--> --> Comparison of Deepwater Mass Transport Complex Settings: West Texas; South-Central Pyrenees, Spain; Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria, by Robert Amerman, Bruce Trudgill, Eric P. Nelson, Michael H. Gardner, Pau Arbués, Jim Borer, Julian Clark, Grace L. Ford, Hugo Ortner, Douglas Paton, Piret Plink-Björklund, and David Pyles, #40239 (2007).

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PSComparison of Deepwater Mass Transport Complex Settings: West Texas; South-Central Pyrenees, Spain; Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria

By

Robert Amerman1, Bruce Trudgill1, Eric P. Nelson1, Michael H. Gardner2, Pau Arbués3, Jim Borer4, Julian Clark5, Grace L. Ford6, Hugo Ortner7, Douglas Paton1, Piret Plink-Björklund1, and David Pyles1

 

Search and Discovery Article #40239 (2007)

Posted May 10, 2007

 

*Adapted from poster presentation at AAPG Annual Convention, Long Beach, California, April 1-4, 2007

 

1Colorado School of Mines, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Golden, Colorado ([email protected])

2Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences, Bozeman, Montana

3University of Barcelona, Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology, and Marine Geosciences, Barcelona, Spain

4El Paso Corporation, Denver, Colorado

5Chevron Energy Technology Company, San Ramon, California

6EOG Resources, Denver, Colorado

7University of Innsbruck, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Innsbruck, Austria

 

Abstract 

Submarine mass transport deposits (MTDs) are an important component of deepwater stratigraphic successions. They indicate basin or hinterland reorganization, control the location and geometry of overlying sand reservoirs, and may act as barriers to fluid flow. MTDs comprise a significant portion of the sedimentary fill of three paleo-deepwater basins: the Delaware Basin, west Texas; an unnamed basin containing the Gosau Group at Muttekopf, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria; and the Ainsa Basin, Pyrenees, Spain. These basins vary with respect to degree of syndepositional tectonism, degree of confinement by basin size and geometry, and sediment composition. 

Among these three basins, MTDs display both similarities and differences with respect to: 1) types and styles of soft-sediment structures, 2) internal stratigraphic architecture, 3) degree of bedding coherence, 4) hierarchal and areal distribution, 5) position in stratigraphic cycles, 6) volume, and 7) relationships to reservoir-quality sands and underlying topography.  

Data collected to date during this ongoing study suggest that deepwater MTDs may possess certain fundamental characteristics (e.g., some types of internal structures, position in stratigraphic cycles) that do not vary with respect to differences in setting but that may vary in other respects (e.g., internal stratigraphic organization, areal distribution, internal bedding coherence) that are a function of the three basin variables described above.

 

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

uAbstract

uResearch

uStructure-stratigraphy

uMTDs

uDelaware basin

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uNorthern Calcareous Alps

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uPyrenees

  uAttributes

  uFigures

uAttribute trends

uStructure-stratigraphy

uSubsurface application

uNext steps

uReferences

 

 

 

Research Goals 

Use MTD outcrop analogs to make subsurface predictions:

  • Quantify relationships between:

    • MTD attributes

    • Attributes of adjacent strata

  • Determine effect of position in the structure-stratigraphy continuum on these relationships

  • Develop rules for predicting lateral relationships from 1-D MTD attribute data (i.e., a well):

    • Position in basin

    • Location of reservoir facies

 

Research Completed 

  • Cutoff/Brushy Canyon

    • Mapping, and collection of MTD attribute data in detail from margin and proximal basin (Guadalupe Mountains) and from distal basin (Delaware Mountains)

    • Section measurement in distal basin

  • Gosau

    • Photomapping, and collection of MTD attribute data, from selected locations across the entire basin

  • Ainsa

    • Reconnaissance

 

Structure-Stratigraphy Continuum

(Figures 1-1 – 1-2) 

Figure 1-1. Synsedimentary growth rate (da/ds): models.

Figure 1-2. Synsedimentary growth rate (da/ds): this study.

 

Two characteristics by which basins may be compared are the degree of synsedimentary tectonism present during a given time interval and the degree to which deposition of basin fill is confined by the basin margins. We have measured third-order basin-scale stacking patterns for ten deepwater outcrop systems and four subsurface basins to illustrate the ability to plot different basins on the continuum. Of the three basins in this study, one had a very low degree of synsedimentary growth during deposition of the studied interval and a relatively low degree of marginal confinement. The other two basins were tectonically active and had a relatively high degree of marginal confinement during deposition of the studied interval.

 

MTD Characterization

MTD Attributes:

  • External geometry

  • Lithology

  • Degree of slump disaggregation

    • Coherent (<10% remolded)

    • Mostly coherent (10–40% remolded)

    • Mixed (40–60% remolded)

    • Mostly remolded (60–90% remolded)

    • Remolded (>90% remolded)

  • Internal organization (i.e., base-to-top changes)

  • Degree of deformation (intense, moderate, minor, undeformed)

  • Style of deformation (folds, faults, meso- and microstructures, lineations)

  • Paleo-transport indicators (soft-sediment structure orientations)

 

Attributes can change laterally or vertically within an MTD or in successive MTDs over time.

 

Guadalupe and Delaware Mountains

Delaware Basin

Permian Cutoff and Brushy Canyon Formations (Figures 2-1 – 2.6)

 

Basin Attributes

  • Growth:                                    Low

  • Marginal confinement:   Low

  • Shape:                                      Quasi-circular

  • Lithology:                                 Alternating carbonate–siliciclastic

 

Figure 2-1. Location map.

Figure 2-2. Paleogeograhic map (modified from Harris et al., 2000).

Figure 2-3. Geologic Map of Cutoff and Lower Brushy Canyon Formations (fault locations from Kullman, 1999).

Figure 2-4. Regional stratigraphic cross section of Cutoff and Brushy Canyon formations oblique to depositional dip.

Figure 2-5. Typical Cutoff MTDs. View facing east. Location is southern boundary of the Guadalupe Mountains study area. Height of drape interval = 2 m. Inset: Close-up of base of drape interval infilling irregular surface at top of MTD.

Figure 2-6. Delaware Mountains study area. Cutoff Formation (Williams Ranch Member.). View facing north. Red lines are measured sections with heights in ms.

 

Austria: Northern Calcareous Alps

Muttekopf Area

Cretaceous Upper Gosau Group (Figures 3-1 – 3.5) 

Basin Attributes

  • Growth:                                    High

  • Marginal confinement:   Moderate–high

  • Shape:                                      Elongate

  • Lithology:                                 Intermixed siliciclastic/detrital carbonate

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Figure 3-1. Geologic and location maps of study area.

Figure 3-2. Photomosaic oblique to basin axis.

Figure 3-3. Facies model of photopanel (left) and Schlenkerkar MTD (right). Schlenkerkar MTD may be associated with steepening of the fold limb; formed local topography against which turbidites onlap via lateral facies change.

Figure 3-4. Typical Gosau MTD (MTD 1). View is to NE; location is on northern flank of basin; height of MTD is ~10 m.

Figure 3-5. Marker MTD (MTD 2). View is to east; location is on northern flank of basin; height of MTD is ~20 m. MTD is composed of massive conglomerate and is cut by normal faults.

 

  • Photopanel view (Figure 3-2) is down the basin axis, which plunges to the NNE.

  • The black line shows the outline of the basin. At the time of deposition, the southern margin was being folded over a blind thrust fault and the northern margin had less relief. Much of the folding seen today is post-depositional.

  • The two lowermost MTDs (1 and 2) are highlighted in their entirety. They are cut by normal faults, which may be growth faults or tectonic faults. The base of MTD 1 is the base of megasequence 2.

  • Two higher MTDs (3 and 4) are more difficult to correlate and are highlighted in part. At least two additional MTDs appear higher in the section as well.

  • The Schlenkerkar MTD occupies the entire volume between the Schlenkerkar unconformity and the Triassic basement (under black line).

 

Spain: South-Central Pyrenees

Ainsa Basin

Eocene Hecho Group (Figures 4-1 – 4-3)

 

Basin Attributes

  • Growth:                                    High

  • Marginal confinement:   High

  • Shape:                                      Elongate

  • Lithology:                                 Primarily siliciclastic

 

Figure 4-1. Geologic and location map of study area.

