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Quantitative Outcrop Analysis of a Braided Fluvial System (Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada) for Enhanced Reservoir Characterization and Modeling

van Lanen, Xavier 1; Hodgetts, David 1; Redfern, Jonathan 1; Leleu, Sophie 2; Williams, Brian 2
1 School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
2 Department of Geology & Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Along the margins of the proto North Atlantic Ocean a series of early Mesozoic rift basins developed during the break-up of Pangaea. In eastern North America these rift basins extended from Florida to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and are collectively known as the Newark Supergroup. The sedimentary succession deposited in the Fundy Basin (Nova Scotia, Canada), the northern most exposed Newark Supergroup member, comprises of the lower fluvial-aeolian Wolfville Formation and the overlying ephemeral fluvial/playa Blomidon Formation.

The Wolfville Formation displays a complex interplay of coarse and fine-grained fluvial sandstones, aeolian dune deposits and alluvial fan sediments. This study focuses on three study areas within the gravel-dominated and younger sand-dominated braided fluvial deposits. The sediments are superbly exposed in both cliff sections and on extensive wave-cut platforms along the shore of the Minas Basin. The nature of the exposure provides unique three-dimensional sections, offering a valuable insight in the sedimentology and the facies geometries and distribution (evolution) of a red bed braided fluvial-aeolian facies suite.

Quantitative outcrop data, collected with LiDAR and DGPS is integrated with traditional geological field and laboratory data (sedimentological logs, palaeocurrent information, structural and petrophysical measurements) into a digital outcrop models (DOMs). The DOMs are then used for mapping the observed geological objects, and to evaluate their geometries and distribution. The results offer a better understanding of the depositional system, and provide a geological framework for reservoir models. Such information aids improved reservoir characterization and geostatistical modeling, give insight on the effect of using different degrees of conditioning data in constructing reservoir models, as well as help explain seismic reflection data and improve flow model simulations for subsurface reservoirs. The constructed 3D models also provide more insight and constraints on the sedimentary evolution and the systems architecture what has the potential to help predict sand -fairways and reservoir architecture within similar systems.


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