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Stratigraphic architecture of back-filled incised-valley systems: Pennsylvanian–Permian lower Cutler beds, Utah, USA

Wakefield, Oliver J.W.; Mountney, Nigel P.. 2013 Stratigraphic architecture of back-filled incised-valley systems: Pennsylvanian–Permian lower Cutler beds, Utah, USA. Sedimentary Geology, 298. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2013.10.002

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Abstract/Summary

The Pennsylvanian to Permian lower Cutler beds collectively form the lowermost stratigraphic unit of the Cutler Group in the Paradox Basin, southeast Utah. The lower Cutler beds represent a tripartite succession comprising lithofacies assemblages of aeolian, fluvial and shallow-marine origin, in near equal proportion. The succession results from a series of transgressive–regressive cycles, driven by repeated episodes of climatic variation and linked changes in relative sea-level. Relative sea-level changes created a number of incised-valleys, each forming through fluvial incision during lowered base-level. Aeolian dominance during periods of relative sea-level lowstand aids incised-valley identification as the erosive bounding surface juxtaposes incised-valley infill against stacked aeolian faces. Relative sea-level rises resulted in back-flooding of the incised-valleys and their infill via shallow-marine and estuarine processes. Back-flooded valleys generated marine embayments within which additional local accommodation was exploited. Back-filling is characterised by a distinctive suite of lithofacies arranged into a lowermost, basal fill of fluvial channel and floodplain architectural elements, passing upwards into barform elements with indicators of tidal influence, including inclined heterolithic strata and reactivation surfaces. The incised-valley fills are capped by laterally extensive and continuous marine limestone elements that record the drowning of the valleys and, ultimately, flooding and accumulation across surrounding interfluves (transgressive surface). Limestone elements are characterised by an open-marine fauna and represent the preserved expression of maximum transgression.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2013.10.002
ISSN: 00370738
Date made live: 02 Jan 2014 15:52 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/504384

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