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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Rept. 2006-30

Paleoslope and water depth estimate, lower Wolfcampian, Hugoton embayment of the Anadarko basin

Martin K. Dubois

KGS Open File Report 2006-30
December 2006


Three criteria are used in combination to estimate paleoslope and maximum water depth during deposition of seven lower Wolfcamp (Council Grove Group) sedimentary cycles on a low relief shelf in Kansas and Oklahoma. Landward extent of paleo-shoreline establishes zero water depth at maximum flooding, and the updip extent of depth-specific fauna (fusulinids) establishes approximate water depth along a sub parallel linear trace. Slope is the depth divided by the distance between the two traces. Rate of change in thickness of a large interval of strata (most of Wolfcamp) serves as another estimate of slope for comparison. Maximum water depth on the basinward edge of the shelf is estimated by adding the depth along a trace established by fauna to additional depth determined by applying approximated slope to the distance between the faunal trace and the shelf margin. Paleoslope on the Kansas portion of the shelf is estimated to be 1 ft/mi (0.2 m/km). Beyond the shelf margin the slope increased by a factor of ten. Maximum water depths vary by cycle from a minimum of <50 ft (15 m) to a maximum of 110 ft (34 m).

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Kansas Geological Survey, Energy Research
Updated Dec. 11, 2006
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