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Avulsion Clusters in Alluvial Basins

Elizabeth Hajek

University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

[email protected]

Fluvial deposits comprise important reservoirs worldwide, however they are often difficult to effectively develop because of great lithologic and stratigraphic complexity. Within fluvial basins, the distribution of coarse-grained channel-belt deposits in fine-grained overbank material is a primary control on the quality of fluvial reservoirs. Recent observations in physical experiments (St. Anthony Falls Lab, University of Minnesota) and ancient deposits (Ferris Formation, Wyoming) suggest there is a pattern of organization in some fluvial basins resulting in reservoir-scale clustering of individual channel-belt deposits. Using remote sensing, 3D seismic, field, and experimental data, I am working to quantitatively characterize channel-belt distributions in several alluvial systems. I will use this information to compare basins in order to understand the mechanisms controlling basin-scale channel-belt distribution. Recognizing and quantitatively characterizing channel-belt clusters in alluvial basins and understanding factors controlling their formation will provide an improved tool for identifying prospective reservoirs during exploration and modeling fluvial reservoirs during development and production.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90060©2006 AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid