Discriminating Sediment Supply versus Accommodation Controls on Foreland Basin Stratigraphic Architecture in the Book Cliffs, central Utah using Detrital Double Dating

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Nicolas Bartschi1, Joel Edward Saylor1 and Michael D Blum2, (1)University of Houston, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Houston, TX, United States, (2)University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States
Middle–late Campanian strata of the Book Cliffs record the deposition of three clastic wedges in the foreland basin east of the Sevier fold-thrust belt. Variations in wedge geometries provide an opportunity to evaluate the effects of sediment supply versus accommodation on foreland basin architecture. There is an increase in eastward progradation rate between the L. and M. Castlegate Sandstone, followed by a return to slower progradation rates in the overlying Bluecastle Tongue, and Price River Formation, as well as their lateral equivalents. Rapid progradation may be caused by increased sediment supply, due either to rapid exhumation in the Sevier fold-thrust belt, or changes in the sediment source. Alternatively, reduced accommodation within the foreland basin due to uplift during initial Laramide deformation could produce the same rapid progradation. In this scenario, decreased progradation would be coincident with enhanced foreland basin subsidence and rapid sediment accumulation in the proximal foredeep. We test these hypotheses using thermo- and geochronology to double date individual detrital grains, enabling identification of changes in lag time and sediment provenance. Upsection decreases or increases in lag time correspond to increased or decreased exhumation rates, respectively, or introduction of a new upper crustal sedimentary source. We focus on 21 samples from 7 measured sections along depositional strike and dip. Samples were collected from the upper Blackhawk Formation, L. and M. Castlegate Sandstone, Bluecastle Tongue, Price River Formation, and their lateral equivalents. Initial results indicate major sediment provenance changes associated with the transition between slow and rapid wedge progradation, as well as minor provenance changes within individual wedges. There is also a significantly greater proportion of Cordilleran magmatic arc grains in distal locations than in proximal locations, interpreted as sediment mixing during transport.