ABSTRACT

Lithofacies, architectural-element abundance, and estimates of dune-bedform height and channel sinuosity from borehole images (BHIs) and well-exposed outcrops allow for an expanded interpretation of the fluvial stratigraphic architecture of the Upper Cretaceous Williams Fork Formation. Sedimentologic and stratigraphic data from outcrops and detailed core descriptions of the Williams Fork Formation, Piceance Basin, Colorado, were used to compare attributes of fluvial architectural elements to BHI characteristics and spectral-gamma-ray (SGR) log motifs. Results show a distinct set of criteria based on BHIs that aid in the interpretation of lithofacies and fluvial reservoir architecture. In contrast, a practical correlation does not exist between outcrop- and core-derived SGR log motifs or thorium and potassium abundances and fluvial lithofacies or architectural elements.

Four electrofacies based on BHI characteristics (e.g., dip type, dip pattern, and color scheme) represent the most common fluvial lithofacies and are identified through comparison of paired, calibrated BHIs and core. Cross-bed-set thickness values from BHIs are used to calculate dune height as a proxy for flow energy. The lower and middle Williams Fork Formation represent low-energy meandering and higher energy braided systems, respectively, as evident by changes in channel sinuosity and architectural-element type. The upper Williams Fork Formation is divided into two intervals based on lithofacies, architectural elements, channel sinuosity, and net-to-gross ratio. The subdivision for the upper Williams Fork Formation represents a change from a lower energy, meandering fluvial system to a higher energy, lower sinuosity braided system as related to changes in accommodation through time.

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