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It is part of the earth surface which is characterized by specific chemical, physical and biological characteristics that differ than its surroundings. There are three main types of environments: marine, terrestrial and transitional and several dozen of subenvironments
But, can clastic sediments form in all these sedimentary environments? No, Why? Because each type of sediments accumulates within a specific environment (i.e. Depositional Environment). A depositional environment is defined as a part of the earth's surface characterized by a unique combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes that makes it suitable for the deposition of certain type (s) of sediments. It is obvious that each depositional environment is characterized with specific type (s) of sedimentary rocks
Physical & Chemical factors
What do we need in order to characterize the deposits of differing environments (i.e. state their facies attributes)? • Fabrics: grain characteristics & mineralogy • Sedimentary structures: type, size, distribution
• So, we can easily estimate the main environmental controls: • Physical factors: e.g. Water depth and type: river, lake, ocean, Topography: mountain, plain, shallow or deep ocean, currents • Biological activity: fauna, flora, ichnofossils • Chemical factors: Ph, PCO2, salinity, …
Paleocurrents: Trace fossils: Vertical and lateral variations: (time & space)
What is a Facies?
Sedimentary rocks or rock characteristics which indicate a particular depositional environment.
On a continental shelf, sand may accumulate in the high-energy nearshore environment While mud and carbonate deposition takes place at the same time in offshore low-energy environments The aspect, appearance, and characteristics of a rock unit, usually reflecting the conditions of its origin. Example:
“Mature sandstone lithofacies” composed of well sorted, rounded, medium-sized quartz particles
Different sediments may accumulate adjacent to one another at the same time. Sediment facies (lithofacies) differ in those characteristics which indicate the depositional environment physical (i.e. sedimentological) chemical (salinity, pH, etc...) The changes between adjacent lithofacies tend to be gradual Lithofacies descriptions should include
grain size composition (minerals, rocks, other sedimentary particles) fabric content (ooids, peloids, shells, plant remains, etc... ) and its
sedimentary structures dimensions (particularly thickness) Environmental Facies
It describes the environment or area in which a rock was formed. Example: “Dune facies”
where the texture (i.e. sorting, roundness, size) indicate that the rock was formed in a dune environment
Sedimentary environments that started out side-by-side will end up overlapping one another over time due to transgressions and regressions.
Limestone Shale Siltstone Sandstone
This is how a transgressive sequence is formed Landward Migration of Shoreline = transgression 5 .
water getting deeper everywhere River Direction of migration of shoreline. and landward shift of sedimentary facies Shoreline at time B Shoreline at time A Time B Sea level rising Time A Shallow marine Beach River Deep marine Deep marine Shallow marine Deposited at time A Deposited at time B Shallow marine Beach REMEMBER: the facies follow the shoreline Comparison of sediments deposited Facies and General characteristics of the Main Depositional Environments 6 .Facies changes due to rising sea level .
Dune sands are generally cross-bedded. well sorted. eustary. lake & glacial 2. Continental – fluvial. and playa lake deposits 7 . sand dune.Clastic Depositional Environments 1. Marine – Continental shelf. Desert climate is not always arid but it may be (semi) arid. warm or cold (sub) polar climatic zones: glacial processes dominate. and deep ocean A. Desert(Aeolian)Depositional Environments Deserts (Aeolian or environments) usually contain vast areas where sand is deposited in dunes. and well rounded. Shoreline (transitional) – delta. desert. (semi) arid climatic zones: aeolian processes dominate Deserts (Aeolian environments) are vast areas not only contain sands but eroding mountains and stone flats. Only 20% of modern deserts are sandy: eroding mountains (40%) ‘stony’ deserts (10-20%) desert flats (10-20%) Desert sedimentary environments A desert basin showing the association of alluvial fan. beach & tidal flat 3. Continental Depositional Environments 1. continental margin.
