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Geology of Grindstone Bluff, Shreveport, Louisiana

Geology of Grindstone Bluff, Shreveport, Louisiana

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Published by etchplain
Reprint of:

Horn, M. P. Heinrich and R. McCulloh, 2009, Geology
of Grindstone Bluff, A Thalweg Exposure of Wilcox
Group Near Shreveport, Louisiana. Louisiana Geological
Survey NewsInsights. vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 1-4.

Discusses meter-scale concretions found in the Wilcox Group at Grindstone Bluff, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Reprint of:

Horn, M. P. Heinrich and R. McCulloh, 2009, Geology
of Grindstone Bluff, A Thalweg Exposure of Wilcox
Group Near Shreveport, Louisiana. Louisiana Geological
Survey NewsInsights. vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 1-4.

Discusses meter-scale concretions found in the Wilcox Group at Grindstone Bluff, Caddo Parish, Louisiana

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: etchplain on Dec 30, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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End of the Year 2009 Louisiana Geological Survey 1
www.lgs.lsu.edu •
Louisi Louisiana Geological Survey
End of the Year 2009 Volume 19, Number 2
(Note: A color version o this issue can be viewed on the LGS website at www.lgs.lsu.edu)
Geology of Grindstone Bluff,
A Thalweg Exposure of Wilcox Group Near Shreveport, Louisiana
Marty Horn, Paul Heinrich and Richard McCulloh
Grindstone Blu is a topographically prominentstream thalweg eature situated at the northernlimit o the City o Shreveport, LA (Lat-Long:32º36’19” N, 93º48’56” W; UTM : N.A.Zone 15, 0423401 E, 3607659 N) (Figure 1).The blu stands about 24 meters (80 eet)in relie, orming the southern boundary o Twelvemile Bayou ood plain, a tributary o RedRiver. Morphologically it consists o two distinctexposure aces, the lowermost adjacent to theactive Twelvemile Bayou channel, the upperrecessed rom the active stream channel andseparated rom the lower ace by a terraceblanketed by nonconsolidated sand. Both expo-sure acies have high angle to vertical slope andhost ellipsoidal concretions up to 3 meters in sizestanding in relie (Figure 2).
The entirety o the exposure is mapped asundierentiable Wilcox Group (Smith, 1970;McCulloh et al., 2009). Named ormations andmembers o Wilcox Group have not been estab-lished or delineated in its outcrop domain in theShreveport area, including the Grindstone Blu locality. However, arther south Wilcox Groupis recognized in the subsurace as a stratigraphicgroup with well defned ormations historicallytargeted or water, oil, gas, and coal production(Durham and Smith, 1958; Glawe and Echols,1997). Detailed studies o subsurace Wilcoxrom east Texas to western Mississippi model thegroup as a late Paleocene – Eocene uvo-deltaiccomplex ed primarily by an ancestral phase o theMississippi River, and place the GrindstoneBlu locality in a proximal delta-plain todistal alluvial-plain acies (Galloway, 1968;Galloway et al., 1991).The sedimentary sequence exposed at Grindstone Blu is divisible into two intervals o distinctive litho-logic and sedimentologic characteristics (Figure 3).The lower interval (~ 8.0 meters) consists o interbeddedmudstones, sandstones, and conglomeratic sandstones. The mudstones display lamina thickness bands o gray and gold and lack fssility; they are mostly ree o sand-size particles, though very fne to silt size quartzis concentrated at some levels and fne sand-size colorless mica is distributed throughout at low (~ 0.5 %)concentration. The mudstone intervals are mostly laterally continuous at outcrop scale, the lowermost host-ing lenses o sandstone and conglomeratic sandstone. Sandstone and conglomeratic sandstone intervals arealso laterally continuous with normally graded channel-fll orms cut into subjacent mudstone. This coarse
 Figure 1.
Location map or Grindstone Blu exposure. Local map is a portion o the NorthHighlands, Louisiana, 7.5 minute U.S.G.S. topographic quadrangle. The city o Shreveport, LAis situated beyond the map edge, south o Grindstone Blu locality.
