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Analysis of the Influence of Wave, Tide, and River Processes on the Stratigraphic Organization of Deltaic Deposits

Sheila Trampush
Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
[email protected]


Deltas are complex, highly dynamic systems that have enormous potential for hydrocarbon resources. Deltaic stratigraphy is controlled by mass balance (e.g. the sediment flux to accommodation ratio) over long time scales and across large length scales. Currently, we can predict large-scale patterns in reservoir quality and connectivity using seismic data and sequence stratigraphic models with a fair degree of accuracy. However, it is difficult to predict reservoir quality or connectivity at sub-seismic scales with current models and isolated well logs. On sub-seismic length scales, river, wave and tidal processes largely control delta morphology and stratigraphy. For example, recent studies have suggested the scale, abundance and spacing of high-permeability channel and mouth-bar sands, and low-permeability prodelta and lagoonal muds in river-, wave-, and tide-dominated deltas are different. The goal of this project is to improve reservoir-quality prediction in deltaic settings. Using recently developed statistical tools, I will quantify and compare stratigraphic organization in several well-exposed delta outcrops with different documented evidence for wave, tidal, and fluvial influence. Specifically, I will test the hypothesis that there is less vertical facies variability in wave- and tide-dominated system than in river-dominated systems, as distributary avulsions are apparently suppressed in modern wave- and tide-dominated deltas.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects