Well Log Response Character

(source: Emery, 1996) There are three general trends or curve shapes that can be recognized when looking at well log curves. For instance the Gamma log tracks the upward change in clay-mineral content. NB: When possible, one should use core data to confirm or augment well log analysis.

1. Cleaning-up trend (funnel shape); a gradual upward decrease in gamma response. In shallow marine settings, this trend reflects a change from shale-rich into sand-rich lithology and upward increase in depositional energy with shallowing-upward and coarsening. In deep marine settings, this trend reflects an increase in the sand contents of turbidite bodies. This trend also may indicate gradual change from clastic to carbonate deposition. 2. Dirtying-up trend (bell shape); a gradual upward increase in gamma response: This trend may reflect upward fining (eg: a lithology change from sand to shale) or upward fining of sand beds in a thinly interbedded sand-shale unit. This trend usually implies a decrease in depositional energy. In a non-marine setting, fining upward is predominant within meandering or tidal channel deposits with an upward decrease in fluid velocity within a channel (coarser sediments at base of channel). In a shallow-marine setting, this trend usually reflects an upward deepening and a decrease in depositional energy (shoreline retreat). In deep-marine settings, this trend reflects waning of submarine fans (reducing of sand contents).

turbidites (typically with greater range of thickness). Curve character can be smooth. 2.3. Bow trend (symmetrical or barrel) with gradual decrease then gradual increase in gamma response: this is usually the result of progradation and retrogration of clastic sediments. Irregular trend with lack of character: this trend represents aggradation of shales or silts and can occur in other settings. His diagram has been added to and slightly been modified for this web site. . Additionally two in-between trends can be recognized: 1. complex or serrated (sawlike) with contacts can be sudden or gradual. and aeolian sands. Evaporites also can have a cylindrical gamma trend. Boxcar trend (cylindrical or block shape) with low gamma and sharp boundaries and no internal change: this trend is predominant in fluvial channel sands. The figure below summarises the log response a variety of different clastic depositional systems that Malcolm Rider (1996) assembled in his excellent book on Well Logs.

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. 1990) Progradational Parasequence Sets Successively younger parasequences are deposited farther basinward when the rate of deposition is greater than the rate of accommodation (regression). .Well Logs: Stacking Patterns of Clastic Parasequences (Van Wagoner et al.

Retrogradational Parasequence Sets Successively younger parasequences are deposited farther landward in backstepping pattern when the rate of deposition is less than the rate of accommodation (transgression). . Aggradational Parasequence Sets Successively younger parasequences are deposited above one another with no significant lateral shifts when the rate of accommodation approximates the rate of deposition.

Click on image below to access a larger version of this diagram and view grain size distribution and clastic geometries within deepwater fans.Analysis Pitfalls Progradational Parasequence Sets of the Lowstand System Tract Stacking patterns and trajectories of progressively younger parasequences which are deposited farther basinward when the rate of deposition is greater than the rate of accommodation (regression) during a fall in base level. "> Mid Slope Channels Proximal Distal Fan Toe Slope Mid Fan .

Retrogradational Parasequence Sets of the Transgressive System Tract Stacking patterns and trajectories of progressively younger parasequences which are deposited farther landward when the rate of deposition is less than the rate of accommodation (regression) during a rise in base level. Click on image below to access a larger version of this diagram and view grain size distribution and clastic geometries within deepwater fans. Aggradational Progradational Parasequence Sets of the Highstand System Tract Stacking patterns and trajectories of progressively younger parasequences which are deposited farther seaward when the rate of deposition exceeds the rate of accommodation (progradation) during a still stand in base level. Click on image below to access a larger version of this diagram and view grain size distribution and clastic geometries within deepwater fans. .

Well Logs: Stacking Patterns of Clastic Parasequences (Van Wagoner et al. 1990) Progradational Parasequence Sets Successively younger parasequences are deposited farther ..

Retrogradational Parasequence Sets Successively younger parasequences are deposited farther landward in backstepping pattern when the rate of deposition is less than the rate of accommodation (transgression). Aggradational Parasequence Sets Successively younger parasequences are deposited above one another with no significant lateral shifts when the rate of accommodation approximates the rate of deposition.basinward when the rate of deposition is greater than the rate of accommodation (regression). .

"> Mid Slope Channels Proximal Distal Fan Toe Slope Mid Fan . Click on image below to access a larger version of this diagram and view grain size distribution and clastic geometries within deepwater fans.Analysis Pitfalls Progradational Parasequence Sets of the Lowstand System Tract Stacking patterns and trajectories of progressively younger parasequences which are deposited farther basinward when the rate of deposition is greater than the rate of accommodation (regression) during a fall in base level.

Aggradational Progradational Parasequence Sets of the Highstand System Tract Stacking patterns and trajectories of progressively younger parasequences which are deposited farther seaward when the rate of deposition exceeds the rate of accommodation (progradation) during a still stand in base level. Click on image below to access a larger version of this diagram and view grain size distribution and clastic geometries within deepwater fans. .Retrogradational Parasequence Sets of the Transgressive System Tract Stacking patterns and trajectories of progressively younger parasequences which are deposited farther landward when the rate of deposition is less than the rate of accommodation (regression) during a rise in base level. Click on image below to access a larger version of this diagram and view grain size distribution and clastic geometries within deepwater fans.

therefore consists of a combination of terrestrial and marine. 400 BC) .Herodotus (c. Get rapid decrease in shear stress (along with flow expansion at mouth of channel. . In a model described by Coleman.Deltas SEDIMENTATION & STRATIGRAPHY LECTURE 6: Deltaic Systems I." So sediment transport by a RIVER is key to having a delta. or at least lacustrine strata. . . forcing deposition = distributary mouth bar. The outer and lower parts are necessarily constructed below water level. you can develop a bar that has . II. by a river . sedimentation rates on the bar are not exactly equal. but its upper and inner surface must be land maintained .described the ancient (Devonian) Catskill Delta and defined a delta as "a deposit partly subaerial built by a river into or against a body of permanent water. . the velocity reduction at the river mouth is not uniform across the region of flow expansion. River processes: sedimentation at the mouth of a river where flow runs into standing sea (or lake) water. Thus. If one area gets a bit higher sedimentation than an ancient area. A.thought the alluvial plain at mouth of Nile looked like a ∆ Barrell (1912) .

This is much like in a braided stream where local areas of flow expansion lead to bar deposition and flow splitting. paths.topography. or more. Click on figure to go to a printable page. and the bar builds up above sea level. above sea level part of the delta) that is a distributary pattern. As the river progrades seaward. we find a river pattern on the delta plain (the river dominated. essentially the mouth bar consists of local highs and lows that causes the flow to split around the highs. Upper two examples are of riverdominated deltas. Lower left is a tidedominated delta and lower right a wavedominated delta. Delta Front: The zone just seaward of the river mouth is where the distributary mouth bar is deposited. and represents the area where the . note distributary channel pattern on delta plain. In the case of delta river mouths this eventually causes the river to split into two. Clicking that page will return you to here. B. Examples of 3 delta types.

This area can be reworked by waves etc. 1970). River dominated deltas are therefore those where other effects.coarsest (usually sandiest) marine sediments are found. but in general the area just seaward of the shoreline on a delta is called the delta front. silt to clay. Note the distributary mouth bar and beach sands are in the delta front. Click figure to go to printable page. These lobes might have little more than the distributary channel and its levee exposed above sea level. These muddy build ups are referred to as the Prodelta zone. Environments and facies of the modern Niger delta (Allen. Note on the above figure that the area farther seaward of the delta front is a zone where the fine grained. These deltas tend to build delta lobes out into the sea. The block diagram below shows what types of sediment is found in this part of the delta. III. River-dominated deltas: the type of delta system we have been describing above is dominated by a river that builds a delta pretty much willy nilly into the sea. such as much reworking by waves or by tides is minor. clicking that figure will return you to here. material carried in by the river is deposited. In this zone sedimentation rates of fine grained material are higher than found farther off on the shelf.. In which case the delta looks something like a bird's foot (upper right example .

The bays between channels (interdistributary bays) get filled in with bay muds and occassional crevasse splay deposits. The types of fauna that can live in these bays are unusual. Example of a river dominated delta plain where only the channels and their levees are above sea level.in first figure above). between fresh water and marine water in saltiness). Some types of critters like this type of water (oysters for example). So not many types of genera live in these muddy environments.e. Click figure to go to a printable version. The salinity of these waters is brackish (i. in which case the delta can have more of a lobed shape. Click . Other times more of the flood plain between individual distributary channels is exposed above sea level.

Clicking that figure will return you here. Click figure to go to a printable version. As a result the entire delta lobe which is being fed by the river will stop getting sediment and become abandoned and an new lobe will start to form and prograde where the newly avulsed river hits the sea. B. A. The abandonment of the channel causes the sequence to be overlain (usually pretty abruptly) by mudstones. From Frazier and Osanik (1969). distributary channels can avulse. Note in the example below there is even a mud plug in one of the abandonded channels. Block diagrams showing the progradation and then abandonment of a distributary channel and its distributary mouth bar into the sea. like most rivers. The abandoned delta lobe will tend to subside over time as clays beneath are compacted from the . Progradation of the distributary channel and its mouth bar into the open sea produces a coarsening and thickening upward sequence.that figure to return here. Of course.

as a result.weight of the delta. Compare that to the lower sequence which comes from a wave-dominated delta. The resulting vertical stratigraphic sequence of a river dominated delta is shown below. C. The upper figure is the Mississippi Delta idealized sequence. Clicking that figure will return you here. Click figure to go to printable version of the figure. . has less mudstones and channel associated deposits. and. The result. Delta lobe abandonment can happen on the time scales of centuries to many millenia as in the example shown below of the Mississippi delta. History of delta lobe abandonment on the Mississippi Delta over the past 5000 years. in all cases. is that the area that had previously been delta deposition becomes submerged and shelf muds are deposited on top and buries these older deposits. if the basin is subsiding tectonically and/or as sea level rises and drowns the delta.

Idealized vertical stratigraphic sequences from a riverdominated (upper) and wavedominated (lower) delta. This usually happens in bays and estuaries where the river mouth is protected from much wave activity. The shoreline down drift of the river mouth may have much better developed and extensive beaches and even sandy spits can form in the down drift direction. At the head of the bay there may be a classic looking delta. but . Click on figure to go to a larger. Sediment is carried off down the longshore drift direction. IV. The relentless in and out currents of tides can sculpt the sediment into elongate tidal bars. the delta shape can be extensively reshaped by the twice a day flood and ebb tidal currents moving in and out of the river mouth. V. such as seen in the lower left delta of the first figure above. Muds carried down the river to the delta can get carried much farther down drift leaving large areas of muddy shoreline in those areas away from the river mouths. Tide-dominated deltas: where river mouths hit the sea in areas affected by large tidal ranges. in this location referred to as a bay-head delta. where beveled by wave action. The action of waves is to constantly rework the delta front. printable version. The lower stratigraphic section in the figure above shows an idealized vertical stratigraphic sequence through a wavedominated delta. This may cause the delta to have a more cuspate shape. Clicking that figure will return you here. Wave-dominated deltas: Where rivers dump into the sea in areas of significant wave build up.

diapirs. beaches) nor or strongly prograding rivers (e. A vertical stratigraphic section through this type of deposit will be dominated by lots of muds and sands that show bidirectional (ebbdirected and flood directed) cross bedding and not much evidence of wave reworking (e. Such features include slumps. . etc.g.farther seaward is a zone of lots of tidal bars. soft sediment deformation. Result of rapid sedimentation rates: One key feature of deltas is that they are areas of very rapid sedimentation rates. islands and inlets caused by tide reworking. As a result lots of features tend to form caused by lots of loose sediment and rapid loading. river dominated lobate deltas). VI.g.

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