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Deep-Marine Facies Models: Implications for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production

SHANMUGAM, G., Mobil Research and Development Corporation, Dallas, TX

Facies models serve as a generalized conceptual framework for classifying and understanding sedimentary environments. Deep-marine facies models range in scale from a single facies of a turbidite bed (first-order models) to an association of different facies representing an entire submarine fan or a basin-fill complex (third-order models). At present, numerous facies models exist for modern and ancient deep-marine systems with distinct depositional components. These models are based on (1) types of channels (e.g., convergent and divergent channel systems, low-sinuosity and high-sinuosity channel patterns), (2) types of lobes (e.g., suprafan lobes, depositional lobes, fanlobes, ponded lobes), (3) tectonic settings (e.g., active-margin and mature passive-margin fans), (4) eustatic sea-le el changes (e.g., lowstand submarine fans and highstand nonfan turbidites), (5) sediment sources (e.g., canyon-fed submarine fan and delta-fed submarine ramp), and (6) bottom-current reworking. It is also clear that not all submarine fans are composed of identical distribution of depositional facies in time and space. Therefore, no single facies model can adequately explain all submarine fans. Submarine fans can and do vary in their size, shape, lithofacies distribution, sand-body geometry, and reservoir quality. Because facies models differ significantly from each other in terms of reservoir properties, caution must be exercised in selecting a particular facies model for a sandstone reservoir.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)