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Mid-Cretaceous alluvial-plain incision related to eustasy, southeastern Colorado Plateau

January 1, 1989

Eustatic effects on the deposition of ancient coastal and marine rocks are well known, but eustasy also can affect depositional patterns and processes well inland from the sea and play an important role in the development of nonmarine unconformities. In the southeastern part of the Colorado Plateau, fluvial rocks of the lowermost Cenomanian (lowermost Upper Cretaceous) Encinal Canyon Member at the base of the Dakota Sandstone fill paleovalleys incised into underlying formations. In the latter part of the Early Cretaceous, an epicontinental sea lay about 240 km east of the southeastern Colorado Plateau and was base level for streams in the plateau region. Near the end of the Early Cretaceous, sea level fell, base level was lowered, and streams incised valleys into alluvial deposits of the Burro Canyon Formation and into older formations. The resulting incised paleodrainage surface was preserved as the sub-Dakota unconformity when the succeeding sea-level rise, in earliest Late Cretaceous time, caused Dakota streams to aggrade and backfill the paleovalleys with alluvial sediments of the Encinal Canyon Member. -from Author

Citation Information

Publication Year 1989
Title Mid-Cretaceous alluvial-plain incision related to eustasy, southeastern Colorado Plateau
DOI
Authors W. M. Aubrey
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geological Society of America Bulletin
Series Number
Index ID 70015435
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization