--> Abstract: Interactions Between Submarine Channels and Structurally Controlled Topography in Deepwater Fold and Thrust Belts, by Ian Clark and Joseph Cartwright; #90082 (2008)

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Interactions Between Submarine Channels and Structurally Controlled Topography in Deepwater Fold and Thrust Belts

Ian Clark and Joseph Cartwright
Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom

The relationships between modern submarine channel systems and evolving structures in deepwater fold and thrust belt settings reveal several specific channel - structure interactions: Confinement, diversion, deflection and blocking. These interactions, and combinations thereof, can control channel evolution over time and affect development of potential reservoir sands. Structures such as folds developed above underlying thrust faults, and strike slip faults, not only control the positioning of submarine channels but also locations of increased sinuosity development. The structurally induced topography can control the location of focal points for the deposition of crevasse splays and sheet deposits. This study uses 3D seismic data to compare two deep water systems in which submarine channel sedimentation is coeval with deformation. Submarine channels from the distal Nile Deep Sea Fan (Levant Basin, Eastern Mediterranean) are significantly affected by a fold and thrust belt whose orientation is orthogonal to that of the dominant downslope flow direction. These submarine channels show significant amounts of diversion around the folds, which can result in preferential sinuosity development within the hanging wall and footwall synclines. In contrast, submarine channels from the deepwater Niger Delta are more likely to maintain their original course across a growing fold structure, although the relative rates of uplift, channel erosion, and deposition, play an important role. Interactions between submarine channels and structures can also be used as a method of constraining the earliest onset of folding. The results of this study aim to improve our understanding of the interactions between submarine sedimentation and deformation in deepwater fold belt settings, particularly in terms of reservoir development and stratigraphic trapping potential.

AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, South Africa 2008 © AAPG Search and Discovery