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BOUMA, ARNOLD H., and DONALD GODDARD, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

ABSTRACT: Channel Fill Characteristics in Submarine Fans and Deltas

Excellent data sources may not answer all pertinent questions: multifold seismic data commonly cannot resolve internal characteristics of channel fills, even provided it can detect the channel; well log correlations can be wrong, especially when dealing with think channel fills; and outcrops are seldom sufficiently large to reveal a complete channel fill. In the final analysis, integration of all these types of data is necessary. Although not well understood, a lot of similarities exist between the channel fills from submarine fans and those from deltas. It is definitely beneficial to compare data from both environments.

Channels and their fills can be: (1) primarily the result of major erosion forming an incisement that becomes gradually filled; (2) primarily the result of deposition, maintaining a channel, gradually filling it and simultaneously building its levees; (3) massive fill; (4) a bedded fill with or without an upward and/or lateral thinning or fining; or (5) a combination of thick bedded and thin bedded. Many channels alternate between erosional and depositional activities; often an erosional cut is lined with shale, reducing fluid flow between channel sandstones and those of the levees. Also, a thorough knowledge of all of these varied processes is essential for the understanding of why "massive" channel fills can be wet and "thin-bedded levees" deposits oil prone.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90988©1993 AAPG/SVG International Congress and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela, March 14-17, 1993.