- UW Department of Geology and Geophysics
The eastern border of the Hanna Basin, Wyoming, is defined by Simpson Ridge anticline, a Laramide structure that separates the Hanna Basin from the more easterly Carbon Basin. New geologic mapping along with interpretation of well logs and seismic-reflection data suggest that this structural feature was created through a combination of thick- and thin-skinned deformation during the contractional Laramide orogeny. Major west-directed, basement-involved faulting occurs beneath Simpson Ridge, suggesting that this structural feature is not related to the eastvergent Elk Mountain anticline. Although major basement-involved thrusts underlie Simpson Ridge, the development of the anticline also involved thin-skinned, out-of-the-basin thrusting related to the deeply rooted basement faults by a trishear deformational zone. An unconformity between the Cretaceous–Paleocene Ferris Formation and Paleocene Hanna Formation marks initiation of fault-controlled uplift along the Simpson Ridge anticline. On the eastern side of Simpson Ridge, the Hanna Formation was faulted westward onto the Lewis Shale, thereby yielding a younger-on-older structural relationship. Palynological data suggest that the age of the Hanna Formation in the southwestern Carbon Basin is late Paleocene. These data thus provide a maximum age for later deformation along Simpson Ridge anticline and for the consequent definition of the western edge of Carbon Basin.