Figure 4-2. Schematic cross section A–A’.

Figure 4-3. General lithologic trend.

 

Outcrops of marginal deposits of the lower strata occur in the NW of the outcrop belt, SW of the Atiart thrust. Axial deposits of the upper strata occur in the center of the basin. Axis-to-margin relationships must be inferred between upper and lower strata of the basin fill.

 

 

Hypothesized MTD Attribute Trends

(Table 5-1)

 

Table 5-1. Hypothesized MTD attribute trends: marginal-axial; proximal-distal; through time.

 

Structure-Stratigraphy Continuum

(Figure 5-1) 

Figure 5-1. Structure-stratigraphy continuum, with research questions.

 

Research Questions (Next Phase):

  • Are marginally restricted MTDs more common on the right half of the diagram (Figure 5-1)?

  • Are basin-wide MTDs equally common in all domains?

  • What is the effect of basin confinement on the proportion of MTDs?

 

Subsurface Application in Active Tectonic Setting

(Figure 5-2) 

Figure 5-2.  Seismic line, Alaminos Canyon, Perdido Fold Belt, Gulf of Mexico (from Fiduk et al., 1999).

 

Next Steps 

Plot additional MTD attributes on the continuum:

  • Proximal–distal MTD trend

  • Vertical trends (changes in MTD attributes over time)

  • MTD net-to-gross trends

  • % siliciclastic vs. carbonate MTDs

  • Relative abundance of any MTD attribute

 

Field work:

  • Cutoff: Complete detailed study of marginal and proximal basinal areas.

  • Gosau: Complete detailed study at marginal and axial areas at Schlenkerkar.

  • Ainsa: Perform detailed study at marginal and axial areas.

 

Analysis:

  • Cutoff: Integrate with extensive Brushy Canyon data already collected.

  • Gosau: Integrate with CoRE data now available.

  • Ainsa: Integrate with extensive published and unpublished data and CoRE data to be collected.

 

Product:

  • Interpreted photomosaics

  • Geologic maps

  • Cross sections

  • Measured sections

  • Complete description and analysis of MTD attributes

  • Quantitative analysis of basin position on structure-stratigraphy continuum with respect to MTD attributes

 

References 

Fernández, O., J.A. Muñoz, P. Arbués, O. Falivene, and M. Marzo, 2004, Three-dimensional reconstruction of geological surfaces: An example of growth strata and turbidite systems from the Ainsa basin (Pyrenees, Spain): AAPG Bulletin, v. 88, p. 1049-1068.

Fiduk, J.C., P. Weimer, B.D. Trudgill, M.G. Rowan, P.E. Gale, R.L. Phair, B.E. Korn, G.R. Roberts, W.T. Gafford, R.S. Lowe, and T.A. Queffelec, 1999, The Perdido Fold Belt, northwestern deep Gulf of Mexico, part 2: seismic stratigraphy and petroleum systems: AAPG Bulletin, v. 83, p. 578-612.

Harris, M.T., P.J. Lehmann, and L.L. Lambert, 2000, Comparison of the depositional environments and physical stratigraphy of the Cutoff Formation (Guadalupe Mountains) and the Road Canyon Formation (Glass Mountains): Lowermost Guadalupian (Permian) of West Texas, in B. R. Wardlaw, R.E. Grant, and D.M. Rohr, eds., The Guadalupian symposium, Smithsonian contributions to the Earth sciences, 32: Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 127-152.

Kullman, A.J., 1999, Fracture networks and fault zone features in a deep water sandstone, Brushy Canyon Formation, west Texas: Master‘s thesis, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, 256 p.

Pickering, K.T., and J. Corregidor, 2005, Mass-transport complexes (MTCs) and tectonic control on basin-floor submarine fans, Middle Eocene, south Spanish Pyrenees: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 75, p. 761-783.

Poblet, J., J.A. Muñoz, A. Travé, and J. Serra-Kiel, 1998, Quantifying the kinematics of detachment folds using three-dimensional geometry: Application to the Mediano anticline (Pyrenees, Spain): GSA Bulletin, v. 110, p. 111-125.

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