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Professional Paper 1748

Stratigraphy and Facies of Cretaceous Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Formations in Colville River Bluffs, North Slope, Alaska

By Romeo M. Flores, Mark D. Myers, David W. Houseknecht, Gary D. Stricker, Donald W. Brizzolara, Timothy J. Ryherd, and Kenneth I. Takahashi

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Professional Paper 1748
PDF (10.9 MB)

Stratigraphic and sedimentologic studies of facies of the Upper Cretaceous rocks along the Colville River Bluffs in the west-central North Slope of Alaska identified barrier shoreface deposits consisting of vertically stacked, coarsening-upward parasequences in the Schrader Bluff Formation. This vertical stack of parasequence deposits represents progradational sequences that were affected by shoaling and deepening cycles caused by fluctuations of sea level. Further, the vertical stack may have served to stabilize accumulation of voluminous coal deposits in the Prince Creek Formation, which formed braided, high-sinuosity meandering, anastomosed, and low-sinuosity meandering fluvial channels and related flood plain deposits. The erosional contact at the top of the uppermost coarsening-upward sequence, however, suggests a significant drop of base level (relative sea level) that permitted a semiregional subaerial unconformity to develop at the contact between the Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Formations. This drop of relative sea level may have been followed by a relative sea-level rise to accommodate coal deposition directly above the unconformity. This rise was followed by a second drop of relative sea level, with formation of incised valley topography as much as 75 ft deep and an equivalent surface of a major marine erosion or mass wasting, or both, either of which can be traced from the Colville River Bluffs basinward to the subsurface in the west-central North Slope. The Prince Creek fluvial deposits represent late Campanian to late Maastrichtian depositional environments that were affected by these base level changes influenced by tectonism, basin subsidence, and sea-level fluctuations.

Version 1.0

Posted February 2008

Suggested citation:

Flores, R.M., Myers, M.D., Houseknecht, D.W., Stricker, G.D., Brizzolara, D.W., Ryherd, T.J., and Takahashi, K.I., 2007, Stratigraphy and facies of Cretaceous Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Formations in Colville River Bluffs, North Slope, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1748, 52 p.




Stratigraphic Nomenclature and Methods

General Stratigraphy

Schrader Bluff Formation

Prince Creek Formation

Palynological Ages and Regional Correlations

Vertical Stratigraphic Framework and Sedimentologic Variations

Upper Schrader Bluff Formation



Prince Creek Formation (Lower Part)



Prince Creek Formation (Middle and Upper Parts)



Stratigraphic Facies Variations Within the Sentinel Hill Core Test 1 Well

Correlations of the Sentinel Hill Core Test 1 to Colville River Bluffs Exposures

Lateral Stratigraphic Variations

Shivugak to Uluksrak Bluffs



Anaktuvuk River to VABM Kavik



Ocean Point Bluff



Previous Stratigraphic Sections, Correlations, and Interpretations of the Ocean Point Area

Summary of Fluvial System Deposits Between Shivugak and Ocean Point Bluff

Applications to Oil and Gas Fields in the Central North Slope



References Cited

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