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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 68 (1984)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 532

Last Page: 532

Title: Sedimentological Cross Section of Cambro-Ordovician Carbonate Shelf (Knox Group, Conasauga Formation) in Central Alabama: Facies, Diagenesis, Potential Reservoirs: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Linda Raine Sternbach


Cambro-Ordovician thrust-imbricated carbonates in central Alabama are the focus of renewed exploration interest. Samples from east-west-trending core holes within the surface-most thrust plates reconstruct the carbonate shelf and shelf-edge facies before deformation. The Upper Cambrian shelf margin now is in the subsurface of Talledega County; coeval dolostones in the western part of the state represent the former shelf interior. Rock analogs to former environments include the following. (1) Barrier shoals (Conasauga Formation)--dark colored, partially dolomitized ooid and skeletal grainstones. (2) Submerged back-barrier and offshelf dolomitized sediments (lower Knox Group)--western belt: finely crystalline algal thrombolites, fenestral dolopelmicrites, rippled beds; east rn belt: finely laminated dolostones, slope-derived pebbles and graded beds. (3) Tidal flats (upper Knox Group)--light-colored, crystalline dolostones, dolomitized pellet grainstones, algal laminites, pseudomorphs after sulfates and early diagenetic chertification. (4) Former emergent shelf-(Knox unconformity)--pelmicrite, skeletal wackestones, erosional chert pebble conglomerate.

Multiple possibilities for hydrocarbon reservoirs appear throughout the sequence. Vuggy and intercrystalline dolostone porosity is primarily in the lower Knox formations. Primary interparticle pores are retained in lower Knox algal buildups. Breccia porosity occurs in the strata below the Knox unconformity through solution of the underlying Knox Group. Fractures in the subsurface are believed to enhance permeability in all porosity types.

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