Bachelor of Arts
Tepee Buttes, Limestone, Taphonomic, Methane
The Tepee Buttes methane seep deposits exist today as topographically defined limestone features in the surrounding Pierre Shale of the Campanian Western Interior Seaway. The present sloping surface has previously been assumed to be indicative of original seep structure, and biofacies were interpreted as roughly ringing a central vent core. Contradictory field observations in this study have prompted a more detailed taphonomic approach to the Tepee Buttes limestone, and certain depositional features such as reworked horizontal shell beds were noted and examined in detail for the first time. The results of a taphonomic and sedimentologic analysis reveal a complex history of reworking that likely involved current action and bioturbation by burrowing seep fauna. We found no clear evidence for deposition along a sloping surface as inclined as today, and buttes are interpreted as having low/uneven original relief.
Close, Hilary G., "Taphonomic and Sedimentologic Study of the Cretaceous Tepee Buttes Limestone" (2006). Honors Papers. 456.