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The Guadalupe River and Delta of Texas — A Modern Analogue for Some Ancient Fluvial-Deltaic Systems
Fluvial-deltaic systems within the Conemaugh Group (Pennsylvanian) of northern West Virginia are similar to the Guadalupe River and delta of Texas. Similarities include gross lithology, facies distribution, and sandstone geometry. Fluvial environments and closely associated marine environments recognized in the Guadalupe and Conemaugh Group sediments are (1) alluvial channels, (2) distributary channels, (3) distributary-mouth bars, and (4) destructive marine facies of abandoned deltas. The fluvial environments represent small suspended-load and mixed-load rivers that are characterized by meandering alluvial channels with numerous point-bars, which give way downstream to relatively straight delta distributaries. Fluvial processes dominated both the modern Guadalupe and Conemaugh Group deltas.
Reconstructions of paleohydrology, three dimensional channel characteristics and sediment load for a river of Pennsylvanian age (Grafton alluvial channel) are comparable to hydrological, morphological, and sedimentological data for the Guadalupe River. This comparison and previously published paleoflow data indicate that the Guadalupe fluvial-deltaic system is analogous to some ancient coastal-plain rivers and shallow-water deltas that prograded into and filled relatively stable cratonic basins.
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