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Application of Quantitative Nannofossil Studies to the Recognition of Subsurface Depositional Patterns

APPS, G., J. A. CRUX, J. A. PEARCE, and C. RAFFERTY, BP Exploration Inc., Houston, TX

Quantitative nannofossil studies of both in-situ Tertiary and reworked Cretaceous taxa have been incorporated into a geological model for Miocene outer shelf to slope sedimentation in the Main Pass area of Louisiana. These data were fully integrated with the foraminiferal paleoenvironmental and biostratigraphic data and were used to calibrate the interpretation of both electric well logs and seismic data.

The relationship between fossil abundance peaks, seismic reflectors, and maximum flood surfaces has been discussed in a number of publications on shelf sediments of Plio-Pleistocene age. This study is the first to consider the signatures of Miocene slope sediments, where the fossil abundance peaks are more difficult to recognize and interpret. A full understanding of the nannofossil distribution has proved valuable at all scales of interpretation. The direct benefits to exploration are an increased confidence in correlation of seismic events across structurally complex areas; identification and distinction between sequence boundaries, maximum flood surfaces and other genetically significant surfaces; recognition of intrasequence features like canyon and channel fills; and parasequence .


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91006 © 1991 GCAGS and GC-SEPM Meeting, Houston, Texas, October 16-18, 1991 (2009)