Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Science


Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Harold Rowe


The Late Cretaceous Eagle Ford Formation contains the Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary (CTB). It crops out along the Red River and extends southward through the Dallas-Fort Worth Area of Texas, Waco, Austin and west towards Del Rio and Big Bend. The outcrops were not sampled. Sampling was conducted on cores located at the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG). The cores were collected from Zavala, La Salle, Frio, Gonzalez, De Witt, and Bee Counties. The Austin Chalk Formation is located above the Eagle Ford Formation and the Buda Formation is located below it. Deposition of the Eagle Ford Formation occurred in the southern portion of Western Interior Seaway (WIS) of North America during a period of high temperature due to greenhouse warming stemming from enhanced volcanism and associated CO2 input. Increased CO2 input ultimately resulted in enhanced continental solubility or weathering and enhanced primary productivity, which resulted in stagnant, oxygen, depleted waters. The effect of the former was to possibly cause the second (OAE-2) of six global ocean anoxic events that occurred during the Cretaceous Period. A combination of enhanced carbonate precipitation from primary productivity and enhanced preservation caused by ocean anoxia led to the deposition of highly carbonaceous organic-rich mudrock. All the samples were measured using a Bruker XRF handheld device. Select samples were measured for %TIC, %TOC, %N, %S, ä13C and ä15N. The data revealed that sampled population included not only the upper and lower portion of the Eagle Ford Formation, but the overlaying Austin Chalk and underlying Buda Formations. This was primarily determined by the Molybdenum concentration. Molybdenum concentration less than or equal to 5 ppm indicate the presence of oxic to suboxic water column conditions. Molybdenum concentration that is greater than or equal to 5 ppm, but less than 20 ppm indicates anoxic water column conditions. Molybdenum concentration that is equal to or greater than 20 ppm indicates euxinic water column conditions. The Eagle Ford Formation was deposited mostly under anoxic to euxinic conditions. The overlying Austin Chalk Formation and underlying Buda Formation were both deposited under dominantly oxic to suboxic conditions. Analyses of the results indicate upwelling was prevalent during much of the deposition of each core. Upwelling is indicated by the enrichment of Phosphorus and depletion of Manganese. Increased continental weathering and upwelling were the likely primary controlling influences that caused anoxic-euxinc water column conditions. Such conditions facilitated enhanced organic matter preservation during the deposition of the Eagle Ford Formation.


Earth Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington