Stratigraphy and depositional environments of the Upper Devonian Fenstermaker Limestone, Eureka County, Nevada Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n870zw446

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  • The Upper Devonian Fenstermaker Limestone is a thickening-upward sequence of interbedded sandy intrapelsparite and subordinate calcareous siltstone and mudstone which averages 190 ft (58 m) thick in the northern Antelope Range. The Fenstermaker Limestone is revised and restricted herein to include only those rocks above a basinal shale sequence of the upper Denay Limestone and below the Mississippian Davis Spring Formation, and replaces the names "Devonian sandstone" of Trojan (1978) and the "Fenstermaker Wash Formation" of Hose and others (1982). Sandy limestone of the Fenstermaker Limestone was deposited rapidly, above upper Denay basinal shales, as resedimented beds in Frasnian Montagne Noir conodont zone 13 and the Lower Famennian Middle triangularis Zone. Reworked conodonts are present at numerous stratigraphic levels in the Fenstermaker, indicating erosion on the inner or middle carbonate platform during two Upper Devonian eustatic regressions (in lower and upper T-R cycle Ild; western U. S. events 7 and 8). Deposition of the Fenstermaker Limestone was by allodapic sediment gravity flows on an outer-shelf-basin ramp or at the toe of a low-angle (<4°) carbonate slope during incipient outer-shelf- basin filling, i.e. as reciprocal sedimentation. Detrital quartz sand averages 11% but ranges much higher in sand-rich laminae preserved in strata along the western range front. Sorting characteristics of the sand were attained in a siliciclastic beach environment prior to deposition in the carbonate lithotope. Pitting and frosting of grain surfaces are at least partially diagenetic in origin and not necessarily a product of eolian transport. Two allochthonous limestone blocks in the southern Fish Creek Range, northern Nye County (blocks A and C of Sans, 1986), are assigned to the Fenstermaker Limestone and are considered to have been derived from the west. Beds the age of the Fenstermaker Limestone are absent at an unconformity in the Cortez Mountains, west-central Eureka County. Detrital quartz sand concentrated along stylolites in the Upper Devonian part of the Popovich Formation, southern Tuscarora Mountains, northern Eureka County, were point-counted as an aid in determining formational thickness loss due to pressure-solution. Thickness reductions are estimated at 12-13%.
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