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Seismic studies along the west flank of the Denver basin near Boulder and Greeley, Colorado illustrate the interrelationship between shallow listric-normal faulting in the Cretaceous and deeper basement-controlled faulting. Deeper fault systems, primarily associated with the Transcontinental arch, control the styles and causative mechanisms of listric-normal faulting that developed in the Cretaceous. Three major stratigraphic levels
of listric-normal faulting occur in the Boulder-Greeley area. These tectonic sensitive intervals are present in the following Cretaceous formations: Laramie-Fox Hills-upper Pierre, middle Pierre Hygiene zone, and the Niobrara-Carlile-Greenhorn. Documentation of the listric-normal fault style reveals a Wattenberg high, a horst block or positive feature of the greater Transcontinental arch, was active in the east Boulder-Greeley area during Cretaceous time. Paleotectonic events associated with the Wattenberg high are traced through analysis of the listric-normal fault systems that occur in the area. These styles are important to recognize because of their stratigraphic and structural influence on Cretaceous petroleum reservoir systems in the Denver basin. Similar styles of listric-norma faulting occur in the Cretaceous in many Rocky Mountain foreland basins.
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