skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The balance between deposition and subsidence (tectonics) in a rift basin playa and its effect on the climatic record of an area: Evidence from Bristol Dry Lake, California

Abstract

Two continuous core intervals drilled in Bristol Dry Lake, a large (150 km{sup 2}) playa in the central Mojave Desert of California, penetrated over 500 m of sediment and did not reach basement. The repetitious nature of the alternating shallow brine pond halite and siliciclastic and the consistency of the carbonate isotopic data from the surface and core indicate a relatively stable brine composition for most of the history of Bristol Dry Lake. All sedimentary structures and primary halite fabrics in the core indicate shallow-water, brine-pond halite alternated with halite-saturated siliciclastic muds in the basin center. A delicate balance of subsidence and mechanical and chemical deposition of evaporite and siliciclastic minerals was necessary to maintain the largely ephemeral lake environment of deposition through over 550 m of basin fill. The alternating brine pond/saline lake setting in Bristol Dry Lake is not directly related to climatic influences, and the sediments do not record major climatic events demonstrated in other closed-basin lakes. The reason for this insensitivity to climatic events is explained by the interior location of the basin, the low relief of the mountains surrounding the catchment, the large surface area of the catchment, and the low average sedimentation rates. Allmore » of the above criteria are at least partially controlled by the tectonics of the area, which, in turn, affect the sedimentation rate and supply water to the basin. Therefore, it is important to consider the influence of the above factors in determining global versus local, or regional, climate curves for a particular basin.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. (CSIRO, Floreat Park (Australia))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7259750
Report Number(s):
CONF-910403--
Journal ID: ISSN 0149-1423; CODEN: AABUD
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AAPG Bulletin (American Association of Petroleum Geologists); (United States); Journal Volume: 75:3; Conference: Annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Dallas, TX (United States), 7-10 Apr 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; BRINES; GEOCHEMISTRY; CALIFORNIA; PALEOCLIMATOLOGY; SEDIMENTARY BASINS; EVAPORITES; DEPOSITION; STRATIGRAPHY; ANHYDRITE; DRILL CORES; GEOLOGIC HISTORY; HALITE; ISOTOPE RATIO; LAKES; RIFT ZONES; SALT DEPOSITS; CHEMISTRY; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES; GEOLOGY; HALIDE MINERALS; MINERALS; NORTH AMERICA; PALEONTOLOGY; ROCKS; SEDIMENTARY ROCKS; SULFATE MINERALS; SURFACE WATERS; USA 580000* -- Geosciences

Citation Formats

Rosen, M.R. The balance between deposition and subsidence (tectonics) in a rift basin playa and its effect on the climatic record of an area: Evidence from Bristol Dry Lake, California. United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Rosen, M.R. The balance between deposition and subsidence (tectonics) in a rift basin playa and its effect on the climatic record of an area: Evidence from Bristol Dry Lake, California. United States.
