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Sequence Stratigraphy and Evolution of a Basin-Slope Succession: The Late Proterozoic Wonoka Formation, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

DiBona, P. A.; Von der Borch, C. C.; Christie-Blick, Nicholas

A shelf to basin‐slope transition is vertically and laterally exposed within the Late Proterozoic Wonoka Formation in the northern Flinders Ranges of South Australia. The shelf to basin‐slope transition can be divided into four units (C to F) which are defined on the basis of facies, sedimentary structures, contacts, stratal geometry, and the type and abundance of down‐slope mass movement. The lowest unit (C) is mudstone dominated and parallel laminated with rare synsedimentary slides. Unit D, a thin, resedimented siliciclastic‐carbonate unit deposited on a sequence boundary at the end of unit C progradation, displays a lateral facies change from well bedded ‘outer shelf deposits in the east to basin‐slope debris flows in the west. Unit E forms a shallowing and coarsening upward succession from ‘outer shelf siltstone to ‘inner shelf storm wave influenced sandstone deposits. The unit thickens westwards, in the interpreted down‐slope direction, where it becomes finer grained and thinner bedded and displays an increasing abundance of synsedimentary slides. Unit F, deposited on an inferred shelf to basin‐slope transition, coarsens and shallows upward, thickens to the west and contains the highest percentage of sandstone and synsedimentary slides. Unit G, deposited at shelf depths, also shallows and coarsens upward from a thin, basal carbonate‐siliciclastic member, with sandstone increasing upsection to a gradational contact with the Pound Subgroup.
Three sequences can be defined within this transition on the basis of facies, stratal terminations, and facies discontinuities at inferred sequence boundaries. Each sequence is marked by a transgressive base, overlain by a shallowing‐upward succession. On the inferred shelf and near the shelfbreak, toward the top of the succession, facies discontinuities at sequence boundaries are more obvious, with distinct contrasts in lithology and inferred palaeoenvironments; farther down‐slope and stratigraphically lower in the succession, the boundaries are cryptic, and only lateral tracing of the contacts from the shelf to the slope or the observation of stratal terminations permits them to be recognized.

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Australian Journal of Earth Sciences

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