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Dynamic Prediction of Clastic Coastal Depositional Style through Time and Space

Ainsworth, Bruce 1; Vakarelov, Boyan 1
1 Australian School of Petroleum, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Clastic coastal depositional systems are dynamic, rapidly evolving environments influenced by a number of important processes generated by waves, rivers and tides. Modern coastal systems exhibit significant lateral, along-strike variations due to changes in the dominance of depositional processes which are a result of changing coastal morphologies, rates of sediment supply and calibre, accommodation space and shelf width. Ancient systems also exhibit these same along strike variations in depositonal style, as well as down depositional dip variations. Additionally, vertical changes in coastal depostional motifs are also observed in ancient systems. Existing classification schemes and models for clastic coastal depositional systems are static in nature and do not provide a mechanism for the dynamic prediction of coastal depositional style. A new process-based suite of models is presented which convolves the effects of basin shape, coastal morphology, accommodation space, sediment supply, shoreline trajectory and shelf width parameters on depositional processes. The end result is a marked improvement in predictive capabilities. The models can describe and predict the likelihood of dominant and subordinate depositional processes acting in mixed-process shoreline depositional environments. They are also dynamic in nature and can be applied to predict along-strike or vertical changes in the dominance of depositional processes acting at any given location through geological time. The key implications of this work are that depositional elements resulting from the combination of processes predicted can be better defined and uncertainties in reservoir geometry distributions can be reduced.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009