Recognition and importance of amalgamated sandy meander belts in the continental rock record

Hartley, A. J., Owen, A. , Swan, A., Weissmann, G. S., Holzweber, B. I., Howell, J., Nichols, G. and Scuderi, L. (2015) Recognition and importance of amalgamated sandy meander belts in the continental rock record. Geology, 43(8), pp. 679-682. (doi:10.1130/G36743.1)

Hartley, A. J., Owen, A. , Swan, A., Weissmann, G. S., Holzweber, B. I., Howell, J., Nichols, G. and Scuderi, L. (2015) Recognition and importance of amalgamated sandy meander belts in the continental rock record. Geology, 43(8), pp. 679-682. (doi:10.1130/G36743.1)

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Abstract

Meandering fluvial channels and their meander belts are common in modern continental sedimentary basins, yet compose a minor constituent of the reported fluvial rock record. Here we document exhumed amalgamated meander belt deposits from the upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, Utah (United States). The size of the amalgamated meander belt (9000 km2) is significantly larger than any documented previously and comparable in size to those from modern sedimentary basins. We describe a representative outcrop of sandy point bar deposits that shows features considered characteristic of both braided and meandering fluvial systems. Lateral accretion sets compose <5% of the outcrop area, yet point bar morphology is clearly visible in plan view. We suggest that difficulties in the identification of sandy, amalgamated meander belt deposits indicate that they have gone largely unrecognized in the rock record. Their recognition has important implications for basin-scale reconstructions of fluvial systems and interpretation of tectonic setting.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Owen, Dr Amanda
Authors: Hartley, A. J., Owen, A., Swan, A., Weissmann, G. S., Holzweber, B. I., Howell, J., Nichols, G., and Scuderi, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Geology
Publisher:Geological Society of America
ISSN:0091-7613
ISSN (Online):1943-2682
Published Online:23 June 2015

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