2 Louisiana Geological Survey End of the Year 2009
The LouisianaGeological Survey
Chacko J. John,
Director and State Geologist Proessor-Research
Board of Advisers
Frank W. Harrison, Jr., ChairDon BriggsKaren Gautreaux James M. ColemanRay LasseigneWilliam B. Daniel, IVWilliam Fenstermaker
LGS News StaffEditor
 /Chacko John
Production Manager
 /John Snead
 /Lisa Pond
Word Processor
 /Ann Tircuit
Publication Sales
 /Patrick O’NeillTelephone: (225) 578-8590Fax: (225) 578-3662The LGS NewsInsights is publishedsemiannually and made available toproessionals, state agencies, ederal agencies,companies, and other organizations associatedwith geological research and applications.It is accessible at www.lgs.lsu.edu.
Location & Mailing Address
Louisiana State UniversityRoom 3079, Energy, Coast &Environment Bldg.Baton Rouge, LA 70803Telephone: (225) 578-5320Fax: (225) 578-3662
 LGS Mission Statement 
The goals o the Geological Survey areto perorm geological investigationsthat beneft the state o Louisiana by:(1) encouraging the economicdevelopment o the natural resources o the state (energy,mineral, water, and environmental);(2) providing unbiased geologicinormation on natural and environmental hazards; and (3) ensuring the eective transer o geological inormation.
The Louisiana Geological Survey was created by Act 131 o theLouisiana Legislature in 1934 to investigate the geology andresources o the State. LGS is presently a research unit afliatedwith the Louisiana State University and reports through theExecutive Director o the Center or Energy Studies to the ViceChancellor or Research and Graduate Studies.
acies consists o well sorted medium-grained sandstone and bimodally conglomeratic sand-stone in which the gravel raction consists o centimeter- to decimeter-size angular clasts o gold-gray mudstone.The upper 12 meters is sand dominated with thin continuous beds o gray-gold mudstone nearits base and discontinuous mudstone lenses in the upper two thirds. The medium- to thick-bedded sandstone layers display high-angle concave-upward cross bedding which truncateslaminated mudstone into isolated lenses. The coarse acies is exclusively medium-grained,well sorted sandstone that lacks gravel-size and mud-size components.
plant tissue or impressioncoal fragments
hematite band
cross beddingclasts of mudstone/shalemudstone/shaleconcretionsandstone
(quartz + dark minerals)
Wilcox FormationGrindstone Bluff Exposure
UTM: 0423401E, 3607659N
Base not exposed.
Top of exposure.
mdst: brown-gray w/ goldss: gold-brownss: brown-gold,gold(2.5Y5/4)mdst: lt gray, lt brown, gold banded(2.5Y7/2.5)ss: red-gold, dark gold(2.5Y5/4.5)ss: gray-gold and red-gold w/ brown-gray(10YR4/6)mdst: brown, gray banded(10YR6/3)ss: brown-goldmdst: brown-gray, brown, graycgl: gray mdst clasts, brown-gold mtx(2.5Y4/3.5)ss: brown-gray, goldmdst: brown-gray, brown w/ goldss: lt brown-gray w/ gold(10YR5.5/5)
 Figure 2.
Photograph o part o Grindstone Blu exposure. 30 cm and 3.0 mconcretions stand in erosional relie in the upper, sand-dominated interval o Grindsone Blu exposure. Cross bedding is displayed in nonconsolidated sand between the two smaller concretions.Figure 3. Stratigraphiccolumn o Grindstone Blu exposure, Wilcox Formation.The columnar section depictstwo distinct stratigraphicintervals: mudstones and conglomeratic sandstonesin lower, sandstone and mudstone in upper, separated at the exposure locality by acovered section.
End of the Year 2009 Louisiana Geological Survey 3
www.lgs.lsu.edu •
