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A revised Triassic stratigraphic framework for the Arctic Alaska Basin

July 1, 2018

The Triassic Shublik Formation and the Triassic–Jurassic Otuk Formation are partially age-equivalent lithostratigraphic units that were deposited in the Arctic Alaska Basin (AAB). The Shublik Formation represents proximal deposition within the basin, with episodic siliciclastic input, whereas the Otuk Formation was deposited in the distal part of the basin, with significant intervals of mudstone and chert. Both the Shublik and Otuk Formations have significant intervals of organic-rich mudstone, and the Shublik is a major source rock for northern Alaska hydrocarbon accumulations such as Prudhoe Bay. The revised stratigraphic framework presented herein, based on the integration of lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy, correlates intervals within these two formations, as well as the Ivishak Formation and the Karen Creek and Sag River Sandstones (which underlie and overlie the Shublik). This stratigraphic framework provides a basis for comparison of proximal and distal parts of the AAB through the Triassic, thus allowing for a more robust understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of lithology and organic richness within this basin. Five transgressive–regressive sequences are defined in the Shublik, based on lithostratigraphy and better age constraints provided by the revised stratigraphic framework. These sequences are age-correlative and recognized in other Arctic basins, implying that they have regional, and perhaps global, significance.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title A revised Triassic stratigraphic framework for the Arctic Alaska Basin
DOI 10.1306/0726171616517250
Authors Katherine J. Whidden, Julie A. Dumoulin, William A. Rouse
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title AAPG Bulletin
Index ID 70200841
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center