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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 44 (1994), Pages 555-563

Cycles and Stacking Patterns in Carboniferous Rocks of the Black Warrior Foreland Basin

Jack C. Pashin


Stratigraphic data from the Black Warrior Basin provide a robust basis for testing the influence of tectonics and climate on cyclicity in a foreland basin. The basin fill comprises carbonate-bearing Chester-type and coal-bearing Pottsville-type depositional cycles, and the composition, frequency, and stacking patterns of those cycles reflect dynamically interwoven tectonic and climatic factors. Deformational loading evidently gave rise to flexural movements that determined cycle stacking patterns by controlling spatial and temporal variation of subsidence rate. Evolving tectonic highlands, moreover, provided shifting sources of terrigenous clastic sediment, thereby affecting stratal geometry. The transition from carbonate- to coal-bearing cycles reflects drift of southeastern North America into the humid equatorial belt. Change of average cycle duration from 1.1 to less than 0.5 m.y. corresponds to Gondwana glaciation, suggesting significant climatic forcing.

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