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Outcrop Analogs of Confined Channel Systems, Weakly Confined Channel Systems, and Distributive Channel-lobe Systems, Southern California

Pyles, David; Jennette, David; Fleming, Alexandra; Sullivan, Morgan; Schwartz, Dan; and Stammer, Jane
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Three distinctive reservoir styles are widely recognized in deepwater depositional systems: (1) confined channel systems, (2) weakly confined channel systems, and (3) distributive channel-lobe systems. Each is distinctive in terms of their location on the slope-to-basin profile, degree of structural and erosional confinement, and reservoir characteristics.

Confined channel systems contain channels and their genetically related overbank strata that are laterally confined within a larger erosional valley or canyon. They are located on the upper slope and in structural highs between longitudinally adjacent minibasins. Outcrops of the Eocene Ardath and Scripps Formations at Torrey Pines and Black’s State Beaches, respectively, are analogs for this type of system. Weakly confined channel systems contain channels that are focused by an up-dip feeder system or subtle topographic relief. They are located on the slope, in intra-slope minibasins, and in the proximal parts of the basin floor. Outcrops of the Mio-Pliocene Capisrano and Monterey Formations at Dana Point Harbor and San Clemente State Beach are analogs for this type of system. Distributive channel-lobe systems contain channels and their genetically related lobes that compensationally stack to form a radially dispersive pattern. They are located on the basin floor and in intra-slope minibasins. Outcrops of the Cretaceous Point Loma Formation at Point Loma Peninsula are analogs to this type of system.

This poster uses interpreted photopanels, stratigraphic columns and paleogeographic reconstructions to document how architectural elements, lithofacies, static connectivity, and net-sand content compare and contrast between these distinctive reservoir styles.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90162©2013 Pacific Section AAPG, SPE and SEPM Joint Technical Conference, Monterey, California, April 19-25, 2013