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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 7. (July)

First Page: 1088

Last Page: 1100

Title: Sedimentology and Hydrocarbon Potential of Yager Structural Complex--Possible Paleogene Source Rocks in Eel River Basin, Northern California

Author(s): Michael B. Underwood (2)


The Yager structural complex of coastal northern California is composed of Paleogene mudrocks, turbidites, and related deep marine deposits. The strata are folded but lack the severe and pervasive stratal disruption that characterizes surrounding accreted terranes, such as the Franciscan Coastal belt. Lithofacies associations and depositional cycles define three environmental settings: slope, feeder channel, and restricted basin. The rocks probably represent a sequence of trench-slope and slope-basin deposits that accumulated above a broadly coeval basement of accreted Coastal belt rocks.

Yager strata are possible source beds for hydrocarbons within the late Cenozoic Eel River basin. Type III kerogen is dominant, and organic carbon content and hydrocarbon yield are relatively low. Nevertheless, the thermal maturity of Yager shales is well within the window of peak hydrocarbon generation. This level of maturation is attributed to a combination of middle Tertiary thrust faulting and subsequent depositional burial beneath the Neogene Wildcat Group.

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