--> Effect of Growing Structures on Stratigraphic Evolution, Channel Architecture, and Submarine Fan Distribution, Niger Delta, West Africa, by Olusola Bakare, Neil Hurley, and Timothy McHargue, #40251 (2007).

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Effect of Growing Structures on Stratigraphic Evolution, Channel Architecture, and Submarine Fan Distribution, Niger Delta, West Africa*


Olusola Bakare1, Neil Hurley2, and Timothy McHargue3


Search and Discovery Article #40251 (2007)

Posted August 7, 2007


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

Please refer to companion article by Bakare et al., entitled “Influence of Mass Transport Deposit on Stratigraphic Evolution, Channel Morphology, and Turbidite Reservoir Preservation and Architecture, Niger Delta, West Africa.”



1Chevron International Exploration and Production, Lagos, Nigeria ([email protected])

2Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

3ChevronTexaco, San Ramon, CA



The goal of this study is to determine the influence of mud diapirs and syndepositional extensional growth faults on depositional processes, sedimentation, stratigraphy, and facies evolution in part of the Niger delta, offshore West Africa. The data set consists of a conventional 3D seismic survey and a coherency-processed seismic volume. There are wells in the area, but there are no logs or cores in the study interval.  

The study area is characterized by numerous mud diapirs that grew and caused changes in depositional axes with time. This determined the development, distribution and architecture of reservoir facies in intra-slope basins.  

Depositional cycles in the study area have mass transport complexes (MTCs) at the base, overlain by amalgamated or accretionary channel complexes (ACCs), or distributary channel and lobe complexes (DLCs), depending on the location within a mini-basin. Each depositional cycle is capped by a drape complex (DC).  

Mud diapirs controlled stratigraphic evolution and fan distribution. Channel morphology changed from highly sinuous at depth to relatively straight in shallower intervals. Sinuous older channels are considerably wider, and had reservoir facies deposited both within channel axes and as lobes. The less sinuous, younger channels are narrower, and have reservoir facies deposited as lobes across slope-gradient reversals. The architecture and stacking patterns of the associated reservoir deposits vary from one channel to the other. Due to movement of mud diapirs through time, depositional axes changed both spatially and temporally, which resulted in different depositional sites for associated submarine fans.


Selected Figures 

Location maps of study area.

Regional tectonic setting.

Basin tectonic setting. Seismic lines A (structurally simple) and B (mud diapirs and growth faults).

Basin tectonic setting. Seismic lines C and D (mobile shale control of physiography).

Seismic facies.

Stratigraphy of seismic facies.

Channel architecture--intermediate channel accretion. 

Younger channels.

Stages in turbidite fan distribution in response to growing structures—proximal confinement, filling and spilling, structural growth, and deflect (in sequence).

Turbidite reservoir architectural variation.



  • Upward structural movement of mobile shale exerted the major control on stratigraphic and facies evolution, and affected fan distribution.

  • Facies stacking pattern shows progressive, stepwise and repetitive filling of the basin.

  • Channel morphology varies from high to low sinuosity with age due to slope healing.

  • High sinousity channels have sandy intra-channel deposits, whereas low sinuosity channels do not.

  • At least six different types of reservoir elements occur in the study area. Three are channels and three are sheets.



Mitchum, R. M., M. W. Hoffman, C. D. Conners, A. M. Knowlton, and B. J. Radovich, 2000, Tectonic controls on regional sequence stratigraphy in the Niger Delta, offshore Nigeria (abs.): AAPG Annual Meeting Program, v. 9, p. A99.

Mitchum, R.M., and G.D. Wach, 2002, Offshore Niger Delta Pleistocene/Holocene leveed-channel fans – Models for offshore reservoirs (abs.): AAPG Bulletin, no. 13.

Short, K.C., and A.J. Stauble, 1967, Outline of geology of Niger Delta, AAPG Bulletin, v. 51, p. 761-779.

Corredor, Freddy, John H. Shaw, and Frank Bilotti, 2005, Structural styles in the deep-water fold and thrust belts of the Niger Delta: AAPG Bulletin, v. 89, p. 753-780.

Adeogba, Adedayo A., Timothy R. McHargue, and Stephan A. Graham, 2005, Transient fan architecture and depositional controls from near-surface 3-D seismic data, Niger Delta continental slope: AAPG Bulletin, v. 89, p. 627-643.