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Journal of Geological Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 759395, 16 pages
Research Article

Multiscale Erosion Surfaces of the Organic-Rich Barnett Shale, Fort Worth Basin, USA

Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, Suez University, Salah Naesem St., Etaka, Suez 43721, Egypt

Received 21 September 2012; Revised 18 March 2013; Accepted 10 April 2013

Academic Editor: Steven L. Forman

Copyright © 2013 Mohamed O. Abouelresh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The high frequency and diversity of erosion surfaces throughout the Barnett Shale give a unique view into the short-duration stratigraphic intervals that were previously much more difficult to detect in such fine-grained rocks. The erosion surfaces in Barnett Shale exhibit variable relief (5.08–61 mm) which commonly consists of shelly laminae, shale rip-up clasts, reworked mud intraclasts, phosphatic pellets, and/or diagenetic minerals (dolomite and pyrite) mostly with clay-rich mudstone groundmass. Several factors control this lithological variation, including the energy conditions, rate of relative sea-level fluctuation, rate of sedimentation, sediment influx, and the lithofacies type of the underlying as well as the overlying beds. The erosional features and their associated surfaces make them serve at least in part as boundaries between different genetic types of deposits but with different scales according to their dependence on base level and/or sediment supply. Accordingly, the studied erosion surfaces of the Barnett Shale can be grouped into three different scales of sequence stratigraphic surfaces: sequence-scale surfaces, parasequence-scale surfaces, and within trend-scale surfaces.