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Forward Stratigraphic Modeling of Deltaic Deposits Using Delft 3-D

Esposito, Christopher; Boyd, Ron; Straub, Kyle M.

Modeling realistic deltaic stratigraphy from defined input conditions would confer on geologists the ability to test depositional models of delta development at a range of temporal scales that are not easily observable in the field. Advances in software and computing power make it possible to create process-based models that solve the equations of fluid motion which, when coupled to sediment transport, deposition, and erosion algorithms allow for the modeling of reservoir-scale systems. However, process based models are still limited in the amount of time that they can represent. These process based models have been used to examine the planform morphology of deltaic systems under a variety of forcing conditions, but to date, only a few studies have examined their resulting stratigraphic architecture. Here we use Delft 3-D software to simulate the creation of ~10 channel depths worth of stratigraphy for three prototype deltas (wave, tide, and river dominated) across a range of forcing conditions, in order to quantify stratigraphic trends resulting from the magnitude of each forcing. These results form the basis of a "library" of delta stratigraphies, which are validated to demonstrate statistical similarity to natural and lab systems using recently developed statistical metrics which quantify stratigraphic organization, including the Compensation Index, the K function for clustering, and by constructing a Sadler curve of stratigraphic completeness.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013