A detailed sedimentological investigation of over 4,000 ft of core and 500 well logs of the Middle Devonian granite wash and Keg River clastics in the Red Earth field, North Alberta basin, Canada, has led to the recognition of a granite wash subaerial fan-delta system that is laterally continuous with a Keg River subaqueous delta component along an eastern shoreline of the ancestral Peace River arch.
The subaerial fan delta includes alluvial fan facies, sheet wash and mud flows, and playa lakes. The subaqueous delta component includes lower shoreface, upper shoreface, beach-foreshore, eolian sand dunes, lagoon, washover sands, tidal channels and flats, and supratidal carbonates and anhydrites. Within this system, six mappable units are defined.
A conceptual depositional model for the sequence depicts four main events. (1) Erosion of Peach River arch uplifted faulted blocks, which produced coarse-grained fan-delta sediments in an adjacent fault-bounded margin. Subsequent fluvial reworking resulted in the deposition of thick, lenticular, wedge-shaped alluvial fans of granite wash. (2) Progradation of alluvial fans seaward into the Keg River Sea. (3) Transgression by Middle Devonian seas from the east, which reworked alluvial fans and led to deposition of discontinuous linear sand bodies represented by the Keg River regressive shoreline sediments. (4) Restriction of the sea by the Presqu'ile barrier reef to the north, which deposited evaporites of the Muskeg Formation over the whole sequence.
Modern analog to this fan-delta system is the coastal fans of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Red Earth field contains over 27 million bbl of recoverable oil, related to a combination structural-stratigraphic trap.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91022©1989 AAPG Annual Convention, April 23-26, 1989, San Antonio, Texas.