Upper Cretaceous Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, and Reservoir Geology of the Henry Mountains Region, Southern Utah

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FG 15

Upper Cretaceous Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, and Reservoir Geology of the Henry Mountains Region, Southern Utah

SEPM Field Trip Guidebook 15

Janok P. Bhattacharya and Christopher R. Fielding

Publication date: 2020
Subject: Stratigraphy
Series: Field Guide

This field guide describes a geological field excursion focusing on world-class exposures of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Henry Mountains Syncline of southern Utah. The area is easily accessible via paved and some unpaved roads, and is a little over three hours’ drive by road from Salt Lake City. It is adjacent to the world-renowned Capitol Reef National Park and other scenic attractions. There are numerous options for accommodation and eating out in Torrey, UT, which caters to the tourist trade. The stratigraphy comprises the Dakota Formation, Mancos Shale (Tununk Shale, Ferron Sandstone, Blue Gate Shale), Muley Canyon Sandstone, Masuk Formation, and Tarantula Mesa Sandstone, and collectively is equivalent to the well-known succession of the Book Cliffs, 100 km to the north. The succession is spectacularly exposed in three dimensions at scales ranging up to that of entire depositional systems, allowing investigation of stratal stacking patterns at all levels. The guide focuses primarily on the Turonian Ferron Sandstone, which has been extensively investigated by both trip leaders and their students over the past 12 years.

Among the geological features exposed in the Ferron Sandstone are incised valley fills, distributary channel deposits, and growth faulted delta front deposits. Stratal stacking patterns are exposed in both depositional dip-parallel and strike-parallel transects, and have been interpreted to record sediment accumulation under strong forcing from falling sea-level. The Dakota Formation preserves coastal fluvial, estuarine, and marine shoreface deposits. The Tununk and Blue Gate Shales are principally offshore shelf deposits with some mass flow deposits and shelf clinoforms. The Muley Canyon Sandstone comprises alternating coastal fluvial and shoreface deposits similar to the coeval Blackhawk Formation, while the Masuk Formation is a stack of coastal fluvial deposits with a transgressive coal zone near the base of the formation.

Title information

This field guide describes a geological field excursion focusing on world-class exposures of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Henry Mountains Syncline of southern Utah. The area is easily accessible via paved and some unpaved roads, and is a little over three hours’ drive by road from Salt Lake City. It is adjacent to the world-renowned Capitol Reef National Park and other scenic attractions. There are numerous options for accommodation and eating out in Torrey, UT, which caters to the tourist trade. The stratigraphy comprises the Dakota Formation, Mancos Shale (Tununk Shale, Ferron Sandstone, Blue Gate Shale), Muley Canyon Sandstone, Masuk Formation, and Tarantula Mesa Sandstone, and collectively is equivalent to the well-known succession of the Book Cliffs, 100 km to the north. The succession is spectacularly exposed in three dimensions at scales ranging up to that of entire depositional systems, allowing investigation of stratal stacking patterns at all levels. The guide focuses primarily on the Turonian Ferron Sandstone, which has been extensively investigated by both trip leaders and their students over the past 12 years.

Among the geological features exposed in the Ferron Sandstone are incised valley fills, distributary channel deposits, and growth faulted delta front deposits. Stratal stacking patterns are exposed in both depositional dip-parallel and strike-parallel transects, and have been interpreted to record sediment accumulation under strong forcing from falling sea-level. The Dakota Formation preserves coastal fluvial, estuarine, and marine shoreface deposits. The Tununk and Blue Gate Shales are principally offshore shelf deposits with some mass flow deposits and shelf clinoforms. The Muley Canyon Sandstone comprises alternating coastal fluvial and shoreface deposits similar to the coeval Blackhawk Formation, while the Masuk Formation is a stack of coastal fluvial deposits with a transgressive coal zone near the base of the formation.

Pages: 128
Publisher: SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)
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