Rosen, M.R. 1991. "The balance between deposition and subsidence (tectonics) in a rift basin playa and its effect on the climatic record of an area: Evidence from Bristol Dry Lake, California". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_7259750,
title = {The balance between deposition and subsidence (tectonics) in a rift basin playa and its effect on the climatic record of an area: Evidence from Bristol Dry Lake, California},
author = {Rosen, M.R.},
abstractNote = {Two continuous core intervals drilled in Bristol Dry Lake, a large (150 km{sup 2}) playa in the central Mojave Desert of California, penetrated over 500 m of sediment and did not reach basement. The repetitious nature of the alternating shallow brine pond halite and siliciclastic and the consistency of the carbonate isotopic data from the surface and core indicate a relatively stable brine composition for most of the history of Bristol Dry Lake. All sedimentary structures and primary halite fabrics in the core indicate shallow-water, brine-pond halite alternated with halite-saturated siliciclastic muds in the basin center. A delicate balance of subsidence and mechanical and chemical deposition of evaporite and siliciclastic minerals was necessary to maintain the largely ephemeral lake environment of deposition through over 550 m of basin fill. The alternating brine pond/saline lake setting in Bristol Dry Lake is not directly related to climatic influences, and the sediments do not record major climatic events demonstrated in other closed-basin lakes. The reason for this insensitivity to climatic events is explained by the interior location of the basin, the low relief of the mountains surrounding the catchment, the large surface area of the catchment, and the low average sedimentation rates. All of the above criteria are at least partially controlled by the tectonics of the area, which, in turn, affect the sedimentation rate and supply water to the basin. Therefore, it is important to consider the influence of the above factors in determining global versus local, or regional, climate curves for a particular basin.},
doi = {},
journal = {AAPG Bulletin (American Association of Petroleum Geologists); (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 75:3,
place = {United States},
year = 1991,
month = 3
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • Blomidon Formation red beds comprise over 200 m-scale cycles of (1) sand-flat sandstone (distal alluvial-fan deposits) and (2) playa sandy mudstone and/or lacustrine claystones. Rift basin subsidence and local sagging along the Glooscap fault system generated sand-flat/playa mud-flat cycles by shifting loci of active fan sedimentation toward and away from the playa surface as fan lobes migrated toward topographic lows. Episodes of intense aridity are recorded in the sand-flat and playa mud-flat deposits where amalgamated sheetflood packages are characterized by pervasive evaporite mineralization (principally gypsum) controlled by subsurface evolution of a Ca-SO/sub 4/-Na-Cl brine. Aridity is further evidenced by significantmore » disruption of sedimentary fabrics beneath evaporite crusts, deep mud cracks, eolian sandstone layers and patches, and precipitation of authigenic calcium and magnesium-rich illite/smectite and analcime. Carbon isotopic data from early formed, low-magnesium calcite cements (pre-gypsum) reflect slightly to moderately elevated subsurface salinities that accompanied initial brine evolution. During relatively wetter periods, lacustrine platy claystones accumulated in shallow, oxidizing lakes that lapped onto the sand flats. Claystone units lack evaporite minerals and textures, and many units are partially burrowed. Carbon isotopic data from calcite cements are consistently lighter than sand-flat/playa mud-flat calcites and were in equilibrium with relatively fresh subsurface pore waters.« less
  • Heterogeneous sediments in playa basins document the evolution of shallow depressions on the Texas High Plains surface through the late Quaternary. The suite of sediments encountered in playa-lake basins differs from the typical lithologies of the Blackwater Draw Formation in upland areas. The upland Blackwater Draw Formation has red-brown clayey silt containing root casts, well-developed soil fabrics, and abundant pedogenic carbonate nodules. Cores drilled in playa basins encountered a repetitive suite of gray clay, well-sorted fine to medium sand, and laminated sand and silt associated with clay drapes and beds of pedogenic calcite pebbles. The gray clay was deposited inmore » ephemeral lakes similar to modern playa lakes. Small clams and drab colors extending downward from these deposits demonstrate ponding. Soil fabrics, soil slickensides, deep clay-filled cracks, and root tubules within the clayey beds indicate desiccation and exposure of the lake floor. Well-sorted sand layers represent episodic migration of sand sheets across the playa. Laminated sand and silt beds are interpreted as delta deposits that formed at the mouths of draws. Minimal soil formation indicates relatively rapid deposition during delta progradation. The suite of playa sediments interfingers with upland Blackwater Draw facies, documenting the temporal equivalence of playa and upland deposition and expansion and contraction of the lake within the playa basin. Complex patterns of oxidation, reduction, and precipitation and dissolution of calcite document the interaction between ground water and sediments.« less
