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Abstract

In this work models are developed for the sequence stratigraphic interpretation of estuarine-shoreface-offshore reservoir sands found throughout Europe at the Aptian-Albian boundary. The models so developed are critically appraised through vertical facies analysis, facies distribution and paleogeographic reconstruction combined with correlation of depositional sequences. This process leads to the recognition of depositional sequences for which definitive criteria may vary, depending on paleogeographic and tectonic location. It is only after the effects of paleogeographic position are considered that an accurate account of sea-level history can be deduced in different environments. Arenaceous strata are present throughout southern England at the Aptian-Albian stage boundary (Lower Cretaceous); for example, the Sandrock/Folkestone Formation/Woburn Sands Formations occur both as part of a conformable succession in the Weald and Channel Basins and as an unconformable succession onlapping Jurassic and older strata of the basin margins. The facies and stratigraphy of three type successions are highly variable, suggesting environmental contrasts in Aptian-Albian times across southern England. Comparison of sequence stratigraphic analyses from each succession indicates that the depositional facies developed and preserved at sequence boundaries, as well as the number of sequence boundaries resolved, varies in direct response to the paleoenvironment.

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