4. depositional bodies having a lenticular or wedge-shaped geometry and typically forming clastic wedges. They are not sufficiently extensive laterally. reflecting the short distance of transport. most commonly medium. yellow. • Sediments generally not containing many fossils except for scattered vertebrate bones and plant fragments. • Sediments generally containing a limited suite of sedimentary structures. They do not have proper seals. • Alluvial fans are most common in arid and semi-arid regions where rainfall is infrequent but torrential.to large-scale cross-strata and planar stratification. and erosion is rapid. Reservoir Potentiality Alluvial fan deposits are not generally reservoir rocks for petroleum because: 1. • Sediments deposited relatively close to their source area via high-energy unidirectional fluid flows. Size of fans ranges from less than a 100m to more than 150 km in radius (av. brown. 3. 10 km). • Sediments are generally oxidized. characteristic colors are red. 5. 2. generally do not contain facies that are good source rocks. • Sediments are typically very poorly sorted and poorly rounded. • The slope of alluvial fans average about 50. They have low permeability and porosities following diagenesis 8 .Alluvial fan Desert Deposits • Alluvial fans are fan-shaped deposits formed at the base of mountains along the margins of desert basins where streams and debris flows discharge from mountains onto a valley floor. They fail to connect laterally to source rocks. They are not very deeply buried.
without associated gravel or clay. texturally and depositionally complex deposits.Playa Lake Desert Deposits • The more central part of a desert basin might be the site of a temporary lake. Aeolian Reservoir Potentiality The problem with the aeolian sediments as potential hydrocarbon reservoirs is: Although aeolian deposits appear homogeneous. generally. Aeolian sedimentary structures Sand Ripples Planar cross-bedding Trough cross-bedding Aeolian Facies • Cross-bedded. 9 . and well rounded. a playa lake. sandstones • Coarse grained (conglomerate) or finer grained (claystone) clastics are not common. in which laminated mud and evaporites accumulate Desert Dune Deposits Aeolian dune deposits are. made up of texturally and compositionally mature sand Dune sands are cross-bedded. in fact. they are. well sorted. well sorted.
Interdune deposits. Interdune those sediments occuring in the relatively flat areas between dunes of a dune complex. • Differences in cross-bedding result in different fluid flow properties when the dunes are lithified. Excessive reliance on the concept of eolian rocks as thickly cross-bedded and homogeneous deposits has hampered recognition of more lithologically complex eolian rocks that are commonly intercalated with marine or noneolian continental deposits. This in turn has hampered petroleum exploration and production in rocks of eolian origin. mound or ridge of wind-blown sand. Anisotropic permeabilities and related textural changes and cementation along individual laminae causing low transmissivity across laminae are problems in well log interpretations.Heterogeneity of Aeolian deposits: Dune a hill. Sand Sheet those eolian deposits occurring marginal to a dune complex that generally do not have definable dune forms (also called low-angle eolian deposits). heterogeneous hydrocarbon reservoirs with variable and complex porosity and permeability variations Here are: • Some common problems are recorded with aeolian reservoirs include: Lateral discontinuity of reservoir zones. Impermeable or less permeable flat-bedded units interspersed with more permeable cross-bedded units. Aeolian deposits have proven to be complex. and Extradune includes those sediments marginal to a dune field that are not eolian. • 10 . Isolated reservoirs causing reduced well spacing Moreover. which are commonly impermeable in ancient rocks further complicate fluid movement in eolian reservoirs. but are related to dune sediments in time and by source Although.
Sedimentation pattern is mainly related to current speed: As the current speed decreases. everything smaller than a boulder is carried down the current. Fast mountain river. Meandered streams are characterized generally by low current velocity and low sediment load 11 . it will often meander.Fluvial environments are complex systems of erosion. They refer to river and stream activity and to their deposits. Moderately flowing river – carries small sand grains and clay.2. Slow moving river carries only fine clay particles Two important types of river streams are known: o Meandering Streams (high sinuosity) When a stream flows in a region of flat topography. the larger sediments settle out and fall to the river bottom. sediment transport and deposition which give rise to a great variety of landforms. River (Fluvial) Depositional Environments River depositional environment refers to river and stream types and activities and to their deposits.
but essentially all is used over one season. At any one moment the active channels may account for only a small proportion of the area of the channel system. Point Bars are made of sand or gravel. o Braided Streams (low sinuosity) Braided streams are formed in regions with a high sediment load and changing stream volume. Sediment supply is greater than the amount stream can support. Braided streams have multiple broad.Meandering Stream Deposits Floodplains are covered by silt and clay. 12 . Levees are made of fine sand or silt. Channel deposits consist of coarse. shallow channels. rounded gravel and sand.
Fluvial Sedimentary Structures Graded bedding Asymmetric ripples Planar cross bedding 13 . • Fossils are not common and mostly consist of plant remains and fresh water skeletal fragments. The effect of river flood on the nature of river sediments 1. channel unto the floodplain As water flows unto the floodplain. 3. its current velocity is dramatically reduced. River (Fluvial) Facies • Fluvial sediments range from the coarsest conglomerates through sandstones to mudrocks.Braided Stream Deposits Braided stream deposits consist of conglomerate. Finer sediments such as clay and silt are deposited further out in the flood plain. When the amount of river water e dramatically increases (such as after heavy precipitation or rapid snow melt). cross-bedded sandstone but mudstone is rare or absent. 5. 4. water will overflow the banks of the 2. These finer sediments deposited along the floodplain provide excellent regions for agriculture. • Fluvial sandstones are usually cross bedded & sharp based. Larger sediments such as sand are deposited along the banks of the channel. forming a natural levee.
Braided-river deposits offer excellent reservoirs in many cases. prospecting for structural traps would seem the optimum exploration strategy. they may form potentially good reservoir rocks for oil and gas. 14 . • • • • • Potentiality of Braided-River Deposits • • • Because of the coarse-grained nature of channel fill fluvial sediments. relatively far from marine source rocks.River (Fluvial) Facies • Fluvial sediments range from the coarsest conglomerates through sandstones to mudrocks. Fluvial sediments are commonly highly oxidized because of exposure to oxygenated water during early diagenesis. Thus. both structurally and stratigraphically trapped hydrocarbons have been discovered in fluvial deposits. but have little potential for stratigraphic traps because of their paucity of thick. These considerations have tended to lessen exploration interest in fluvial sediments of many basins. continuous fine-grained sediment. In spite of this. Sandstones from channel fills (with up to 30% average porosity and permeability of thousands of milli-darcys) have been reported) Whilst abandoned channels and levee sediments have the lowest porosity and permeability. Reservoir Potentiality River facies provide a better understanding of the architecture and heterogeneity of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Fossils are not common and mostly consist of plant remains and fresh water skeletal fragments. They are also located on the margins of basins. • • Fluvial sandstones are usually cross bedded & sharp based.
nonstratified drift deposited directly by glacial ice mostly in ridgelike deposits called moraines 15 . • 3. Till is poorly sorted.Delta deposits Channel fill facies With high porosity and permeability Potentiality of Meandering River Deposits • Meandering stream deposits. they are commonly considered more likely to contain gas than oil. with their abundant impermeable floodplain shales and laterally restricted sand bodies. Because fluvial sediments are commonly associated with plant material and coal. Glacial Depositional Environments All sediments deposited in glacial environments are collectively called drift. are most likely to form stratigraphic traps of limited size.
or pebble clasts set in a fine carbonate or clay matrix Diamictites: 4. shallow or deep. they may be large or small. or evaporitic sediments. carbonate. Lacustrine Environments Lacustrine environments (or lakes) are diverse.lithified tills with poorly sorted texture Erratic clasts – glacial rocks derived from distant outcrops Dropstones – large boulder. and filled with terrigenous. Clastic Lacustrine sedimentation can be categorized by: 16 . cobble. They are made of sand and gravel clasts adhering to the ice at the base of the glacier Glacial Facies Glacial Till: poorly sorted sediment consisting of both very large and very small clasts.Sedimentary Structures Glacial Striations • They represent the best indicators for the direction of ice advance. Tillites .
Shallow littoral sediments. marginal- • • 17 . large accumulations of oil and gas trapped in rocks formed in ancient lake systems are known from the western part of the United States and from much of China. However. Bioturbation may occur -Alternating parallel bedded very fine grained sandstone and mudstone Hydrocarbon Potentiality • Although sedimentary rocks formed in lacustrine depositional systems are common from much of the world. b. They are commonly interbedded with beds composed of saline minerals such as halite. mostly sandy deposits Pelagic sediments.a. Sedimentary Structures Burrows Stromatolites Ripples Lacustrine Facies -Fine grained sandstone and mudstone. trona. muddy sediments at the deepest parts of the basin Palustrine environments occur where lake margin sediments are subaerially exposed. relatively few have been the focus of exploration for oil and/or gas. natural gas. In addition. Siliciclastic rocks of lacustrine ori¬gin are known to contain oil. "shows" and oil and gas fields developed in strata of lacustrine origin are known from several other parts of the world. and bitumens as well as oil shale. In addition.
much is recovered from rocks that formed outside the ancient lakes in depositional settings at the fluctuating margin of the lake or in environments well removed from the lake. the primary reservoirs are siliciclastic rocks. The best known petroleum-bearing lacustrine rocks are those of Utah. Delta & Estuary Depositional Environments Delta The delta begins where the river channel transforms itself into the delta channel or into a system of distributary channels. Transitional Depositional Environments 1.• • • • lacustrine and related alluvial siliciclastic strata may contain uranium and coal. Although oil and gas are produced from lacustrine rocks therein. B. Deltas are made up of: o Delta top o Delta distributary channel system o Delta plain (overbank) o Delta front Delta front Delta plain (overbank) Distributary delta channel Delta top 18 . USA and of the giant oil fields of China. Hydrocarbons found in non-lacustrine beds are believed to have formed from lacustrine source rocks and migrated into beds of the peripheral depositional facies. In these lacustrine depositional systems.
Delta Depositional Environments • • A delta depositional environment forms when a river reaches the sea carrying more material than marine currents can redistribute. the most distal prodelta is dominated by even finer muddy facies o Simple Deltas • The simplest deltas are those in lakes and consist of topset beds. terrestrial and marine environments.. whereas the topset beds contain land fossils. 19 . a significant deltaic accumulation necessarily requires the existence of a river system carrying substantial quantities of clastic sediment from an inland drainage basin to the coast where the deposits form the delta plain. Deltas consist of a subaerial (upper) delta plain. So. and forms a vertical sequence of rocks that becomes coarser-grained from the bottom to top The bottomset beds may contain lake fossils. foreset beds and bottomset beds. and a subaqueous delta • • • front (lower and marginal deltaic plains) and prodelta The delta slope is commonly 1-2° and consists of silty facies. Delta depositional environments comprise very complex depositional systems embracing fluvial.
the much lower wave energy for sediment transport in the Gulf of Mexico Wave-influenced Delta • • • • Forms where strong and persistent wave energy exceeds river or tidal energy They have distributary channels but their seaward margin is modified by wave action Bedload (sand or gravel) is reworked by waves and currents as quickly as it is deposited Delta front sandbars and beach ridges are aligned parallel to shore 20 . sands & gravels) similar to those found in river streams River-dominated delta have long distributary channels extending far seaward and form a “bird’s foot" pattern • The "bird's foot" pattern of the Mississippi River delta is the result of: 1.o Marine Deltas • • • • Marine deltas rarely conform precisely to his simple threefold division because they are strongly influenced by one or more modifying processes: When fluvial processes prevail a stream/river-dominated delta results Strong wave action produces a wave dominated delta Tidal influences result in tide-dominated deltas River-dominated Delta Delta channel and delta plain sediments are basically made up of fluvial deposits (i. the abundant sediment supply and large river discharge relative to 2.e.
Tide-influenced Delta • • • Forms where the river meets a coast with a large tidal range (> 3 m) Tidal channels on the delta front display reversal flow as the flood tide balances the downstream discharge Sandbars are aligned perpendicular to the shoreline 21 .
Delta Sedimentary Structures Planar cross bedding Flat parallel lamination Graded bedding Delta facies • The complexity of environmental settings under which deltas exist results in a variety of vertical sequences that can form within the delta facies. Coarser sediment (sand) tends to be 22 . • Delta facies is composed mainly of clastic deposits that form (either subaerial or subaqueous) by fluvial. • Coarser sediment (sand) tends to be deposited near the mouth of the river. Delta facies is composed mainly of clastic deposits that form (either subaerial or subaqueous) by fluvial and/or tidal processes. waves and/or tidal processes. • Finer sediment is carried seaward and deposited in deeper water.
Finer sediment is carried seaward and deposited in deeper water. with a oscillating relative sea level change. repeated sequence of sandstone. clay. 23 . parallel and cross-bedded sandstone.from the bottom up. coal.deposited near the mouth of the river. Delta facies include massive sandstone with thin vertical burrows. This is called molasse facies.is formed. limestone (sometimes) and shale. Molasse Facies • In deltaic environment..
tide. sediments are generally sand: bars and tidal ridges. which are perched atop the flats. Near the inlet. which extend well below the position of the lowest tides. • An estuary is a semi-enclosed marginal marine body of water in which salinity is measurably diluted by fluvial discharge Estuary It is a "drowned" river valley.Estuary Environment • Estuaries are transgressed. It forms when an inlet of the sea reaches into a river valley as far as the upper limit of tidal rise Two types of channels exist: tidal channels. drowned river valleys where fluvial. and wave processes interact. and runoff channels. 24 .
The fining-upward character of estuary fill resembles that of fluvial deposits Estuarine deposits should typically be of limited geographic extent. although intense bioturbation may mix the components into a muddy sand or sandy mud.Within the estuary. tidal channels may contain either longitudinal or oblique bars. sediment near the inlet tends to consist predominantly of sand. the best geologic evidence suggesting an estuarine environment is probably brackish water fauna. the finest material may be selectively transported landward by the tides. Moreover. whereas that in upper parts of an estuary is mostly mud. two very different types of material. In the upper reaches of the estuary sediments are "muddier" • Estuarine sediment typically consists of well-sorted fine sand and mud. Commonly. • • • • Estuary Sedimentary Structures Planar cross bedding Flat parallel lamination Graded bedding Estuary Facies 25 . while the mud is contributed primarily by river discharge. Within this constraint. The sand may be introduced mostly from the ocean. The winnowing effects of waves and tidal currents typically diminish toward the upper reaches of an estuary. the mud and well-sorted sand are interlayered in sharply contrasting strata. In any event.
locally generated waves. Clastic estuarian facies include parallel bedded-rippled burrowed sandstone. 3. Granular. river discharge. estuaries are among the most biologically productive sedimentary environments known. temperature.Sediments deposited in this setting are influenced by a complex combination of tides and tidal currents. precipitation. Beach Environments Beach Clastic Facies Parallel bedded-rippled sandstone. These factors differ markedly among the world's estuaries. and local flora and fauna. • The intercalation of supratidal and other mud with sand provides impermeable barriers necessary to the development of stratigraphic traps. • They are associated with muds rich in organic products. oceanic waves. Cross-bedded sandstone Tidal channel bedload may include shells and other large clasts (mainly sand) with current ripples Tidal flat deposits are bioturbated or laminar mud with thin sand sheets Hydrocarbon Potentiality • Ancient estuary-fill complexes should have excellent oil and gas source potential. and accordingly the sedimentary facies produced vary widely. well sorted conglomerate 26 . • Sand deposits are typically very well sorted and should have excellent reservoir characteristics.
• They contain finer sediment than beaches (usually silt and bioturbated mud). which result from interaction of fluvial and marine processes. Lagoon Environment and Barrier Sand Islands • Lagoons are bodies of water on the landward side of barrier islands. • In contrast to river deltas. Sand Barriers Elongate sandy islands that parallel the shoreline and are separated from it by lagoons or marshes.3. 27 . barriers and strand plains are controlled entirely by marine processes. They are formed on coastlines where the wave processes are more important than tidal currents. They are protected from the pounding of the ocean waves by the barrier islands or reefs.
(2) Inlet channels and tidal deltas. Seaward or longshore migration of these environments results in facies sequences constituting much of the volume of many coastal sand bodies.The environments of sand deposition include: (1) Beach and shoreface environments on the seaward side of barriers and strand plains. separating barriers laterally. and (3) Washover fans on the landward or lagoonward side of barriers. 28 .
Sand Barrier Facies Distribution of facies. • Excellent reservoir rocks for petroleum. •They often form major components of shoreline regressive/transgressive sequences.• Barrier islands migrate landward and seaward with sealevel changes. external geometry of sand bodies. 29 .Laminated Sandstone Laminated Sandstone Bioturbated Sandstone Clean sandstone Hydrocarbon Potentiality • Barrier Islands generate long thin sand bodies of excellent porosity & permeability within impermeable shale sequences. and nature of associated facies are variable and depend on sediment supply and relative sea-level changes Cross.
Bedding is thin and even and contacts are sharp. • They involve areas within the intertidal zone (flooded by daily tides) and the supratidal zone (flooded by wind tides). parallel. silt. interbeded clay and sand Where mud dominates) is common. Sediments usually possess low porosity. Tidal Flat Clastic Facies • Laminated or rippled clay. Tidal Flat Sedimentary Structures Tidal flats are excellent sedimentary environments for the preservation of trace fossils (e. Tidal Flat Sediments • • • • Tidal flat sediments occur as widespread sheets that are often dissected by channels. and fine sand (either terrigenous or carbonate) may be deposited. Lenticular bedding (i. Tidal flat sediments range from cross bedded sands to bioturbated muds.g.e. 30 . Tidal Flat Environments • Tidal flats are vast areas regularly to rarely covered by water and dominated by weak currents & wave actions. bioturbation) as well as physical sedimentary structures because of the alternating layers of sand and mud (e. but evaporites show irregular bedding and may be nodular. Collapse breccias of angular fragments are local. Intense burrowing is common.g. • The tidal facies and the rate of capillary evaporation vary among the supratidal and intertidal zones. lenticular and flaser bedding).4.
3. and associated small-scale current ripples and flaser bedding. The intertidal flat displays a variety of intertidal sand and mud layers. fluvial) 2. wavy. are common in subtidal zone. The relative effect of tidal. Hydrocarbon Potentiality The relatively coarse grained cross bedded sandstones formed within the intertidal areas and tidal channels are recorded as good reservoirs.Tidal-flat deposits showing a prograding shoreline Shallowing upward sequence from subtidal to tidal flat • • • Supratidal flats are dominated by burrowed mudstones with plant remains. including flaser. Large-scale cross-bedding. Factors that may control the production of the different coastal depositional environments: • 1. This reflects decreasing energy in a progression from subtidal to intertidal parts of the tidal flat. Type of sediment supply (marine vs. Bioturbation is common. consisting of coarse sediments at the base and progressively finer sediments toward the top in an uninterrupted. Eustatic sea level variations 31 . and lenticular bedding. • Source rocks are mainly organic-rich marine clays. vertical sequence. waves and fluvial processes. Tidal flats developed under regressive or prograding conditions are characterized by a fining upward sequence. Some swamps with coal and peat may exist.
Shallow Marine Continental Shelf Environments 2.C. Marine Depositional Environments 1. Deep Marine Environments • Continental Slope • Deep Basin 32 .
33 . Depth of water Temperature of water Currents Bottom topography Turbulence III.General Environmental Factors that Control the Deposition in Marine Environments I. 2. and the shelf width is 75 km. - Biological Factors Organic population Organic diversity 1. 3.000 km. or may contain banks. 5. 4. covered by a variety of bedforms. or upper edge of the continental slope (i. On the average. the shelf break occurs at 124 m depth. Morphologic and sedimentary characteristics of the shelf also vary considerably. The gently sloping area adjacent to a continent is a continental shelf) However.e. an examination of bathymetric charts shows that both the shelf depth and the shelf width vary: The shelf depth may be as shallow as 18 m or as deep as 915 m and the shelf width may range from a few kilometers to more than 1. Shallow Marine Shelf Sediments • • • The continental shelf is that part of the sea floor between the shoreline and the shelf break. and shoals near its offshore edge. islands. The shelf surface may be smooth. Physical Factors 1.
Current Circulation within the Shelf Circulation decreases wide > 10 km narrow < 10 km Circulation increases Continental Linkage of the Shelf Attached Terrigenous sediment source Detached Detached Terrigenous sediment source 34 .
Epi-continental seas that exhibit ramp morphology with no barriers along the shelf or the shelf edge. and 2. Ramp Shelf • Gently sloping (<1°) Shelf with no continuous rim or barrier along platform edge • Ramp shelf may have high energy beach 35 .Morphology of the Shelf Ramp Distally steepened Rimmed Platform Attached Flat-Topped Platform Attached Detached Homoclinal Detached Types of Shallow marine shelf environments Shallow marine shelf environments include: 1. Peri-continental seas that occur along continental margins and have a shoreline-shelf-slope profile with barriers or rims.
the overall smooth shelf has a sand blanket that has been molded into a variety of small and large bed-forms. daily and seasonal wave and current dynamics. currents. • Complex interactions between such factors as tectonics. along with special events such as storms result in a mixture of detrital sediments within a variety of microenvironments. climatic conditions. • In many areas. Depositional Settings within Shelves • Shallow marine shelves involve: • Upper high-energy shoreface depositional setting (periodically stirred up by waves and tidal currents) characterized by sandstones with current & wave structures. muddy shelves may contain nearly homogeneous sediments except for the presence of layers formed during storms. This lagoonal area commonly grades landward into tidal flat Depositional Processes on Clastic Shelves • The sedimentary characteristics of the clastic shelf sediments change from one area to the next depending on differences in waves.Rimmed Shelf Margin • A shelf with pronounced break in slope • It is characterized with the presence of nearly continuous rim or barrier along platform edge • The barrier is a wave resistant structure consisting of either a reef or sand shoals • The landward side of rim/barrier is a low energy "lagoonal" area of variably restricted circulation. • Other shelves consist primarily of sand blanket dissected by valleys and then partly filled with either fine-or coarse-grained sediments. 36 . and proximity to large sources of sediment. sea-level fluctuations. • For example.
provides the four main ingredients for petroleum accumulations: (1) potential reservoirs. • This setting. 37 .000 steel platforms extracting of petroleum and natural gas. • There are over 3. well-sorted sands. and tens of thousands of holes have been drilled into these reservoirs. (3) potential trapping situations. whether it be epicontinental or pericontinental. (2) potential hydrocarbon source rocks. • Hundreds of reservoirs of "black gold" are already developed in these areas. Porosity varies although rocks that display good petrophysical characteristics (reservoir quality) are common Continental Platforms are the main offshore target for hydrocarbon exploration • Continental shelves of the World Ocean have become the primary regions for petroleum and natural gas exploration and drilling. • The potential for economic oil and gas accumulations in sandstone facies of ancient shelf deposits is high.• • Lower shoreface depositional setting characterized by mudstone with thin cross-stratified sandstone beds and Offshore depositional setting below the storm wave base characterized by bioturbated mudstones and no current sedimentary structures Detrital Shallow Marine Sediments • Texturally and compositionally mature sands • lower shoreface settings can be identified by mudstone with thin crossstratified sandstone beds • upper shoreface settings can be identified by sandstones with current & wave structures • bioturbation increases offshore and may obscure some primary sedimentary structures Shallow marine clastic facies is characterized by bioturbated and cross-bedded sandstones. and (4) the time and depth of burial required to generate petroleum. • Reservoir potential is high because of marine sorting mechanisms that produce relatively clean.
which are primarily turbulent. may contain significant quantities of organic carbon compounds. • A turbidity current moves because it has a higher density than the fluid through which it flows. A turbidity current is a gravity current of rapidly moving. they commonly evolve from debris flows.• • Surrounding marine muds. representing relatively low rates of sediment accumulation under low energy conditions. 2. sediment-laden water moving down a slope. 38 . These same muds become relatively impermeable mudrocks after compaction. The sediments from the submarine canyon are then deposited on the deep-ocean floor. Deep Marine Depositional Environments • Much sediments derived from the continents crosse the continental shelf and is funneled into deeper water through submarine canyons • They eventually comes to rest on the continental slope as a series of overlapping submarine fans Mass (Sediment) Transport Via Continental Slope • Subaqueous mass transport through canyons (mostly sediment gravity flows) involve: • Debris flows. forming seals for stratigraphic traps. which are commonly laminar and typically do not produce sedimentary structures • Turbidity currents.
they consist of a feeder channel that divides into numerous distributary channels bordered by natural levees (‘channel-levee systems’) and are subject to avulsions 39 . it is graded according to specific gravity that the coarse-grained materials fall firstly. their load is finally deposited. and followed by the finer fraction.Turbidites are usually graded bedded rocks The normal graded bedding formed mainly by turbidity currents: these currents can transport grains up to pebble size for long distance and when the velocity of the flow decreases. Deep Marine Fans • Submarine fans share several characteristics with deltas.
• An ideal sequence of turbidites was first described by Bouma (1962) and is called Bouma sequence The idealized Bouma sequence consists of divisions A-E. cross-stratified fine sand D: Laminated silt E: Homogeneous mud 40 . A: Rapidly deposited.• Proximal upper fan (trunk channel) • Medial fan (lobes) • Distal lower fan Bouma Sequence • A certain sequence of sediments may be generated by these turbidity currents and is named turbidites. massive sand and gravels B: Planar stratified sand C: Small-scale rippled.
and grade up through coarse then medium plane parallel sandstone. bedding. This vertical succession of sedimentary structures. Bioturbated mudstone Flysch or turbidite deep marine facies are Rhythmically bedded thin beds of shale alternating with graywacke deposited by submarine landslides from the continental shelf down to the deep ocean basin 41 . bedded siltstone and mudstone. deep seafloor is nearly covered by: Other • • • • • Calcareous pelagic muds Terrigenous muds Hemipelagic sediments consist of fine-grained (muddy) terrigenous material that is deposited from suspension. graded bedded sandstones. rippled cross-bedded sand/silty sand. with 1–15% organic-matter content. and changing lithology is representative of turbidity flow regime and currents and their corresponding sedimentation.• • • • Bouma cycles begin with an erosional contact of a coarse lower bed of pebble to granule conglomerate in a sandy matrix. Eolian dust is an important component (~50%) of hemipelagic (and pelagic) facies Volcanogenic muds = <30% CaCO3+ Ash Black shales. through cross-bedded sandstone. may form in anoxic bottom waters Deep marine clastic facies Alternating parallel bedded very fine grained sandstone and mudstone. and finally laminar siltstone and shale. Deep Basin Sediments Rather than turbidites.
Reservoir Potential of turbidite facies • • Turbidites could have significant source potential because of their origin in shallow water areas of high organic productivity. coarse grained sandstone of the fan lobes) may act as reservoirs or as conduits for migrating oil. 42 . their porous facies (e. In addition.g.
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