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Pavel S. Galperin1, Rene O. Thomsen1, Steven L. Dorobek1, Veit J. Matt1
(1) Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Abstract: Three-dimensional simulation of carbonate platform growth -- a preliminary forward model

Three-Dimensional Simulation of Carbonate Platform Growth - A Preliminary Forward Model

GALPERIN, PAVEL S., RENE O. THOMSEN, STEVEN L. DOROBEK, and VEIT J. MATT, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Quantitative forward-modeling is an important means for assessing the relative roles of sea-level fluctuations, tectonics, and sedimentation on the stratigraphic and morphologic development of carbonate-platform systems. Our model is designed to reproduce the stratigraphic evolution of carbonate platforms in three dimensions. The simulations presented here show the importance of antecedent topography on the development of carbonate stratal patterns. A hypothetical basin with variable slopes (varying from 1 to 10 degrees), which is complicated by a domal intraslope high, is used as the initial surface in the simulations. A maximum growth rate of 1 m/100 yr and a sea-level cycle period of 100,000 yr were also chosen. Other input parameters include water temperature, salinity, nutrient supply, light availability, and oxygen content, all of which are treated as functions of water depth. The effects of sediment erosion and transport, compaction, tectonism, and isostatic response are not included in these initial test runs of the model. Two separate runs are shown: (1) a high-amplitude (100 m) relative sea-level cycle; and (2) a low-amplitude (10 m) relative sea-level cycle. The model produces stratal geometries that closely resemble large-scale features observed in well-documented carbonate platforms. Transgressive system tracts are characterized by onlapping stratal geometries, whereas highstand and lowstand strata display progradation and downlapping patterns. An inverse model for carbonate platform evolution is also being developed concurrently.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana