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PESA WA: August Technical Lunch – Tectonic controls on Cenomanian and Turonian deltaic successions in the Western Cordilleran Foreland Basin of Wyoming and Utah, USA

Thursday, 15 August, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Guest Speaker: Chris Fielding

Chris Fielding grew up in Scotland, was awarded a BSc Honours degree in Geology from Edinburgh University (1979) and a PhD in Geology from Durham University (1982) on the sedimentology and stratigraphy of Pennsylvanian coal-bearing rocks in NE England. He then joined BP Exploration Co. as a petroleum sedimentologist, working out of London, Guangzhou (China) and Aberdeen until 1986 when he commenced an academic position at the University of Queensland in Australia. He remained at UQ for 16 years, rising to the rank of Associate Professor and was Director (Academic) of the Department of Earth Sciences from 2001 until his departure in mid-2002. Chris is now the inaugural Mr & Mrs JB Coffman Chair in Sedimentary Geology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in the USA. He was an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sedimentology from 1998 to 2002, was an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sedimentary Geology from 2005-2008, and is currently an Editor of Earth-Science Reviews. He was elected President of SEPM (the Society for Sedimentary Geology) for 2011/12, and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2011. He was awarded Honorary Membership of SEPM in 2016. His research interests span the sedimentology and stratigraphy of continental, coastal and shallow marine depositional systems, their paleoclimatological archives, and applications to resource exploration and production. He maintains active field-based research programs in eastern Australia, Antarctica, Atlantic Canada, Midwestern and Western USA. He will watch any kind of football.

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And with thanks to our Gold sponsors:

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PESA WA invites you to our August technical luncheon with guest presenter Chris Fielding from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

“Tectonic Controls on Cenomanian and Turonian Deltaic Successions in the Western Cordilleran Foreland
Basin of Wyoming and Utah, USA”

Presented by Chris Fielding


The geometry, orientation, and spatial distribution of coastal to shallow marine sandstone bodies in the Cenomanian/Turonian succession of Utah and Wyoming has proved difficult to rationalize, with numerous plausible explanations proposed. This talk integrates results from recent studies of several such stratigraphic units, notably the Frontier Formation of the northern Bighorn Basin, the Frontier Formation of the Uinta Mountains region, and the Ferron Sandstone of the Henry Mountains. These successions preserve diverse evidence for tectonic controls on sediment dispersal and stratal stacking patterns. All examined delta complexes show fluvially-dominated to fluvially- and wave-influenced characteristics, in contrast with the more wave-dominated deltas of the later, Santonian to Campanian succession (e.g., Emery Sandstone, Blackhawk Formation). Most show evidence of planform asymmetry, driven by southward deflection of delta lobes and to a lesser extent by southward longshore drift currents. All show evidence of diversion around subsurface growth structures, particularly but not exclusively related to the growth and migration of the Sevier orogenic forebulge.

The locations of Frontier deltas in the Vernal area of northern Utah were also influenced by early growth of the east- west-trending Uinta Mountains. Elsewhere, clear stratigraphic evidence is preserved of early growth on other “Laramide” structures such as the Sheep Mountain Anticline in the Bighorn Basin and the Moxa Arch in the Green River Basin. All of the documented successions show preferential preservation of falling stage and lowstand sandstone bodies, some of which were further modified during transgressions to form enigmatic, isolated sandstone bodies. Offlapping and downlapping stratal stacking patterns, together with descending regressive shoreline trajectories, demonstrate the importance of falling stage deposits in units such as the Ferron Sandstone of the Henry Mountains. The growth of anticlines, particularly those related to forebulge dynamics, created topographic barriers to sediment dispersal. This is invoked as a major control on the process balance in Cenomanian/Turonian deltas (fluvial dominance due to limited wave fetch), delta planform, and delta lobe deflection. Differential structural growth, moreover, led to situations wherein accommodation varied both temporally and spatially, leading to complex sediment distribution patterns.


Ticket Prices:

Member (Early Bird): $69.00

Concession Member [Retired, Graduate or Hardship] (Early Bird): $59.00

Student Member (Early Bird): $39.00

Non-Member: $99.00

Early bird pricing ends Monday 12th August at 5pm (AWST).
Member (Non-Early Bird): $79.00.

Ticket sales have been extended until 10am (AWST) Thursday 15th August.

Refund Policy: Refunds are only applicable if notified in writing to WA-secretary@pesa.com.au prior to the close of ticket sales.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
  • Venue

    Parmelia HIlton
    14 Mill Street
    Perth, WA 6000 Australia
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