Mudstone intervals at Grindstone Blu exposure are clay dominated;clay composition is not rigorously determined in this study, althoughX-Ray diraction analysis o concretions indicate the presence o kaolinite (Figure 4), and tactile processing qualitatively suggestsdominance o clay-size clasts and abundance o clay mineral(s). Themuddy intervals contain localized trace amounts (< 1.0 %) o siltand very fne sand-size quartz and eldspar, and widely disseminatedcolorless mica. The mud acies also hosts sub-centimeter size plantragments and plant impressions and sub-millimeter size ecks o coal.Despite the presence o the organic tissue no trace ossil evidence o burrowing organisms was recognized in mudstone intervals.The sand acies is well sorted, medium-grained sand (average size 0.3mm) and shows marked compositional immaturity. About 60 percento the sand raction consists o angular, colorless quartz, about 30percent consists o angular fnely crystalline meta-quartzite, and theremaining 10 percent comprises resh and angular detrital eldspar,colorless mica, chlorite, zircon, and trace amounts o quartz-micaschist, amphibole and magnetite. Most eldspars are albitic plagio-clase and a smaller number are microcline; amphibole clasts appearto be o hornblende or actinolite composition.The Grindstone Blu exposure stands as a precipitous cli acedespite weak induration. A raction o the mechanical strength islikely due to the coefcient o internal riction due to interlocking o angular sand-size grains. Some measure o induration could be due tothe presence o goethite and/or hematite as indicated by whole-rocktinting in shades o gold, yellow, and brown, by bands o concen-trated red and gold shades, and by gold-orange limonite adherent tosand-size clasts. Calcite and silica which typically occur as cementingminerals in clastic sedimentary rocks are not pervasive; silica is inlow to zero abundance, but calcite is present in concretions. Clay,though present, appears to be o insufcient abundance in the sandacies to act as an eective cement.
Although cementing minerals are not pervasive in abundance, theyare concentrated in ellipsoidal concretions that resist erosion andstand in visual relie (Figures 2, 3). The concretions are roughlydivisible into two compositional and textural groups: (a) decimeter-to meter-scale concretions with internal concentric color bandinghave muddy texture situated in mudstone intervals near the baseo the exposure, and (b) decimeter- to meter-scale concretions o sandy texture concentrated in the thick upper sandstone interval.X-Ray diraction analysis (Figure 4) shows a preponderance o clay(kaolinite signal) and siderite in the mud-grained concretions. Theirdark gold-brown, hard rind is probably a concentration o goethitederived rom oxidation o siderite but in abundance too low to bedetected by XRD analysis. The population o sand-grained concre-tions consists o mineral components as described above cementedby calcite (Figure 4, Figure 5). Both concretion orms cross-cut andpreserve sedimentary depositional structures indicating the concre-tions are o diagenetic origin.
Stratigraphic and sedimentologic characteristics displayed in theGrindstone Blu exposure are consistent with deposition rom auvial system o sufcient kinetic energy to channel and truncateconsolidated muddy substrate. The presence o angular clasts o mudstone as the gravel-size population in trough-flling conglom-eratic sandstone acies in the lower sequence implies channeling,extraction o gravel-size chunks o mudstone, and deposition o the bimodal mix as a consequence o ephemeral kinetic episodes.
Sandstone concretion
Mudstone concretion
 Figure 4.
X-Ray Diraction Patterns or Grindstone Blu Concretions.The analyses were perormed on whole-rock powders extracted romconcretion samples. XRD peaks or the ollowing standard minerals are positioned according to their peaks: A=albite, C=calcite, K=kaolinite,M=muscovite, Q=quartz, S=siderite. The XRD peak pattern or thesandstone concretion sample indicates a dominance o quartz in the clast  population and calcite as the cementing mineral. The XRD pattern or themudstone concretion sample shows an abundance o kaolinitic clay withquartz as detrital components and siderite as the cementing mineral.
 Figure 5.
Photomicrograph o sandstone concretion.Angular quartz grains are ~ 0.3 mm. Clasts are ringed withcalcite that extends into the interstitial areas, cementing theconcretion.

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