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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2012-15

Lithostratigraphy of Permian Red Beds and Evaporites in the Rebecca K. Bounds Core, Greeley County, Kansas

J. J. Zambito1, K. C. Benison1, T. M. Foster2, G. S. Soreghan2, M. J. Soreghan2, and M. Kane2
1: Central Michigan University
2: University of Oklahoma

KGS Open File Report 2012-15
July 2012


This report focuses on the lithostratigraphy of the Rebecca K. Bounds (RKB) core, Greeley County, Kansas, between core depths of ~1600 ft to ~3400 ft. Figure 1 shows the location of the RKB core and the counties of Kansas. This interval of the core was examined in November and December of 2011 at the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) in Lawrence, Kansas. Description of the RKB core provided here focuses on macroscopic lithology and lithologic transitions, i.e., the relative stacking order of lithologic units, changes in the proportions of different lithologic units through the study interval, and the nature of contacts and possible unconformities observed.

Figure 1--Location of RKB core.

Core from well located in far western Greely County, western Kansas.

The goal of this report is to assign stratigraphic units from the standard KGS stratigraphic column [ ... ] to the RKB core in order to develop a working framework for subsequent research. Subsequent publications by the authors will provide more detailed information on sediment provenance, fluid inclusion chemistry, sedimentary petrology, grain-size analysis, paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate reconstructions, detrital zircon geochronology, etc. Following these additional investigations, integration of all data will be used to refine the stratigraphic framework presented herein. We recognize that SI units are preferable, but because the majority of background literature was undertaken using feet and the core was marked in feet, the majority of measurements presented here use English units; however, metric units are given in the stratigraphic column for the interval described herein.

Numerous workers have discussed the problems of subsurface correlation of the Permian red bed and evaporite succession of western Kansas, from the pioneering work of Norton (1939, and references therein), to more recent efforts (Holdoway, 1978; Benison, 1997; Benison and Goldstein, 2001; Benison and Zambito, in review). This correlation is complicated because the outcrops used to describe these units are located ~300 km (~186 mi) from the RKB drill site in south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma, and, furthermore, have undergone near-surface late diagenesis and evaporite dissolution (reviewed in Benison and Zambito, in review). As stated by Holdoway (1978, p. 3), "Correlation and nomenclature are made difficult by the fact that evaporites, including thick salt beds, generally occur in the subsurface, where they are protected from solution, and the formations with which they are associated are described and classified in outcrop. In the subsurface of western Kansas, unnamed salt and anhydrite beds occur in most of the formations of the Nippewalla Group." That said, a survey of the literature reveals a number of studies on the stratigraphic relationships of the Permian red bed and evaporite succession in the subsurface of western Kansas that identified marker beds of potential use for formation-level correlations. Relatively few of these studies present detailed lithologic observations of the subsurface (e.g., Norton, 1939; Holdoway, 1978; Benison, 1997; Benison and Goldstein, 2001); the others focused primarily on well log data. Shumaker (1966) and Holdoway (1978) are notable exceptions that incorporate both data types. In this report, we use a combination of lithologic description from the type sections and other outcrops in conjunction with lithologic descriptions and stratigraphic patterns reported in previous subsurface studies to provisionally identify the stratigraphic units present in the RKB core.

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KGS_OF_2012-15.pdf (15 MB)

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Kansas Geological Survey
Updated July 17, 2012
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