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High Resolution, Regional, Earth Systems Modelling in the Predictive Mapping of Reservoir and Source Rock Environments in the Caribbean

Abstract

The complex Mesozoic – Cenozoic geohistory of the Caribbean was accompanied by wholescale variations in palaeoclimate that together represent the main controls on stratigraphy and resource potential. Palaeogeographic mapping underpinned by a comprehensive global data base of control points was used to make digital elevation models (DEMs). The DEMs have been coupled with a palaeo-Earth systems model (UK Met Office HadCM3 GCM) and a palaeotide model (Imperial College, UK, ICOM) to define this geohistory and provide quantitative palaeoenvironmental information. Now nested regional models have been used to provide high resolution results. The lateral variation in source quality and the distribution of reservoir facies are both significant uncertainties for exploration. To assess source rock risk a predictive model of organic matter productivity, dilution and preservation has been developed. It makes use of a new anoxia/dysoxia model of organic matter preservation and was used to define source facies depositional space for marine source rock environments and now this approach has been extended to model regional detail. Clastic reservoir environments were mapped predictively using wave and tidal model results with a quantitative estimate of sediment flux for all the major drainage basins. Earth systems model results have also been used for the predictive mapping a potential carbonate reservoir facies. This combined approach is applied for the Caribbean in the context of the regions evolving palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic geohistory.