New three-dimensional (3D) lithologic and stratigraphic models of the Santa Rosa Plain (California, USA) delineate the thickness, extent, and distribution of subsurface geologic units and allow integration of diverse data sets to produce a lithologic, stratigraphic, and structural architecture for the region. This framework can be used to predict pathways of groundwater flow beneath the Santa Rosa Plain and potential areas of enhanced or focused seismic shaking.
Lithologic descriptions from 2683 wells were simplified to 19 internally consistent lithologic classes. These distinctive lithologic classes were used to construct a 3D model of lithologic variations within the basin by extrapolating data away from drill holes using a nearest-neighbor approach. Subsurface stratigraphy was defined through the identification of distinctive lithologic packages tied, where possible, to high-quality well control and to surface exposures. The 3D stratigraphic model consists of three bounding components: fault surfaces, stratigraphic surfaces, and a surface representing the top of pre-Cenozoic basement, derived from inversion of regional gravity data.
The 3D lithologic model displays a west to east transition from dominantly marine sands to heterogeneous continental sediments. In contrast to previous stratigraphic studies, the new models emphasize the prevalence of the clay-rich Petaluma Formation and its heterogeneous nature. Isopach maps of the Glen Ellen Formation and the 3D stratigraphic model show the influence of the Trenton Ridge, a concealed basement ridge that bisects the plain, on sedimentation; the thickest deposits of the Glen Ellen Formation are confined to north of the Trenton Ridge.
- Received 18 March 2009.
- Revision received 6 July 2009.
- Accepted 27 October 2009.
- © 2010 Geological Society of America