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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Special Volumes


Chapter from: M 64:  Sequence Stratigraphy of Foreland Basin Deposits
Edited By 
J.C. Van Wagoner and G.T. Bertram

Keith W. Shanley and Peter J. McCabe

Seismic/Sequence Stratigraphy

Published 1995 as part of Memoir 64
Copyright © 1995 The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.   All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 5


Sequence Stratigraphy of Turonian-Santonian Strata, Kaiparowits Plateau, Southern Utah, U.S.A.: Implications for Regional Correlation and Foreland Basin Evolution

Keith W. Shanley

Shell Development Company

Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

Peter J. McCabe

U.S. Geological Survey

Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.



Outcrops of Turonian through Campanian strata in the Kaiparowits Plateau of southern Utah provide a unique opportunity to examine both shallow-marine and continental strata within the context of unconformity-bounded depositional sequences. This approach provides insights to the evolution of the strata within the plateau as well as regional chrono- and lithostratigraphic relationships within the southwestern Colorado Plateau. 

We recognize five unconformity-bounded depositional sequences. These sequences are defined by regional surfaces of erosion that juxtapose amalgamated fluvial deposits over shoreface, alluvial plain, or coal-bearing strata and reflect an abrupt basinward shift in facies tracts. Between these sequence boundaries transgressive and highstand systems tracts are recognized. Transgressive systems tracts are characterized by a progression from amalgamated channel deposits to isolated meanderbelts that have evidence of tidal influence within what is otherwise a wholly alluvial succession. These tidally-influenced fluvial deposits are temporally equivalent to marine maximum flooding surfaces. Early-highstand systems tract deposits are characterized by thick, aggradational shoreface parasequences, thick coal beds, and isolated meanderbelt sandstones encased in thick, fine-grained flood plain strata. Late-highstand systems tract deposits are relatively thin and are characterized by progradational shoreface parasequences, thin, discontinuous coal seams, and fine-grained channel deposits. We interpret these changes in stratigraphic architecture to reflect significant changes in stratigraphic base level that we have correlated to adjacent outcrop belts in the Wasatch 


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