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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Clastic Tidal Sedimentology — Memoir 16, 1991
Pages 335-347
Nearshore and Shelf Systems

Tidal Sand Sheets of the Late Albian Joli Fou-Kiowa-Skull Creek Marine Transgression, Western Interior Seaway of North America

Indranil Banerjee


Subsurface facies analysis of the Lower Cretaceous hydrocarbon-bearing Basal Colorado Sandstone in the Cessford and Countess fields of southern Alberta, Canada reveals a tidal sand sheet facies (100 km × 30 km × 10 m) displaying cross-stratification, mud couplets, tidal bundles and reactivation surfaces. The Basal Colorado Sandstone was deposited in the Western Interior Seaway as a basal transgressive unit during the Joli Fou transgression (Kiowa-Skull Creek equivalent, earliest Late Albian). This sandstone overlies tidal flat-lagoon-coastal swamp sediments of the Mannville Group and underlies open marine shales of the Joli Fou Formation.

Other stratigraphically equivalent sandstone units studied in outcrop (the Sunkay Member in the Ghost River section in southern Alberta, and the Lower Flood Member of the Blackleaf Formation in Montana, U.S.A.) and in the subsurface (Spinney Hill Sandstone in southwestern Saskatchewan) also reveal characters indicative of a tidal sand sheet facies.

A regional compilation of isopach maps of these sandstones, the available paleocurrent data and a previously compiled paleotidal regime map were used to reconstruct the paleogeography of the Lower Cretaceous tidal sea. Although the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway was wave dominant, it seems that during periods of transgression, tidal currents did transport and deposit large amounts of sand.

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