Tidally influenced deposits of the Hickory Sandstone, Cambrian, Central Texas
Cornish, Frank Gary
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The Hickory Sandstone Member of the Riley Formation is dominantly quartz sandstone up to 167 m thick which crops out in the Llano Uplift region of central Texas and dips away in all directions. It lies unconformably upon the irregular surface of the Precambrian Texas craton. The association of isopach thicks and thins over cratonic lows and highs demonstrates topographic control of Hickory deposition. Regional subsurface studies delineate the extent of the overlying Cap Mountain Limestone. Beyond the limits of the Cap Mountain, the Hickory grades into the Lion Mountain Sandstone laterally and vertically so that correlations are difficult. The six lithofacies of the Hickory Sandstone were deposited as nonbarred tidally-influenced or estuarine-related equivalents to deposits of Holocene environments. Outer estuarine tidal channel-shoal deposits display abundant channel fills of large-scale foresets, parallel bedded sandstone, and minor siltstone. Trilobite trackways (Cruziana) and resting traces (Rusophycus) occur in these deposits, associated with U-shape burrows (Diplocraterion and Corophioides). Deposits of open coast sandy tidal flats display upward-fining character, medium-to large-scale festoon crossbedding, abundant small-scale ripple bedforms of all types, and mudcracks. These deposits include the U-shape burrows, Corophiodes, and the trackway, Climactichnites. Deposits of inner estuarine tidal channels and tidal flats display upward-fining character, wavy-lenticular bedding, bimodal paleocurrent patterns, and the resting trace, Pelecypodichnus. All of these deposits prograded as a unit until sea level rise shut off sediment supply. Progradation of tidal channel and shoal sediments was renewed. These deposits are festoon crossbedded hematitic sandstone with wavy-lenticular bedding and abundant fossil debris. Storm energy funneled through tidal channels deposited crossbedded sandstone onto the nearshore inlet-influenced shelf. Final Hickory deposits and initial Cap Mountain deposits were storm-dominated, burrowed and laminated calcitic shelf sands.