ABSTRACT

High-resolution digital outcrop models of stacked deep-water channel elements are constructed from the Laguna Figueroa section of the well-exposed Upper Cretaceous Tres Pasos Formation in Chilean Patagonia. The models are based on greater than 1600 m (>5250 ft) of centimeter-scale measured sections, greater than 100 paleoflow measurements, and thousands of differential global positioning system points (10-cm [4-in.] accuracy) from an outcrop belt that is approximately 2.5 km (∼1.5 mi) long and 130 m (425 ft) thick. The models elucidate the effects bed-to-geobody–scale architecture has on static sandstone connectivity among a series of stacked deep-water channel elements and how that connectivity is altered by grid cell size.

Static connectivity analyses show that channel element base drapes can strongly influence sandstone connectivity and that smaller channel element widths are more likely to produce disconnected sandstone geobodies. Net-to-gross (NTG) is not directly correlated with connectivity because of the presence of thin channel element base drapes, which do not significantly contribute to NTG. Upscaling the models consistently increases channel element contact (up to 10%) but decreases sandstone connectivity (up to 2%–3%). Channel element stacking patterns strongly impact connectivity. For example, connectivity is reduced in cases of high lateral channel element offsets. Increasing drape coverage markedly decreases connectivity. Evaluating connectivity in a vertical, along-system profile is critical to understanding flow units and reservoir piping. Ultimately, this work constrains uncertainty related to the impact of subseismic-scale stratigraphic architecture on reservoir connectivity by providing concrete knowledge that can be used to guide the model building process.

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