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Cambrian-Ordovician clastics of the Deadwood Formation were studied in detail from Newporte field in Renville County, North Dakota. This small Cambrian-Ordovician oil pool was extensively cored, often to the Precambrian basement, allowing close examination of clastic deposition influenced by local basement tectonics.
In Renville County, the basal unit consists of a well-rounded, fine to medium-grained glauconitic quartz sandstone. Paleohighs appear to have had a pronounced effect on Deadwood sedimentation. Sands, from quiet water settings, show poor to moderate sorting, are commonly finely laminated, and/or show traces of minor small-scale cross-bedding. In places, bedding planes are highly disrupted, suggesting intervals of intense bioturbation (Skolithos). Sands associated with paleohighs are clean, well sorted, and commonly friable. Their association with basement structure is suggestive of beach-barrier-bar sequences related to irregularly upthrown basement blocks. In one example, this clean basal sand is associated with an upthrown basement block and is sharply truncated by the pre-Winnipeg ( arly Ordovician) unconformity.
The first unit above the basal sandstone in structurally lower wells is an anomalous conglomerate unit. Large angular basement clasts up to cobble size were viewed in core. This unit grades upward into a fine sand sequence and distally grades into a marine sand. It terminates abruptly in upthrown wells and indicates rapid fault movement and offset during middle Deadwood deposition, with development of localized fanglomerate sequences associated with fault scarps.
Immediately capping this sequence is a dark-gray marine shale that thins depositionally toward paleohighs.
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