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Cherokee Group of Kansas and Oklahoma

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Summary and conclusions

The integration of surface and subsurface geological and geophysical data has provided the basis from which stratigraphic, petrologic, and paleogeographic interpretations and reconstructions could be made.

The attempts by earlier workers to extend the established stratigraphic terminology from the Arkoma basin northward to the Cherokee shelf and the Forest City basin have led to confusion and miscorrelations. These miscorrelations must be corrected and the stratigraphic nomenclature for the entire Cherokee should be revised by an interstate committee. For ease of communication, this study uses a stratigraphic scheme devised as a result of work done primarily by Denesen (1985). This scheme consists of the following features:

  1. The terms "Krebs," "Cabaniss," and "Senora" are not used in this report except to refer to the study interval as being within the Cabaniss subgroup as it is defined in Kansas, and the term "Cherokee Group" is used throughout the region as a formal term.
  2. The Verdigris Formation is used throughout the region as it is currently used in Missouri with three members: the lower unnamed shale member, the Oakley shale member, and the Ardmore limestone member.
  3. An informal formation, the "Banzet formation," is used to refer to the lithologies that occur between the top of the Ardmore limestone and the base of the Excello shale.
  4. The Breezy Hill Limestone Member is used as a thin marker bed within the Banzet formation in Kansas and as a member of the Banzet formation in northeastern Oklahoma where it thickens to over 4 m (13 ft).
  5. The Excello shale is used as the basal unit of the Marmaton Group.

Sedimentologic analysis of all available data shows that sands were deposited predominantly as northeast-southwestward-trending channels within elongated, fluvially dominated deltaic lobes. These lobes prograded across the margins of the Pennsylvanian epeiric sea during times of eustatic regression. Autocycles were formed as lobes shifted laterally. During times of eustatic transgression, siliciclastic point sources were shifted northward and eastward, removing most of them from the study area. Thin shales and carbonate units were deposited at slow rates during these times, resulting in thin transgressive hemicycles.

Petrographic analysis shows that sandstones are predominantly subarkoses, and they become quartzose and finer grained southwestward along a trend from which core specimens were obtained. Diagenetic alterations within these sandstones vary depending upon original sediment characteristics of the sites of deposition and on the sea-level changes that followed deposition. Marine-sandstone, sheetlike lenses are often pervasively cemented with iron-rich carbonate cement. Channel sandstones underwent chlorite coating of grains and silica cementation in the form of quartz overgrowths prior to extensive compaction due to burial. Late carbonate cementation, which was concomitant with or preceded by silica dissolution, set the stage for porosity and permeability enhancement during a still-later stage of carbonate dissolution. Petroleum generation and migration followed these stages of diagenetic alterations.

Continued study of Cherokee Group sandstones will ultimately result in the establishment of depositional and diagenetic models that can be used to predict the distributions and reservoir characteristics of potential petroleum-bearing sandstones within the Pennsylvanian epeiric sea and similar geologic settings.

References

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Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web Oct. 27, 2010; originally published 1989.
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