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G528 – Sedimentary Basins
• Prof. M.S. Hendrix – Office SC359 – Office Phone: 243-5278 – Cell Phone: 544-0780 – email@example.com • Textbook = Principles of Sedimentary Basin Analysis - Andrew Miall • Lab 320 • Syllabus
Introduction to sedimentary basin analysis
What is a sedimentary basin? • thick accumulation (>2-3 km) of sediment • physical setting allowing for sed accumulation e.g. Mississippi Delta up to 18 km of sediment accumulated • significant element of vertical tectonics which cause formation of sed basins, uplift of sed source areas, and reorganization of sediment dispersal systems • Study of history of sedimentary basins and processes that influence nature of basin fill
Vertical tectonics caused primarily by: • plate tectonic setting and proximity of basin to plate margin • type of nearest plate boundary(s • nature of basement rock • nature of sedimentary rock .
apatite F-T.tree ring analysis • involves both surface and subsurface data • involves large changes in scale and may involve long temporal histories . geophysical methods • thermochronology (Ar/Ar.paleosol analysis .organic geochemical analysis . etc.) • special techniques .Requires working or expert knowledge on wide variety of geologic subdisciplines • sedimentology (basis of interpretation of depositional systems • depositional systems analysis • paleocurrent analysis • provenance analysis • floral/ faunal analysis • geochronology • crustal scale tectonic processes.
Location/ exposure quality .
Stratigraphic measurements. paleoflow data . sedimentology.
Clast Composition Analysis .
Paleogeographic/ paleoenvironmental interpretation .
Regional tectonic picture .
’ . Gould: ‘Classifications are theories about the basis of natural order. not dull catalogues compiled only to avoid chaos.Basin models: 1) a norm.’ S.J. for purposes of comparison 2) a framework and guide for future observation 3) a predictor 4) an integrated basis for interpretation of the class of basins it represents Francis Bacon: ‘Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.
Vertical crustal controls on sed basins (Subsidence mechanisms) • Crustal thinning: extensional stretching.g. erosion during uplift. for example due to descent of subducted lithosphere. magmatic withdrawal • Mantle-lithospheric thickening: cooling of mantle following cessation of stretching or heating due to asthenospheric melts • Sedimentary or Volcanic loading • Tectonic loading • Subcrustal loading (underthrusting of dense lithosphere) • Asthenospheric flow. salt diapirs . emplacement of high density melts into lower density crust • difference in thickness and density between oceanic and continental crust (isostacy) • thermal history of continental & oceanic crust • combinations of above More specific details of sedimentary basin fill patterns governed by: • geometric shape and size of basin and evolution of floor and flanks of basin • nature of stratigraphic fill • structures that develop within basin during its evolution (e. growth faults.
Dickinson. 1976 .
A complete basin analysis must incorporate all phases of development of a basin and must consider both proximal and distal tectonic influences.Basin Analysis and Classification • • • Basins should be classified according to their tectonic setting at the time of deposition of given stratigraphic interval. Most basins are hybrid. whereas intracratonic basins are likely to be preserved Fundamental difference between preservability of a sedimentary basin vs. tectonostratigraphic assemblages that make up the basin fill (e. Bengal Fan turbidites). ‘filling hole’).g. • • .e.g. Bay of Bengal vs. Sedimentary successions (basin fill) may accumulate due to subsidence of a shallow substrate (‘sinking substratum’) OR from filling of a space below base level (usually sea level. Preservation potential of a basin is an important factor in basin analysis. basins may change their teconic seting rapidly and often. trench-slope basins have low preservation potential.
cont. .Convergent margin settings.
Appalachians) originated from breakup of Rodinian supercontinent. . many Paleozoic plate margins (e. • Supercontinent cycle 350-400 Ma.g. Cordillera. Extensional basins • Most modern passive continental margins resulted from breakup of supercontinent Pangea. inducing thermal upwelling of mantle to initiate rifting and eventual breakup. • 3) Subduction principally of old.Brief Survey of Basin Models I. Several different hypotheses to explain breakup of supercontinent • 1) random motions of continents around earth • 2) Supercontinent acts as a thermal blanket.e. cold crust during times of supercontinent formation. density driven ‘slab pull’) = important phenomena that may induce supercontinent breakup. Likewise.Slab roll-back (i.
crustal thinning. continental embankments). • Drift phase (post-rift) = dominated by lithospheric cooling. Commonly continental sedimentation on craton. .Formation of ‘passive continental margins’ • Pre-Rift phase includes sedimentary and tectonic setting prior to initiation of rifting. Depends on pre-rift setting. • Rift phase is tectonically active.g. volcanism. high heat flow and locally high rates of subsidence and sediment accumulation. and development of broad flexural basins dominated by sediment loading (e. thermal subsidence. with normal faulting.
Simple model for evolution of passive continental margins
“Active” vs. “Passive” Rifting:
• Active: Kinsman (1975): early, domal uplift preceeded crustal stretching; surficial and tectonic erosion of thermal dome thins upper crust and produces major subsidence once margin rafted away from heat source.
