Flow Regimes and Solute/Energy Transport
We are ready to take a look at FLOW REGIMES in sedimentary basins, the pathways, rates, and driving forces of fluid migration. Some hydrologists might call this an examination of MOMENTUM TRANSPORT, momentum = mass x velocity. Fluid flow in many basins is coupled with the transport of dissolved salts and heat, and we will also want to review some basic principles of SOLUTE and ENERGY TRANSPORT.
It is useful to examine flow and mass transport on several different dimensional and time scales, for example: regional flow in an entire sedimentary basin; local controls such as faults and facies changes; details of flow within individual beds; flow on the scale of individual pore spaces; and transport along fractures within individual mineral grains. Basin hydrology is essentially fractal in nature, and mass transport processes on all of these scales have geologic importance. We will emphasize larger scale processes here.
We will begin with a conceptual review of flow regimes in sedimentary basins and how these might evolve with time. Then we will discuss how the transport of dissolved material and of heat is related to fluid flow and then briefly examine some of the quantitative techniques which are available to predict or map out flow regimes.
Figures & Tables
The topics covered in these notes have been selected to provide the general sedimentary geologist with an introduction to some of the key problems and a conversational familiarity with some of the basic techniques in this important area of sedimentary geology. A number of field examples are drawn from the Louisiana Gulf Coast, buy many of the general principles will be applicable to other areas and problems.