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Sequence Stratigraphy of Foreland Basin Deposits: Insight from the Early Pennsylvanian Pocahontas Basin ABSTRACT The Carboniferous rock record in Laurasia developed during a climatic transition from greenhouse conditions (with small global ice volumes) to icehouse conditions (associated with the buildup of the Gondwana continental glaciation in the southern hemisphere) (e.g. Miller and Eriksson, 2000; Smith and Read, 2000; Isbell et al, 2003; Butts, 2005). Lower Pennsylvanian strata in the Central Appalachian Basin of southwestern Virginia provide an ideal opportunity to investigate the stratigraphic response to icehouse-type, high-magnitude sea level fluctuations using an outstanding data set. Natural gas exploration and production in southwestern Virginia has undergone a renaissance in recent years with a dramatic increase in drilling for both conventional gas and coal bed methane. The new wireline well log data will be used together with cores and outcrops to better understand stratigraphic controls on the occurrence of coal seams. Lower Pennsylvanian, coal-bearing, siliciclastic strata of the central Appalachian Basin define a southeasterly thickening clastic wedge and were deposited in continental to marginal marine environments influenced by high-amplitude relative sea level fluctuations. Detrital zircon geochronology indicates that sediment was derived from low-grade metamorphic and Grenvillian-Avalonian terranes of the Alleghanian orogen towards the southeast and, in part, from the Archean Superior Province to the north. Immature sediments, including sublithic sandstone bodies, were deposited within a southeast-northwest oriented transverse drainage system. Texturally and mineralogically mature quartzarenites were deposited in strike-parallel elongate belts along the western periphery of the basin. These mature quartzarenites are braided fluvial in origin and were deposited within northeast-southwest oriented axial drainage head-watered in a northerly cratonic source area. The constant contemporaneity of transverse and axial fluvial systems of a trunk­tributary drainage system is suspect with this updated dataset. Sequence stratigraphic analysis of Lower Pennsylvanian strata in Buchanan, Dickinson and Wise Counties, Virginia is based on gamma ray and density well log interpretation coupled with two continuous core logs and outcrop observations. Multiple cross sections reveal a stratigraphic architecture formed of unconformity bounded, 4th-order sequences consisting of upward-fining, transgressive incised valley fill (alluvial to estuarine) deposits that are capped by thin intervals of fine-grained strata (condensed sections) and overlain by upward-coarsening, progradational deltaic deposits. The 4th-order sequences of ~400 k.y. duration are stacked into 3rd-order composite sequences of ~2.0 Ma duration in which regional marine horizons define maximum flooding surfaces. Regionally extensive coal beds are developed in close association with condensed sections and also occur within progradational deltaic deposits. Formation of coal beds in the central Appalachian basin of southwest Virginia is attributed to extrabasinal, glacio-eustatic controls and intrabasinal deltaic processes related to channel avulsion and delta lobe switching.

1. Introduction Objectives Develop regional high resolution depositional sequence model for Pocahontas Basin Expand paleogeographic understanding of the Virginia coalfield and Late Carboniferous environmental settings Resource Applications 2. Study Area i. Central Appalachian Basin ii. Pocahontas Basin 3. Geologic background 4. Tectonic setting of Pocahontas Basin i. Alleghanian Deformation 1. Pine Mountain Fault

2. Russell Fork Fault ii. Basic foreland basin definition Mid-Carboniferous stratigraphy i. Early and Middle Pennsylvanian lithostratigraphic nomenclature 1. Formalized Kentucky nomenclature 2. Correlation with Virginia and West Virginia coal stratigraphy a. Lower Breathitt Group i. Pocahontas 1. Coal Group ii. Bottom Creek 1. Coal Group iii. Alvy Creek 1. Coal Group iv. Grundy Fm 1. Coal Group ii. Early Pennsylvanian global correlation 1. Miss-Penn boundary 2. Upper Banner Geochron 5. Depositional Environments i. Traditional interpretations 1. Marine model ii. Modern interpretations 1. Fluvial model 2. Trunk ­ tributary model 6. Sequence Stratigraphic Analysis i. Shallow Marine 1. Definition 2. Conventions 3. Identification of key surfaces ii. Non-marine 1. Definition 2. Conventions 3. Identification of key surfaces iii. Coal systems 1. Definition 2. Conventions 3. Identification of key surfaces 7. Dataset 8. Outcrops i. Grundy 1. Stratigraphic column a. Sedimentary features b. Spectral Gamma Ray 2. Sequence interpretations

ii. Deel 1. Channel Cut 2. Sequence interpretations 9. Cores i. Location Map ii. Core Facies (EQT1, EQT2, DOE M2 combined) 1. Quartz-pebble conglomerate a. Definition b. Examples 2. Siderite-pebble conglomerate a. Definition b. Examples 3. Quartzarenite a. Definition b. Examples 4. Litharenite a. Definition b. Examples 5. Sandy Heterolithic a. Definition b. Examples i. Ichnofabrics 6. Muddy Heterolithic a. Definition b. Examples i. Ichnofabrics 7. Gray Siltstone a. Definition b. Examples 8. Black Shale a. Definition b. Examples 9. Coal a. Definition b. Examples 10. Core-Log Sequence Model i. DOE M2 1. Facies Successions a. Sequence Boundary Surfaces b. Fining-upward TST c. Flooding Surfaces d. Coarsening-upward HST ii. EQT1 1. Facies Successions a. Fining-upward TST b. Coarsening-upward HST

iii. EQT2 1. Facies Successions a. Fining-upward TST i. Hensley Shale ­ Datum for Cross-Sections b. Coarsening-upward HST 11. Subsurface well logs i. Map ii. Cross-section construction methods 1. Structure 2. Hensley Datum iii. Facies 1. Facies successions a. Discontinuity Recognition b. Fining-upward TST c. Flooding Surfaces d. Coarsening-upward HST e. Fining-upward successions 2. Sandstone Architecture a. Sheet-like sandstone elements 10 km in lateral extent a. Lenticular sandstone elements i. < 10 km in lateral extent ii. Sequence interpretation 1. Regional strike lines 2. Regional dip lines iii. Net:Gross Ratios 1. Definition a. Formation Trends i. Pocahontas Fm ii. Bottom Creek Fm iii. Alvy Creek Fm iv. Grundy Fm b. Interpretation iv. Ichnofabrics 1. Definitions a. Formation Trends i. Pocahontas Fm ii. Bottom Creek Fm iii. Alvy Creek Fm iv. Grundy Fm b. Interpretation 12. Discussion

Sequence Hierarchy i. 5th order sequences/parasequence sets 1. Definition a. Autocyclic i. Example ii. 4th order sequence 1. Definition a. Milankovitch definition i. Example iii. 3rd order sequence 1. Definition a. Tectophase or Long Eccentricity i. Example Basin Evolution i. 2nd order sequence 1. Definition ii. Texture Trends iii. Ichnofabric Trends iv. Fossil Content Trends 1. Invertebrates 2. Palynology v. Tectonic forces 1. Revision of trunk-tributary model needed? 2. Quartzarenite-Lithicarenite contrasts 3. Alternative Hypothesis ­ Tectonic model (see other chapter) vi. Eustatic forces 1. 4th order eccentricity overprint Global trends i. Black Warrior Basin 1. Yoking? 2. Depocenter of flushed Poca Basin sediments? ii. Sea Level Curves 1. Greater fluctuations later in Early Penn? iii. Global dynamics Applications Sequence Prediction i. CBM 1. Reservoir structure 2. Horizon correlation ii. ECBM 1. Seal extent a. (See chapter 3) 13. Conclusions References

Early Pennsylvanian Environments

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Sequence Stratigraphic Concepts

Aitken, J.F., and Flint, S.S., 1994, High-frequency sequences and the nature of incised-valley fills in fluvial systems of the Breathitt Group (Pennsylvanian), Appalachian foreland basin, eastern Kentucky: Incised Valley Systems: Origin and Sedimentary Sequences, p. 3368. --, 1995, The application of high-resolution sequence stratigraphy to fluvial systems: a case study from the Upper Carboniferous Breathitt Group, eastern Kentucky, USA: Sedimentology, v. 42, p. 3-30. Allen, G.P., and Posamentier, H.W., 1991, Facies and Stratal Patterns in Incised Valley Complexes - Examples from the Recent Gironde Estuary (France), and the Cretaceous Viking Formation (Canada): Aapg Bulletin-American Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 75, p. 534-534. --, 1991, Facies and Stratal Patterns in Incised Valley Complexes - Examples from the Recent Gironde Estuary (France), and the Cretaceous Viking Formation (Canada): Aapg Bulletin-American Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 75, p. 534-534. --, 1993, Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Model of an Incised Valley Fill - the Gironde Estuary, France: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 63, p. 378-391. --, 1993, Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Model of an Incised Valley Fill - the Gironde Estuary, France: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 63, p. 378-391. --, 1994, Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Model of an Incised Valley Fill - the Gironde Estuary, France - Reply: Journal of Sedimentary Research Section B-Stratigraphy and Global Studies, v. 64, p. 81-84. --, 1994, Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies Model of an Incised Valley Fill - the Gironde Estuary, France - Reply: Journal of Sedimentary Research Section B-Stratigraphy and Global Studies, v. 64, p. 81-84. Archer, A.W., Kuecher, G.J., and Kvale, E.P., 1995, The Role of Tidal-Velocity Asymmetries in the Deposition of Silty Tidal Rhythmites (Carboniferous, Eastern Interior Coal Basin, USA): Journal of Sedimentary Research Section a-Sedimentary Petrology and Processes, v. 65, p. 408-416. Best, J.L., and Ashworth, P.J., 1997, Scour in large braided rivers, and the recognition of sequence stratigraphic boundaries: Nature, v. 387, p. 275-277. Bhattacharya, J.P., Walker, R.G., and James, N.P., 1992, Facies Models: Response to Sea Level Change: Deltas, models for exploration: Houston Geological Society, p. 157-177. Blum, M.D., and Tornqvist, T.E., 2000, Fluvial responses to climate and sea-level change: a review and look forward: Sedimentology, v. 47, p. 2-48. Bohacs, K., and Suter, J., 1997, Sequence stratigraphic distribution of coaly rocks: Fundamental controls and paralic examples: Aapg BulletinAmerican Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 81, p. 1612-1639. Boyd, R., Dalrymple, R., and Zaitlin, B.A., 1992, Classification of Clastic Coastal Depositional-Environments: Sedimentary Geology, v. 80, p. 139-150. Burns, B.A., Heller, P.L., Marzo, M., and Paola, C., 1997, Fluvial response in a sequence stratigraphic framework: Example from the Montserrat fan delta, Spain: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 67, p. 311-321. Busch, R.M., and Rollins, H.B., 1984, Correlation of Carboniferous Strata Using a Hierarchy of Transgressive-Regressive Units: Geology, v. 12, p. 471-474. --, 1985, Correlation of Carboniferous Strata Using a Hierarchy of Transgressive-Regressive Units - Reply: Geology, v. 13, p. 316-317. Busch, R.M., West, R.R., Rollins, H.B., and Heckel, P.H., 1987, Sea-Level Curve for Pennsylvanian Eustatic Marine Transgressive-Regressive Depositional Cycles Along Midcontinent Outcrop Belt, North-America - Comment and Reply: Geology, v. 15, p. 276-278. Catuneanu, O., 2006, Principles of sequence stratigraphy: Amsterdam ; Boston, Elsevier, ix, 375 p. p. Clifton, H.E., Phillips, R.L., and Scheihing, J.E., 1976, Modern and Ancient Estuarine-Fill Facies, Willapa Bay, Washington: Aapg BulletinAmerican Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 60, p. 657-658. Coleman, J.M., 1976, Deltas: processes of deposition and models for exploration. Continuing Education Publication Company: Inc.,

Champaign, IL. Coleman, J.M., and Wright, L.D., 1975, Modern river deltas: variability of processes and sand bodies: Deltas, models for exploration, p. 99­ 149. Collier, R.E.L., Leeder, M.R., and Maynard, J.R., 1990, Transgressions and Regressions - a Model for the Influence of Tectonic Subsidence, Deposition and Eustasy, with Application to Quaternary and Carboniferous Examples: Geological Magazine, v. 127, p. 117-128. Currie, B.S., 1997, Sequence stratigraphy of nonmarine Jurassic-Cretaceous rocks, central Cordilleran foreland-basin system: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 109, p. 1206-1222. Dalrymple, R.W., Boyd, R., Zaitlin, B.A., and SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), 1994, Incised-valley systems : origin and sedimentary sequences: Tulsa, Okla., SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), 391 p. p. Dalrymple, R.W., Zaitlin, B.A., and Boyd, R., 1992, Estuarine Facies Models - Conceptual Basis and Stratigraphic Implications: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 62, p. 1130-1146. Deboer, P.L., Oost, A.P., and Visser, M.J., 1989, The Diurnal Inequality of the Tide as a Parameter for Recognizing Tidal Influences: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 59, p. 912-921. Dennison, J.M., Ettensohn, F.R., and SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). Eastern Section., 1994, Tectonic and eustatic controls on sedimentary cycles: Tulsa, Okla., SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), iii, 264 p. p. Galloway, W.E., 1989, Genetic stratigraphic sequences in basin analysis; II, Application to Northwest Gulf of Mexico Cenozoic basin: Aapg Bulletin, v. 73, p. 143-154. Haq, B.U., 1995, Sequence stratigraphy and depositional response to eustatic, tectonic, and climate forcing: Dordrecht ; Boston, Kluwer Academic Publishers, xiii, 381 p. p. 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Mohrig, D., Heller, P.L., Paola, C., and Lyons, W.J., 2000, Interpreting avulsion process from ancient alluvial sequences: GuadalopeMatarranya system (northern Spain) and Wasatch Formation (western Colorado): Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 112, p. 1787-1803. O'Mara, P.T., and Turner, B.R., 1999, Sequence stratigraphy of coastal alluvial plain Westphalian B Coal Measures in Northumberland and the southern North Sea: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 42, p. 33-62. Plint, A.G., Eyles, N., Eyles, C.H., and Walker, R.G., 1992, Control of sea level change: Facies Models­Response to Sea Level Change, p. 15­ 25. Posamentier, H.W., and Allen, G.P., 1993, Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphic Patterns in Foreland Ramp-Type Basins: Geology, v. 21, p. 455458. --, 1993, Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphic Patterns in Foreland Ramp-Type Basins: Geology, v. 21, p. 455-458. --, 1993, Variability of the Sequence Stratigraphic Model - Effects of Local Basin Factors: Sedimentary Geology, v. 86, p. 91-109. --, 1999, Siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy : concepts and applications: Tulsa, Okla., SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), vi, 210 p. p. Posamentier, H.W., Allen, G.P., and James, D.P., 1992, High-Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy - the East Coulee Delta, Alberta: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 62, p. 310-317. --, 1992, High-Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy - the East Coulee Delta, Alberta: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 62, p. 310-317. 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