucession of 4th order bounding surfaces separating point bars within the valley fill. Systematic paleohydraulic analysis and bedding geometries allowed for a plan view reconstruction of a meandering, high sinuosity paleochannel. Channel flow depths ranged from 2.5m to 4.0 m deep, with a paleodischarge of 8.25m3/s to 29.04m3/s.

These tide influenced channel deposits represent outcrop analogs useful in the reservoir characterization of heterogeneous tide influenced reservoirs such as the McMurray Formation that host vast bitumen resources in the Athabasca Oil Sands.