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Source to Sink Investigation of the Central Scotian Basin Using Integrated Forward Stratigraphic Modeling Approaches


Sediment routing systems represent the integrated behavior of “source to sink” geomorphologic processes comprising sediment erosion, transport and deposition from catchment areas towards the shelf, slope and basin. The recent use of geomorphological, geological and geophysical multi-scale constraints in Forward Stratigraphic Models shed light on the complex interaction between local, regional and global-scale driving mechanisms that influence sediment pathways and deposition along evolving landscapes Through this communication we explore the benefits of integrated deterministic Forward Stratigraphic Modeling workflows in petroleum exploration of the Central Scotian complex salt province off eastern Canada. Several methods have been used (i.e., geochemical analyses, mineral geochronology, bulk-rock petrography) in order to better assess sediment provenance and activation timing of sources feeding the Central Scotian Basin. The morphologies of preserved geo-bodies with regards to the various depositional settings and sequence stratigraphic evolution are depicted through 2D/ 3D seismic facies analysis and seismic characterization approaches. The resulting Aptian-Albian sedimentary facies modelled across the Central Scotian Basin point to continental and shallow marine fluvio-deltaic/ estuarine settings that evolve seawards into inner to middle neritic environments. Canyon incision drove sediments deeper towards the slope and into the basin floor through turbidite systems. Three main sediment sources (i.e., the Meguma Terrane, the Carboniferous Maritimes Basin and Mesoproterozoic Grenville Province, and Western Newfoundland) contributed actively to the shelf and basin infill through major river systems (e.g., Sable River, Banquereau River). Modeling results reveal an active influence of complex salt kinematics on the diversion of sedimentary pathways around evolving salt domes and canopies, with reservoir sediments appearing to be trapped following three main mechanisms: (1) listric faulting affecting the shelf due to downslope salt withdrawal, (2) mini basin development in the slope and basinal sectors and (3) sediment draping in the deepest basinal setting. In the light of upcoming bidding rounds, this work highlights various perspectives that are necessary to generate higher resolution forward stratigraphic models and further de-risk the various petroleum systems elements of the Central Scotian Basin (i.e., reservoir, seal, stratigraphic trapping).