  • Shallow seismic data from Sevenmile Basin, a large ephemeral lake (playa) basin in the Texas Panhandle, reveal that subsidence has been an important agent in basin formation. Sevenmile Basin is 5.5 x 3.6 km across and 14 m deep and contains 20 m of lacustrine and eolian sediments that interfinger with the Quaternary Blackwater Draw Formation. Seismic reflection and refraction data were collected from the unlithified and variably saturated clastic sequence beneath Seven-mile Basin to investigate the geological history and hydrogeological framework of playa basins, which recharge the regionally important Ogallala aquifer. Three-layer velocity models provide good solutions for reversedmore » refraction data. Near-surface p-wave velocities (layer 1) range from 349 to 505 m/s, layer 2 velocities range from 806 to 851 m/s, and layer 3 velocities range from 2,037 to 2,161 m/s. Shallow test holes and drillers' logs suggest that layer 1 is composed of playa and upper Blackwater Draw Formation deposits, layer 2 consists of lower Blackwater Draw Formation and upper Ogallala Formation deposits, and layer 3 represents a competent and partly saturated zone near the top of the Ogallala aquifer. Reflection sections show a middle Ogallala reflector, a reflector at the top of Permian or Triassic bedrock, and internal bedrock reflectors that indicate a structural low beneath Sevenmile Basin. Increasing relief with age, from 14 m at the surface to 70 m on the middle Ogallala reflector to 110 m at the base of the Ogallala, is interpreted as evidence of subsidence of underlying Permian evaporite-bearing strata before or during Ogallala deposition. 29 refs., 12 figs., 2 tabs.« less
  • The Salar de Atacama and westerly adjacent Domeyko basins originated as Permian foreland rifts, containing some 2 km of Triassic synrift red beds. Continued extension and volcanic are establishment resulted in deposition of important Jurassic marine source rocks in the Domeyko basin. Rift basin subsidence was controlled by extension, followed by thermal sagging. Middle Cretaceous contraction (opening of the south Atlantic) inverted the Domeyko back-arc basin as a thrustbelt. To the east, the Salar basin subsequently accommodated 4 km of Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene continental detritus. Accommodation space reflected the interplay between limited flexural loading and thermal effects related to a 150more » km eastward jump of the Andean volcanic arc to the margin of the arc-related, foreland-style basin. Late Eocene transpression (high rate of oblique convergence between the Farallon and South American plates) inverted the western basin margin, sourcing a 2 km thick Oligocene intra-arc basin-fill component. Accommodation space was controlled by thermal sagging associated with a further 100 km eastward arc jump. The Salar de Atacama basin thus provides a model for the evolution of complex, mixed origin basins associated with a migrating volcanic arc and varying crustal stress regime. The complex interplay between variable tectonic style and thermal processes in controlling subsidence and resultant stratigraphic development is not yet adequately constrained. However, simple, single stage tectono-sedimentary models commonly used in play definition may not be appropriate in complex, arc-related basin settings.« less
  • Santonian, Campanian, and Maestrichtian deposystems of the Sacramento basin of California consist principally of deltaic slope, deep-sea-fan, and basin-plain lithofacies that generally prograded southward and westward into the basin from magmatic-arc source areas located to the east in the Sierra Nevada and to the north in the Klamath Mountains area. The basin formed in the northern part of the Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous Great Valley fore-arc basin, filled with more than 15 km of siliciclastic strata. Partly coeval accretionary-wedge units of the Franciscan complex to the west structurally underlie the force-arc-basin deposits. Because the uppermost Cretaceous fill of themore » fore-arc basin produces large volumes of natural gas, abundant subsurface data, complemented by excellent outcrop data, are available to establish the relations between tectonics and sedimentation. The eastern basin margin formed a stable, shallow, gently, west-dipping shelf underlain by the Sierran magmatic-arc complex. The axial and western parts of the basin formed a more unstable, deep-marine, south-plunging through underlain by ophiolithic basement rocks. The western basin margin was a submarine ridge underlain by the Franciscan accretionary wedge; underplating and tectonic uplift of this ridge resulted in arcward migration of facies and depocenters through time, accounting for the great thickness of accumulated sediment and the complex distribution of facies within the forearc. Downfaulting along the arc margin to the east formed a number of Downfaulting along the arc margin to the east formed a number of additional depocenters. Subsequent Tertiary thrusting and strike-slip-related tectonism produced most of the major structural traps in the basin.« less