Depositional facies, architecture and environments of the Sihwa Formation (Lower Cretaceous), mid-west Korea with special reference to dinosaur eggs
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- Depositional facies, architecture and environments of the Sihwa Formation (Lower Cretaceous), mid-west Korea with special reference to dinosaur eggs
- Kim, S. B.; Kim, Y. -G.; Jo, H. R.; Jeong, K. S.; Chough, S. K.
- KIOST Author(s)
- Jeong, Kap Sik(정갑식)
- This paper presents detailed facies and architectural analyses and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the Sihwa Formation (Lower Cretaceous), mid-west Korea, which comprises an about 3-km-thick non-marine succession containing abundant dinosaur eggshells. Based on constituent facies, bedset geometry, stacking pattern, and bounding surface characteristics, the entire succession can be classified into three architectural elements. Element I occurs along the basin margin and shows a monotonous stacking of tabular or crudely stratified conglomeratic units. It represents alluvial-fan deposits of debris-flow-dominated fan and sheetflood-dominated fan. Element II is characterized by multi-storey, sheet or upward-widening, conglomeratic channel-fills whose maximum thickness exceeds 1.5 m. Each channel-fill unit is encased within red-brown silty sandstones of Element III with sharp erosional bases but diffuse gradational upper boundaries. It consists generally of (1) cut-and-fill deposit (trough cross-stratified or openwork conglomerate) in the lower part and (2) composite low-relief bar deposit (lenticular conglomerate and stratified gravelly sandstone) in the upper part. Shallowness of each cut-and-fill unit, absence of fining-upward lateral accretion package and the predominance of simple-bar deposit collectively suggest deposition from ephemeral braided streams. Element III typically shows a fining-upward stacking of (1) single- or multi-storey small-scale (<1.5 m thick) channel fills with limited lateral extent of less than 15 m, (2) poorly sorted, graded and diffusely bounded silty conglomerates or gravelly siltstones with discontinuous gravel sheets and pockets and (3) homogeneous or graded, red-brown fine-grained deposits with calcretes and burrows in ascending order. Element III is interpreted as channel-margin to floodplain, including crevasse channel fill, crevasse splay and floodplain fines. The entire sequence of the Sihwa Formation can be divided into the alluvial-fan and terminal-fan successions. The alluvial-fan succession displays a progradational stacking pattern and indicates a low rate of basin subsidence in the initial phase of rifting. The upper terminal-fan succession consists of proximal braided stream and distal floodplain deposits in the western and central parts of the basin and is characterized by an axial dispersal pattern and an aggradational stacking. It suggests rapid subsidence of the basin floor during the main phase of rifting. The asymmetrical cross-basin distribution of each architectural element reflects a half-graben structure of the basin with steep-gradient fault-bounded eastern margin (footwall block) and gently sloped, flexural western margin (hangingwall block). The predominance of ephemeral braided-stream deposits along with red-brown fine-grained floodplain deposits with common calcretes indicates and to semi-arid palaeoclimates. Approximately 140 dinosaur eggs (Faveoloolithidae and Dendroolithidae) were identified mainly from the (gravelly) siltstones and small-scale channel fills of Element III deposits and partly from the cut-and-fill conglomerates of Element II deposits. The eggs commonly retain their original oval shape but are invariably breached and stuffed with the substrate of gravels and silt. They are either isolated or clustered, forming a circular concentration in plan view. The abundant yield of eggs, more than 20 eggs in 5 separate nests from a single depositional unit, suggests a dense population of the parental dinosaurs. The repetitive occurrence in many stratigraphic horizons reflects site preference as a nesting habitat of the near-channel or abandoned channel areas. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- CRETACEOUS RESEARCH, v.30, no.1, pp.100 - 126, 2009
- ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
- CANYON ALLUVIAL-FAN; DEBRIS-FLOW; SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES; NORTHWESTERN PART; BEARING DEPOSITS; KYONGSANG BASIN; DEATH-VALLEY; SOUTH-KOREA; PALEOENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS; GYEONGSANG SUPERGROUP
- Alluvial fan; Ephemeral braided stream; Depositional facies and architecture; Dinosaur egg and nest; Sihwa Formation; Cretaceous
- ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
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