Subsurface Stratigraphy of the Strawn and Canyon Groups of west central Texas, Concho and Menard counties


Carbonate rock units of the upper Strawn Group (Desmoinesian) developed on the western flanks of the Llano uplift on a positive topographic platform, the Concho shelf. Late Mississippian and early Pennsylvanian orogenic uplifts along the Texas craton exposed the Ordovician Ellenburger Group carbonate rocks to extensive erosion and provided the paleotopographic unconformity upon which these cyclic limestones and shales were distributed. Orogenic activity related to the advancing Ouachita Fold Belt occurred synchronously with late Strawn deposition. The rising Ouachita orogenic belt initiated a fluvial-deltaic depositional complex that prograded over a slowly subsiding carbonate shelf. In early Canyon time (Missourian) deformation along the Ouachita Fold Belt decreased in intensity and a more stable carbonate platform environment was reestablished on the shelf. Cycles of marine and prodeltaic shales capped by algal limestones characterize the Canyon Group. Paleotopographic variations in the lower Canyon indicate early Missourian tectonic movement in the Ellenburger limestones. In contrast, the wedge-shape geometry of the upper Canyon carbonate units suggest shoreward-building carbonate banks. These banks developed over very porous, water-saturated prodelta shales and gained thickness as accumulating carbonates compressed the unconsolidated distal muds.



Missourian, Ordovician Ellenburger, Stratigraphy, Geology