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A southern proximal and a northern distal flysch facies are recognized in lower Stanley strata over an area of 5,000 sq mi in the southern and central Ouachita Mountains. Four distinctive tuffs (25-120 ft thick) interbedded with marine graywackes and shales serve as key units for detailed correlation of 8 sections 500-1,500 ft thick. Sandstone geometry, lithology, sedimentary structures, and ratio of sandstone to shale in the proximal and distal facies are similar to modern deep sea fans and associated basin sediments off the southern California coast. Individual sandstones appear to be discontinuous finger- to fan-shaped bodies on isopach and paleocurrent maps.
A gradational contact (10-100 ft) between the Arkansas Novaculite and the overlying lower Stanley strata over most of the Ouachitas records a gradual change from predominantly biological/chemical precipitation to clastic sedimentation. A local high, or highs, in the Ouachita trough is indicated by (1) novaculite conglomerate lenses, (2) an angular unconformity, and (3) thinning of the tuffs and strata between the tuffs.
The lower 500 ft of the Stanley Group is predominantly a distal flysch facies of shales and thin (6-in.) siltstones over much of the Ouachitas. The distal facies was superseded by a prograding wedge of proximal flysch facies in the southern Ouachitas. The proximal facies changes laterally to a distal flysch facies in the central Ouachitas. The source area may have been a northeastern extension of the buried Luling overthrust front of Texas.
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