– Test: Predicts >15 km subaerial erosion = amount cont. crust has been thinned by rifting. Also predicts centrifugal drainage patterns and sediment starvation (unless significant volcanism). Basaltic volcanism predominates in early rift stages.
• Passive: early thermal doming in response to crustal thinning. Doming is caused by mantle upwelling.
Active vs. Passive Rifting Models
Baikal Rift regional tectonic setting www.pdf .mantleplumes.org/WebDocuments/InfolioEngIvanov.
pdf .org/WebDocuments/InfolioEngIvanov.Baikal Rift Lithospheric structure www.mantleplumes.
Rift Geometries • • • simple shear (no mechanism for bringing mid-crustal rocks to shallow levels) delamination between upper and lower crust low angle detachment faults: either as through-going (cut entire lithosphere) or intracrustal .
.Rift Geometries cont.
. thick continental crust with narrow continental shelves and thin sedimentary cover. thick sedimentary cover. structurally simple with only weakly rotated normal faults – Lower plate margins: originate in footwalls of detachments.Crustal Detachment Rift Model • Asymmetry of rift systems by presence of major detachments will produce ‘upper plate’ and ‘lower plate’ margins – Upper plate: originate in hanging walls of detachments. and exhumed middle to lower crustal rocks and remnants of upper plate in strongly tilted blocks. thin continental crust with broad shelves.
Busby and Ingersoll. 1991 .Crustal scale detachment rift model. cont.
1991 . thick continental crust with narrow continental shelves and thin sedimentary cover. Asymmetry of rift systems involving major detachments produces ‘upper plate’ and ‘lower plate’ margins Upper plate: originate in hanging walls of detachments. cont. thick sedimentary cover. Lower plate margins: originate in footwalls of detachments. thin continental crust with broad shelves.Detachment model. structurally simple with only weakly rotated normal faults. and exhumed middle to lower crustal rocks and remnants of upper plate in strongly tilted blocks. Busby and Ingersoll.
Crustal scale detachment rift model. 1991 . polarity reversals exert Major control on passive margin geometry Busby and Ingersoll. cont.
so our understanding of these basins is strongly weighted towards examination of that basin. Rio Grande Rift Red Sea is only true proto-oceanic basin on earth.e. evaporites common due to screening of rivers by rift shoulders .g.Rift basins Characteristics of Rift basins • very early stages of rift development • high heat flow • extensional • interstratified lavas and redbed sediments. . Red Sea.
nonmarine to shallow marine deltaic .marine turbidites of slope and rise • may be characterized by salt diaparism and growth faulting • Heavily influenced by fluctuations in sea level .shelf and paralic sediments of continental terrace .Post-rift basins Post-rift basins (as opposed to syn-rift) are formed mainly from subsidence resulting from thermal relaxation Miogeoclinal Prisms • require one-sided open ocean setting • transition of sedimentary facies .
Sigsbee salt nappe is one of largest single structural features of the North American continent • usually result from drainage of large continents toward mouths of failed rifts and away from ‘normal rifted continental margins (e.Continental Embankments • advancement of shelf break to point over oceanic crust -Mississippi embankment is 1000 km wide from OK coastal plain to edge of Sigsbee escarpment • series of lensoidal sedimentary packages • immense sediment accumulation (16-18 km) which loads continental and oceanic margins • unstable: results in growth folding. . Nile delta) • Rapid subsidence (10-100m/Ma) results from -sedimentary load which induces lithospheric flexure -listric normal faulting (growth faulting) -salt withdrawal during diapirism -compaction of unconsolidated sediments. salt diaparism. • Progradation of rise-slope-shelf triad results in predictable sedimentary sequence: deep sea fan. continental (primarily fluvial). slope mud with diapirs.g. etc. shelf and shoreline. gravitational failure. Mississippi delta.
Continental Embankments Dickinson. 1976 .
.Active Ocean basins • largely a function of cooling and contraction of oceanic lithosphere • development of thicker strata on older. influenced by position of CCD and presence of local bathymetric features like seamounts. colder (and more subsided) oceanic crust • sediment largely pelagic and hemipelagic.
. Junggar basin.g. China) .Dormant ocean basins • underlain by oceanic crust • plate margin rearrangement results in cessation of actively spreading centers or subducting margins • dominant mode of subsidence is sediment loading • classic ‘filling hole’ basin (e. subsequent orogeny might create intermontane basins corresponding to ancient dormant ocean basins (e.. Arctic Ocean) • weakest part of basin would be along residual continental margins related to extinct rifting or subduction.g.
mature sediment. Michigan basin. Illinois basin •Changes in stress regime appears to change the viscosity of crust beneath the basement. occasional basin starvation . resulting in accelerated subsidence during times of orogeny in nearby mobile belts. normal faulting followed by thermal subsidence •sedimentary fill usually shallow marine. underpinned by transitional crust? •probably high heat flow early on •doming. .g.e.Intracratonic basins •overlie fossil rift.
