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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 23 (1939)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 559

Last Page: 581

Title: Verden Sandstone of Oklahoma--an Exposed Shoestring Sand of Permian Age

Author(s): N. Wood Bass (2)


The Verden sandstone is a remarkable narrow elongated body of sandstone which crops out in a long line of flat-topped buttes extending northwestward a distance of 75 miles from Stephens County, through southwestern Grady and northeastern Caddo counties, into Canadian County, Oklahoma. It has long been of interest to petroleum geologists because of the similarity of many of its features to those of the shoestring oil-producing sands of northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. The Verden sandstone body is only 10 feet thick and less than 1,000 feet wide at most places. It lies in the redbeds portion of the Permian series. The sandstone occupies everywhere the same stratigraphic position within a range of a few feet, in the redbeds, and lies within a sequence of regula ly bedded thinly laminated silty sandstone, silt, and gypsum of the Marlow formation. It is characterized by relatively thick beds of medium- to coarse-grained sandstone which are steeply cross-bedded with northwest dips, and are interbedded with thin beds of fine-grained horizontally laminated sandy shale. The sand grains have a wide range in size but are sorted into layers in which grains of a single size predominate. The fine-grained beds contain wave ripple marks and giant ripple marks that trend nearly parallel with the sandstone belt. The sandstone is a firm hard rock composed of well rounded quartz and subangular chert grains and of calcium carbonate which makes up 50 per cent of the rock. Marine fossils are common.

That the Verden sandstone was deposited as some form of a barrier beach, probably as one or more spits that extended across the mouth of a broad shallow bay, near the shore of a shallow marine sea, is indicated by the evidence collected during this investigation. Apparently the coarse-grained cross-bedded sandstone was deposited by longshore currents that flowed northwestward and the fine-grained beds were deposited during quiescent periods when gentle waves and tides spread fine mud over the nearshore bottom. The coarse material in the sandstone was probably derived from beds of conglomerate in the underlying Duncan sandstone which were exposed near the southeast end of the sandstone belt and probably in other localities in the region. Most of the calcium carbonate in the bed was pro ably deposited originally as granular material composed of shell fragments, and was later dissolved and redeposited; a part may have been precipitated directly out of solution in the sea water and a part may have been precipitated out of water that passed from the lagoons and estuaries seaward through the sand bar soon after it was formed.

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