Eocene facies successions and environments in the Southern Llanos basin, Colombia
This work presents the facies analysis and depositional environment for the Eocene rocks in the southern Llanos Basin (SLLB) and southern Llanos Foothills. Cores and outcrop samples were analyzed by palynology and detrital zircon U-Pb
geochronology. In this paper, we present ages for the facies and two important paleosol markers.
The lower member of the Mirador Formation consists of amalgamated sandstones and conglomerates accumulated in a braidad channel belt. The lower Mirador is 33 m thick and early Eocene in the Foothills, whereas in the SLLB, it ist is 22 m thick and middle Eocene in age; it pinches out approximately 33 km to the east. The fluvial facies rests over an unconformity marked by a mature and intensively-weathered paleosol developed over Paleocene, Cretaceous and older rocks to the east. This mature paleosol was dated by U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology as middle to late Paleocene. At the top of the lower Mirador, we describe an interval of sandstones with root casts capped by a thin layer of coal or coaly mudstone. This facies succession evolved as A compound paleosol is a polygenetic soil that marks a change from well-drained conditions under a subaerial vegetation cover to poor-drained conditions of marsh and swamps, which halt vegetation growth, which is incorporated as coal or coaly mudstone, see the section of Facies Successions. At the top of the lower Mirador facies and recorded the cessation of the fluvial system and its stabilization by vegetation. The coal layer marked the posterior rise on the water table and flooding. Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology dated this compound paleosol as middle Eocene.
Above the fluvial facies of the lower Mirador, shallow marine facies deposited during the middle and late Eocene in the Foothills and western SLLB. The marine facies consist in shelf mudstone and shoreface sandstone in a coarsening upward trend. These facies correspond to the C8 member of the Carbonera Formation. The correlative middle Eocene facies to the east of the SLLB are carbonaceous mudstones and coals that were deposited in swamp-marsh and lagoon environments in backshore to coastal-plain environments during the middle Eocene.
The fluvial and coastal plain, as well as the marine facies, fossilized an erosional relief less than 50 m high, corresponding to a paleo-landscape. The paleo-landscape was carved at the end of the Paleocene and is capped by the intensely-weathered paleosol indicating subaerial exposition. The paleo-landscape was modeled over Paleocene, Cretaceous, Paleozoic, and basement rocks toward the east and south of the basin. This paleo-landscape lasted until the end of the middle Eocene in the studied area.
The Fluvial reservoirs are not continuous but distributed along channel belts composed of channels and braided bars in an NW direction. The marine shoreface reservoirs are distributed as swaths of sandstones in a perpendicular direction to the fluvial belts. These reservoirs have excellent seal rocks above. The plays include fluvial valley sandstones and buried hills of Cretaceous sandstones.
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