Oklahoma Aulocogen.Marginal Aulacogens • failed rift arm. normal faulting followed by thermal subsidence • sedimentary fill usually thick accumulations of shallow marine sediment • subsequent closure of associated oceanic basin "inverts" aulacogen.g. Benue Trough . changes dispersal patterns and provenance trends • e. underpinned by oceanic or transitional crust • early high heat flow • rifting.
. neutral. • Neutral: trench rollback is about equal to trenchward advance of overriding plate. characterized by low relief.Arc-trench systems • Can be extensional. characterized by high relief. • Compressional: overriding plate advances trenchwrd faster than trench rollback. abundant sediments. and shallow trenches. or compressional • Extensional: trench rollback is faster than trenchward migration of overriding plate. and deep trenches. thin sediments.
plate age.Kanamori (1986) concluded that a relationship existed between convergence rates. Backarc opening generally associated with subduction zones of low seismicity. and seismicity. .
convergence rate . compressional or neutral include: . 1986 suggested that major factors that affect tendency for arc-trench system to be extensional. Conclusion: strain regime is probably a complex function of slab age.Jarrard.slab age . and convergence rate . slab dip.slab dip Plot of slab descent angle (trajectory) against dip angle (architecture) demonstrates that: 1) most slabs do not descend at angles parallel to their dip angle 2) most slabs descend at angles steeper than their descent angle (slab rollback) 3) a few slabs descend at angles shallower than their descent angle 4) a few slabs descend at angles greater than 90 degrees 5) no tendency for old slabs to descend steeply and young slabs to descend more shallowly 6) probably greater slab age does not result in swinging of slab descent towards vertical.
rafted oceanic sediments •local variations in bathymetry of subduction complex may result in slope basins •subduction complex highly deformed by imbricate thrusting and gravitational spreading •contacts between sediment fill and accreted material may be either depositional or tectonic •very low geothermal gradient .Oceanic trenches and slope basins: •formed by flexure of downgoing slab •dominated by accretion tectonics •sediment fill dominated by gravity flow deposits.
g. Great Valley forearc basin.Forearc basins • • • • occur within the arc-trench gap not as highly deformed as oceanic trench and slope basins very low geothermal gradient variety of types Factors affecting forearc geometry include • sediment thickness on subducting plate • rate of sediment supply to trench • rate of sediment supply to forearc • rate and orientation of subduction • time since initiation of subduction • Arc-trench gaps tend to widen with time due to accretion of sediments. California) . thus general tendency for forearcs is to enlarge with time (e.
low regions between volcanoes and their flanks .magmatic explosions due to exsolution of volatiles .when axis of volcanism shifts to new position on an oceanic arc platform .autoclastic lava fragmentation .Intra-arc basins: • basins within an arc system • usually filled with volcanic material resulting from: .fault-bounded basins within arc itself (relief created by tectonic structure.hydroclastic fragmentation (magma-water interactions) . not constructional volcanic features • poorly understood basin type due to thermal and metamorphic overprinting and susceptibility of volcanic seds to diagenesis .weathering products from emergent arc • form in several possible settings .
Intra-arc basins .
Intra-arc basins .
• Most are extensional. and major compression . • Evolutionary model for BAB’s includes periods of major extension. forming by rifting and sea-floor spreading • May result in remnant arc behind BAB (if subduction does not jump) • Probably have relatively low preservation potential due to eventual closing of BAB by subduction • Many ophiolites of geologic record may have originated from BAB’s floored by oceanic crust. minor extension.Back-Arc Basins: • Oceanic basins behind intraoceanic magmatic arcs • Continental basins behind continental-margin arcs that lack foreland foldthrust belts.
structural deformation.Remnant Ocean Basins • form during intense deformation associated with attempted subduction of nonsubductable. buoyant continental crust during terminal ocean closure. and preservability occurs along strike • most sed from orogenic highlands pours longitudinally through deltaic complexes into remnant ocean basins as turbidites that are subsequently deformed and incorporated into orogenic belts as collisional sutures lengthen . • irregularity of continental margins tends to create great variability of timing.
Remnant Ocean Basins .
Appalachian basin) • usually dominated by nonmarine or shallow marine strata • recycled orogen provenance (sandstones dominated by recycled sedimentary or metasedimentary detritus) .g.Foreland-style basins • formed by flexure of continental crust by tectonic and sedimentary loads • may be formed either in retro-arc or peripheral positions • strongly asymmetric transverse profile • orogenic flanks of basin undergo deformation during life of basin • cratonal flanks of basin merge with platform sequences • composite foreland basins may reflect net effects of successive orogenic episodes (e.
Forelandstyle basins .
protracted development of retroarc (e.Distinction between ancient retroarc and ancient peripheral foreland basins: .greater water depths in peripheral stage . minimal to peripherals .polarity of magmatic arc .g. discrete development of peripheral foreland (terminal ocean closure) . .possible volcanic input to retroarc forelands.oceanic subduction complex assoc with early phase of peripheral dev. Appalachians) vs.
complex facies changes .Transpressional and transtensional basins in strike-slip fault systems •en echelon or curved strike-slip fault at constraining or releasing bends •occur in wide variety of settings •characterized by rapid.
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