You are on page 1of 25

Lithostratigraphy

I Principles II Lithostratigraphic Units III Contacts IV Correlation V Subsurface Techniques

I Principles
Hutton - Superposition & Original Horizontality Potential problems - deformed beds Walthers Law Matching Environments (Lithofacies) vs Time Siccar Point Scotland

How to determine original stratigraphic-up orientations?


Geopetals
Cross-strata Channels Inclusions Truncation Fossils

II Lithostratigraphic Units - no explicit time connotation


Supergroup

Larger More Inclusive

Group - e.g. Brigham Group (includes Geertsen Fm.) Formation - Mappable, recognizable - e.g. Geertsen, Langston Formations Member - e.g. Naomi Peak Limestone and Spence Shale Members of the Langston Formation

Bed

III Bed Contacts


Vertical - Conformable Gradational (e.g. Geertsen-Langston in Cataract Canyon) Intercolated - Nonconformable Angular unconformity Nonconformity Disconformity Paraconformity Diastem Lateral - Abrupt - Gradational - Intertounging - Wedge

III Bed Contacts (cont.)


Vertical Lateral - Abrupt Beware faults! - Gradational Changing facies with environmental gradient - Intertounging May show sea level oscillations - Wedge Thickness trends may reveal source areas

IV Correlation - establishing equivalence of lithologic units


Lithology (e.g. well-rounded, well-sorted, medium grained, quartz arenite) Vertical Pattern (e.g. SS-SH-LS) Allostratigraphic Units (Synthems) - unconformity-bounded packages (e.g.Third-Order Sequences) Key Beds - widespread (Short-term event beds vs longer term) And Perhaps Fossils (Biostratigraphy) Stable Isotopes (Chemostratigraphy) Magnetic Reversals (Magnetostratigraphy)

Short-Term Event Beds

Ash
Storm (Tempestites) Seismites Floods (Inundites) Impact ejecta

Longer-Term
Hardgrounds Transgressive Surfaces Maximum Flooding Surfaces P&S p. 330

Geology 3550 Sedimentation & Stratigraphy

Subsurface Techniques
I Rock samples from wells

II Well logs (wireline logs)


III Seismic stratigraphy

I Rock samples from well


Continuous core - Expensive - Possibly limited recovery Side wall cores - May fracture rock Cuttings (Mud logs) - Position approximate

II Well logs (Wire-line logs)


Dipmeter - bed orientation

Microcaliper - bore diameter/rock induration


Acoustic/Sonic - rock density Radiation - Gamma - measures natural radioactivity in shale, glauconite, arkose - Neutron - measures neutron absorption by H ions in shale, gypsum, fluids (not gas) Electric - Self-potential - fluid type (salty or not) - Resistivity - presence/absence fluids

III Seismic stratigraphy


Refraction Reflection - General - Interpretation of Sedimentary Packages (Seismic Facies) Character of Seismic Waves (amplitude, frequency, velocity) Boundary Types (onlap, downlap, toplap, truncation) Geometries

III Seismic stratigraphy (cont.)


Interpretation of Sedimentary Packages (Seismic Facies)

Character of Seismic Waves (amplitude, frequency, velocity)


Reflector configuration (continuous, discontinuous, chaotic, reflection free) Boundary Types (lower - onlap, downlap upper - toplap, truncation) Geometries (mounds, channels)

Seismic Wave

velocity (1-8 km/sec) frequency (10-80 Hz) (velocity / wavelength) (20-600m) wavelength
amplitude

Character of Seismic Waves


I Amplitude (~energy) increases with increasing 1) Fluid content 2) Density contrast (e.g. unconformities) 3) Thin beds (additive effect) High amplitude reflections cause a bright spot (actually dark) II Velocity (1-8km/sec) increases (seismic pull-up) with increasing 1) Density 2) External pressure Velocity decreases (seismic sag) with increasing 3) Porosity 4) Pore pressure (Fluids)

E.g. < 6 km depth


why this difference? > 6 km depth

Terrigenous Seds: 1-3 km/sec Carbonates: 2.5-6 km/sec


Terrigenous Seds: 3.5-6 km/sec Carbonates: 5-7 km/sec

Character of Seismic Waves (cont.)


III Frequency (10-80 Hz) = velocity / wavelength Increases with decreasing 1) Bed Thickness 2) Fluid Content IV Wavelength (20-600m) = velocity / frequency

Wavelength (60m typical) Resolution = wavelength, therefore 30m packages resolved Higher frequency gives better resolution, but less penetration

Biostratigraphy
I Ecostratigraphy (Biofacies)

Biofacies vs lithofacies vs time Provide evidence for eustatic cycles


II Biochronology (Biozones) Index fossils Range zones Problems

Biochronology - Index Fossils


Characteristics

Examples Trilobites Forams

Short range
- Rapid evolution or - Rapid extinction Widespread (planktonic, float after death, or dispersed by wind) Little ecologic control Abundant

Ammonites
Pollen

Biochronology - Zones
Range Zones (= Chron, time unit) Taxon Concurrent (Oppel) Acme Partial Assemblage Datum (FAD, LAD) Biomere - extinction-bounded range zones Stage (= Age, time unit), based on several zones

Biochronology - Problems
Fuzzy boundaries - Species identification - Timing of appearance/disappearance - Migration over time - Lazarus species - Zombie species Environmental control

Geology 3550 Sedimentation & Stratigraphy


Chronostratigraphy
I Time Units - Geochronologic II Time-Rock Units - Chronolithologic III Relative Dating IV Absolute Dating

V The Geologic Time Scale

I Geochronologic (Time) Units -

II Chronolithologic (Time-Rock) Units Eonothem Erathem System Series Stage Chronozone

more time

Eon Era Period Epoch Age Chron

less time

III Relative Dating


Fossils Superposition, Cross-cutting/Truncation, Inclusions Magnetostratigraphy Secular Trends in Stable (Nonradiogenic) Isotopes 18/16O, 12/13C, 87/86Sr Secular Trends in Trace Elements - Mg, Sr

IV Absolute Dating
Isotopic U, Pb, K, Ar Radiogenic - Fission Track - Thermoluminescence (TSL, OSL) - Electron spin resonance (ESR) Sideral (counts) - Varves - Sclerochronology - Dendrochronology Amino Acid Racemization

V The Geologic Time Scale more time

less time

Eons Hadean 4.6 - 3.9 Ga firey Archean 3.9 - 2.5 Ga ancient Proterozoic 2.5 - .540 Ga before life Phanerozoic .540 Ga present abundant life Eras Paleozoic 540 - 248Ma ancient life Mesozoic 248 - 65 Ma middle life Cenozoic 65 Ma present modern life Periods Epochs