Sequence stratigraphic framework of the late Devonian (Frasnian) Duperow Formation in western and central Montana

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


The Late Devonian Duperow Formation in western and central Montana and it's equivalent lower Jefferson Formation, is comprised of shallow marine carbonate strata deposited on the western margin of North America. It has produced significant volumes of oil and natural gas in the Alberta and Williston basins where the sequence stratigraphic framework of the formation is well-documented. However, in western and central Montana, the Duperow remains largely understudied. Additionally, at Kevin Dome, in northwest Montana, the Duperow hosts a large naturally occurring carbon-dioxide (CO^2) accumulation which is a potential economic resource and an analog for CO^2 sequestration over geologic time scales. The goal of this study is to determine the facies relationships and sequence stratigraphic architecture of the Late Devonian Duperow Formation in western and central Montana. This interpretation could help in exploration for oil and natural gas and provide useful information to aid in future carbon sequestration efforts. Multiple data sets are used in this study to best constrain depositional environments on the platform during Duperow deposition. Seven measured sections, three drill cores with associated well-logs, and forty-one thin sections are used to characterize facies, facies associations, parasequences, parasequence sets and sequences of the Duperow Formation and to construct the sequence stratigraphic framework within which these strata occur. Ten lithofacies comprising six lithofacies associations allow the interpretation of six depositional environments responsible for deposition of the Duperow Formation. The Duperow thins from the west and north onto the Central Montana Uplift, a paleohigh at the time, and thickens into the Central Montana Trough, a sub-basin on the platform. Two 2nd order and seven 3rd order sequences are interpreted from measured sections. Sequences are comprised of a transgressive systems tract and a highstand systems tract with no evidence for lowstand strata on the shelf. Transgression across the Central Montana Uplift did not occur until after the basal sequence boundary of the upper 2nd order sequence. Prior to this transgression, sequences lapped out before reaching the Central Montana Uplift. Overall, the Duperow in central and western Montana exhibits retrogradational stacking and thus is part of the transgressive systems tract of a lower-order megasequence.




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