Abstract by Omar Ahmad
Identifying Microbial Reefs in the Timpoweap Member, located in the Lower Triassic Moenkopi Formation of Hurricane Cliffs, Utah.
The Timpoweap Member is comprised of a series of microbial patch reefs separated by stratified inter-reef strata. Nine domal reefs are exposed along the traverse with the reef cores comprised of microbial boundstone containing variable abundances of non-skeletal carbonate grains; chiefly ooids, oncoids and pisoids. Flanking and inter-reef beds are dominated by non-skeletal grains with lesser amounts of microbial material. The reefs represent an interplay between biological and vadose diagenetic processes that developed on a shallow subtidal shelf in the aftermath of the Permo-Triassic extinction. The final results will result in the first investigation and carbonate analysis on the Timpoweap Member.
This research is an in-depth study of the area on top of the Hurricane Cliffs, evaluating thin sections of the 5 meter-thick Timpoweap Limestone. The evaluation process includes constructing a point count on the thin sections. This count will identify the carbonate material at each crosshair of a grid that has been over-laid on each section. To insure that the process of counting is cohesive and consistent an area of 9 squares on the grid are approximately 2 mm.