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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 22 (1938)

Issue: 12. (December)

First Page: 1709

Last Page: 1709

Title: Theory of Reef Barriers: ABSTRACT

Author(s): E. Russell Lloyd

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Studies of the organic reefs of the Permian basin and their relationships to rocks of contemporaneous age show a pronounced threefold facies, which the writer proposes to call the reef facies, the lagoonal facies and the "pontic" facies, the latter being a new name proposed for the facies group of which the Delaware Mountain formation, the black shales of the Black Shale basin, the Bone Spring formation of the Delaware basin, and the type Leonard formation (not including the Hess facies) of the Glass Mountains are good examples. The reefs form natural barriers, separating the rocks of pontic facies from the sharply contrasted lagoonal facies which, in the Permian basin, consist of dolomitic limestones grading laterally into anhydrite and rock salt.

By analogy, the reef barriers may serve as adequate explanation of the origin of all thick salt and anhydrite (or gypsum) deposits such as the New York salt and gypsum deposits, the thick salt deposits of western Colorado, the Stassfurt salt deposits of Germany, and many others. In each case we should expect a lateral gradation from the salt and gypsum (or anhydrite) into dolomitic limestone.

Likewise, reef barriers may be the explanation for such contrasts as the early Paleozoic Ouachita facies (pontic facies) of the Ouachita Mountains with the contemporaneous, dominantly limestone facies (lagoonal) of the Arbuckle Mountains. In like manner, the Ordovician Marathon facies (pontic) may be separated by a reef barrier from the contemporaneous foreland (lagoonal) facies.

Similarly, a reef barrier rather than a permanent land barrier may account for the contrast between deposits of the Chazy trough (lagoonal facies) and the Levis trough (pontic facies) of the Appalachian geosyncline.

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