--> Abstract: Insights on Lowstand Systems Tract Development from the Delaware Basin, by Bruce S. Hart, Robin A. Pearson, Ron R. Smith, and Daniel J. Leiphart; #90914(2000)

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Bruce S. Hart1, Robin A. Pearson2, Ron R. Smith2, Daniel J. Leiphart2
(1) New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Socorro, NM
(2) New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM

Abstract: Insights on lowstand systems tract development from the Delaware Basin

Three-dimensional seismic volumes and other data from the Delaware Basin represent a hitherto underexploited data set for analyses of lowstand systems tract development. We focus on the Permian (Leonardian/Guadalupian) Bone Spring Formation, a succession of carbonates and clastics that is locally over 1100 m thick. Transgressive and highstand systems tracts consist of carbonates that were deposited on the shelf, slope and basin floor. Each of the four lowstand systems tracts in the Bone Spring forms a siliciclastic apron that pinches out updip along the slope and continues out onto the basin floor. Lowstand deposits on the basin floor form blankets that vary laterally in thickness and lithology. By influencing relief on the shelf, slope and basin floor, basement tectonic elements had a significant impact on depositional processes and patterns. Eolian transport brought very fine sand and silt to the shelf margin. Basement-controlled shelf margin relief helped to focus sediment delivery to the top of the slope, and the aprons thicken at these locations; intra-slope basins are present locally. Subtle sea-floor relief helped to determine the course of sandy channel fairways on the basin floor. The timing of sediment delivery to the shelf margin, compared to changes in relative sea-level, help determine whether sands are better developed in basin floor fans or the overlying prograding wedges. Although there are significant differences between the Delaware Basin and elsewhere, these differences help us to better understand the fundamental roles of sediment supply, basin physiography and other parameters on lowstand systems tract development.

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