Felt, Vince L.1, Tom R. Williams1, Don Easley1,
Mohamed Ahmed Fathy1, Sherif Montasser1
(1) BP-Egypt, Cairo, Egypt
ABSTRACT: Comparison of Pliocene Slope Channel Levee Systems of the Western Nile Delta to the Overlying Modern Sea Floor Turbidite Processes
Depositional processes operating today on the modern fan seaward of the western Nile
Delta have not changed significantly from early Pliocene. The Rosetta branch of the Nile
River has supplied sediment to the fan from the same basin entry point throughout the
Plio-Pleistocene. The submarine system of the Nile River Rosetta branch is well imaged on
3D seismic and swath bathymetry data sets from the shelf to the Herodotus Basin. The scale
and geometry of present day Rosetta slope turbidite systems are identical to the deeper
Plio-Pleistocene slope turbidite systems imaged in 3D seismic data sets. The entire modern
Rosetta fan is approximately 200 kilometers long and 100 kilometers wide. The dimensions
of a single present day slope channel levee complex are 4 – 8 kms wide and 200 –
300 meters thick from the crest of the abandonment levee to the basal channel erosion
surface. The main turbidite architectural elements that vertically stack to make up the
slope systems include basal debris flows (mass transport deposits), HARP’s, confined
to unconfined channels filled with amalgamated channel sands and muddy debris flows, and
large abandonment channel levee complexes.
Recent drilling of Pliocene slope turbidite systems in the western Nile Delta have demonstrated and confirmed the predictability of facies using the present day depositional processes as analogs. Calibration of core, and wireline data to seismic has improved the ability to surgically map reservoir and seal facies associated with slope turbidites.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.