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Abstract: Early Eocene Tectonics and Sedimentation in Northern Fossil Basin, Wyoming Overthrust Belt
The Tunp Member of the Early Eocene Wasatch Formation in southwestern Wyoming was shed from rising thrust sheets as debris flows containing abundant, very poorly sorted to unsorted coarse clastic material in mudstone matrix. Deposition occurred on the margins of the northern Fossil basin as coalesced alluvial fans and fan deltas. Small braided streams traversed the surface of these fans and reworked debris flow material but the resultant fluvial deposits are volumetrically minor.
Tunp Member deposits are preserved in three north-south trending belts around the periphery of the northern Fossil basin. Each belt had a separate source in discrete highlands created by Early Eocene motion on the Absaroka, Tunp, and Crawford thrust faults. These thrusts possessed unique characteristics of uplift style, provenance and duration of in-situ weathering which are reflected by differences in clast lithology, size and rounding as well as thickness and areal extent of the deposits resulting from each thrust.
The results of this study have several important implications about thrust belt development: (1) passive rotation of older thrusts by younger ones can provide an uplifted source for syntectonic sediments, (2) the tenet that major thrusts young in the direction of tectonic transport may be violated by the Tunp and Crawford thrusts in the Fossil basin area and (3) those heretical faults (i.e., Tunp and Crawford) possess a similar geometry that is distinct from other thrust faults in the area.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 Don Hurst: University of Wyoming
© Wyoming Geological Association, 2015