2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


MCCABE, Julianne, 526 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302, HACKETT, Logan, Dept. of Geology, Colorado School of Mines, 1516 Illinois St, Golden, CO 80401, SWEETKIND, Donald, U. S. Geol Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, Lakewood, CO 80225 and POOLE, Forrest G., U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO 80225, dsweetkind@usgs.gov

Regional stratigraphic analysis is a fundamental tool in deciphering the tectonic evolution and the stratigraphic setting of petroleum accumulations and syngenetic and epigenetic gold and base-metal deposits in the northern Great Basin. Data from measured sections provide basic lithologic and thickness data for regional cross sections and 3-dimensional models, allow development of facies interpretation and paleogeographic reconstructions that are critical for understanding basin evolution and regional fluid migration pathways. Combining the lithostratigraphic data with fossil age control guides interpretation of the depositional environment of syngenetic deposits. Data from abundant published and unpublished measured sections from the northern Great Basin are being captured in a database for the purposes of creating a digital archive and to create a digital database for a broad group of users and software applications. For each measured section in the new database, field data and lithologic descriptors are parsed into a series of data fields that capture location, lithology, nature of contacts, grain size, bedding characteristics, diagenetic features, stratigraphic nomenclature, rock correlation, and a variety of biostratigraphic data. These data are then overlain with interpretive data, such as lithofacies and biofacies maps, position of sequence boundaries, and assignment to a lithotectonic terrane. Graphical displays of the measured sections are linked to underlying digital data tables that include descriptive and interpretive information on lithology, stratigraphy, and biofacies. Once in digital form, these stratigraphic data can be organized and displayed along with other relevant data sets in space and time for the purposes of paleogeographic reconstruction, investigations of regional metallogeny, and the development of facies interpretations that may be generally tied to variations in porosity and permeability and have utility for evaluation of potential ground-water flow paths. As most syngenetic mineral deposits are related to sedimentary facies and depositional environment, time-slice paleographic maps generated from the measured sections can be used in exploration for mineral deposits.