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PSComparison of Deepwater Mass Transport Complex Settings: West Texas; South-Central Pyrenees, Spain; Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria
Robert Amerman1, Bruce Trudgill1, Eric P. Nelson1, Michael H. Gardner2, Pau Arbués3, Jim Borer4, Julian Clark5, Grace L. Ford6, Hugo Ortner7, Douglas Paton1, Piret Plink-Björklund1, and David Pyles1
Search and Discovery Article #40239 (2007)
Posted May 10, 2007
*Adapted from poster presentation at AAPG Annual Convention, Long Beach, California, April 1-4, 2007
1Colorado School of Mines, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Golden, Colorado ([email protected])
2Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences, Bozeman, Montana
3University of Barcelona, Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology, and Marine Geosciences, Barcelona, Spain
4El Paso Corporation, Denver, Colorado
5Chevron Energy Technology Company, San Ramon, California
6EOG Resources, Denver, Colorado
7University of Innsbruck, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Innsbruck, Austria
Submarine mass transport deposits (MTDs) are an important component of deepwater stratigraphic successions. They indicate basin or hinterland reorganization, control the location and geometry of overlying sand reservoirs, and may act as barriers to fluid flow. MTDs comprise a significant portion of the sedimentary fill of three paleo-deepwater basins: the Delaware Basin, west Texas; an unnamed basin containing the Gosau Group at Muttekopf, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria; and the Ainsa Basin, Pyrenees, Spain. These basins vary with respect to degree of syndepositional tectonism, degree of confinement by basin size and geometry, and sediment composition.
Among these three basins, MTDs display both similarities and differences with respect to: 1) types and styles of soft-sediment structures, 2) internal stratigraphic architecture, 3) degree of bedding coherence, 4) hierarchal and areal distribution, 5) position in stratigraphic cycles, 6) volume, and 7) relationships to reservoir-quality sands and underlying topography.
Data collected to date during this ongoing study suggest that deepwater MTDs may possess certain fundamental characteristics (e.g., some types of internal structures, position in stratigraphic cycles) that do not vary with respect to differences in setting but that may vary in other respects (e.g., internal stratigraphic organization, areal distribution, internal bedding coherence) that are a function of the three basin variables described above.
Use MTD outcrop analogs to make subsurface predictions:
(Figures 1-1 – 1-2)
Two characteristics by which basins may be compared are the degree of synsedimentary tectonism present during a given time interval and the degree to which deposition of basin fill is confined by the basin margins. We have measured third-order basin-scale stacking patterns for ten deepwater outcrop systems and four subsurface basins to illustrate the ability to plot different basins on the continuum. Of the three basins in this study, one had a very low degree of synsedimentary growth during deposition of the studied interval and a relatively low degree of marginal confinement. The other two basins were tectonically active and had a relatively high degree of marginal confinement during deposition of the studied interval.
Attributes can change laterally or vertically within an MTD or in successive MTDs over time.
Permian Cutoff and Brushy Canyon Formations (Figures 2-1 – 2.6)
Austria: Northern Calcareous Alps
Cretaceous Upper Gosau Group (Figures 3-1 – 3.5)
Spain: South-Central Pyrenees
Eocene Hecho Group (Figures 4-1 – 4-3)
Outcrops of marginal deposits of the lower strata occur in the NW of the outcrop belt, SW of the Atiart thrust. Axial deposits of the upper strata occur in the center of the basin. Axis-to-margin relationships must be inferred between upper and lower strata of the basin fill.
Hypothesized MTD Attribute Trends
Research Questions (Next Phase):
Subsurface Application in Active Tectonic Setting
Plot additional MTD attributes on the continuum:
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Harris, M.T., P.J. Lehmann, and L.L. Lambert, 2000, Comparison of the depositional environments and physical stratigraphy of the Cutoff Formation (Guadalupe Mountains) and the Road Canyon Formation (Glass Mountains): Lowermost Guadalupian (Permian) of West Texas, in B. R. Wardlaw, R.E. Grant, and D.M. Rohr, eds., The Guadalupian symposium, Smithsonian contributions to the Earth sciences, 32: Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 127-152.
Kullman, A.J., 1999, Fracture networks and fault zone features in a deep water sandstone, Brushy Canyon Formation, west Texas: Master‘s thesis, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, 256 p.
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Poblet, J., J.A. Muñoz, A. Travé, and J. Serra-Kiel, 1998, Quantifying the kinematics of detachment folds using three-dimensional geometry: Application to the Mediano anticline (Pyrenees, Spain): GSA Bulletin, v. 110, p. 111-125.