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A Comparison of the Plio-Miocene Sedimentation of the Gulf Coast with the Atokan Sedimentation of the Arkoma Basin: Abstract
The Plio-Miocene sediments and the Atokan sediments represent similar stratigraphic sequences deposited in quite different tectonic settings. The Plio-Miocene units are associated with the organically placid Gulf Coast geosyncline. The indicated pattern of deposition is development of load-produced basins (depocenters) during cyclic offlap. The Atokan units are associated with the Quoachita orogan and represent shelf and through suites. Certain aspects of these stratigraphic sequences are comparable to the modern sediments of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
The depositional patterns of the Plio-Miocene and the Atokan sedimentary prisms reflect structural-sedimentation interrelationships. In each prism, flexure zones demark abrupt thickening of the sedimentary units. The Atoka was deposited on more competent sub-strata than was the Plio-Miocene so that fewer major flexures developed. The depo-axis of the Atoka probably was tectonically controlled (a facies scrap) and the depo-axis of the Plio-Miocene (if properly located) was determined by sedimentary processes.
Although the structural-sedimentation histories are, geologically, the most significant, the Plio-Miocene and the Atoka have a number of other features in common. Each is very predominantly clastic, represents a new area of maximum sediment accumulation in the depositional basin, and displaced a carbonate-shale facies. Prograding deltaic facies dominate the depositional environments but cyclic deposition is a prominant aspect of the sedimentation. Both the Atoka and the Plio-Miocene thicken at comparatively rapid rates and attain greater thicknesses than the associated older and younger sediments.
Kuendig (1959) reasoned that geosynclines should be classified by structural configuration, not sedimentary content. The similarities of the Plio-Miocene and the Atoka Indicate that sedimentary patterns reflect source areas, transport and depositional processes, and topography; not the structure of the catchmeat basin.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 Sun Oil Company Research Laboratory, Richardson, Texas
Copyright © 2006 by the Tulsa Geological Society