SLONE, JAMES C. and ROBERT A. GASTALDO, Department of Geology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, 36849
Recently, Tertiary incised valley fills (IVF's) have become a target for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. Transgression results in rapid sedimentation of both siliciclastics and organics. This organic matter can be the source of hydrocarbon production. Palynological and palynofacies characteristics define contributing vegetation in the source area and offer insight into hydrocarbon potential. Investigation of organic matter constituents in Holocene IVF's provides an analog for Tertiary systems.
The Mobile-Tensaw River delta is the result of IVF sedimentation originating from the fourth largest drainage basin in North America. It is a natural laboratory in which to study the transportation and deposition of palynological debris in a large-scale fluvial system. Palynological and palynofacies assemblages have been evaluated in this system. Palynology has been performed on water column and sediment-water interface samples to determine the contribution of pollen and spore assemblages to sediment load. Palynofacies analysis has been performed at selected terrestrial wetland environments to assess the types of organic matter deposited and evaluate the differences between assemblages at the selected sites. Sedimentology and total organic carbon were used to establish a relationship between palynomorphs deposition and gram size, and relative proportion of these gas-prone phytoclasts.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah