Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Diane L. Kamola

Committee Member

Randall S. Spencer

Committee Member

Dennis A. Darby

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4 G73


An interpretation for middle shoreface (MSF) intervals was developed by comparing MSF intervals from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Blackhawk Formation, east-central Utah, with conceptual models proposed for modern nearshore areas. Specifically, MSF intervals identified within the Sunnyside Member were compared with MSF intervals identified within the Spring Canyon (Kamola and Van Wagoner, 1995) and the Aberdeen (Kamola, unpublished data) members.

A comparison of MSF interval data revealed that MSF intervals occur stratigraphically between upper and lower shore face deposits, disrupting the standard vertical succession for nearshore marine deposits (consisting of offshore, lower shore face, upper shore face, and foreshore deposits). Nearly all MSF intervals consist of alternating planar bedded-to-burrowed beds of varying thicknesses. Only one MSF interval consists entirely of planar beds. The total thickness of MSF intervals varied from 1.5 to 9.5 meters.

Based upon conceptual models proposed for modern nearshore areas, MSF intervals were interpreted as ancient seaward slope deposits. In other words, MSF intervals are evidence of barred nearshore systems preserved in the stratigraphic record. While preservation of seaward slope deposits had already been predicted (Shipp, 1984), this is the first time that these deposits have been interpreted in the stratigraphic record.


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