Shallow Marine Sheet Sandstones, Upper Yates Formation, Northwest Shelf, Delaware Basin, New Mexico
Published:January 01, 1989
Magell P. Candelaria, 1989. "Shallow Marine Sheet Sandstones, Upper Yates Formation, Northwest Shelf, Delaware Basin, New Mexico", Subsurface and Outcrop Examination of the Capitan Shelf Margin, Northern Delaware Basin, Paul M. Harris, George A. Grover
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Numerous studies have documented the lateral and vertical facies sequences of the Guadalupian-age Capitan-proximal carbonates of the Yates and Tansill formations on the Northwest Shelf of the Delaware Basin, New Mexico (Dunham, 1972; Hurley, 1978; Smith, 1974; Neese and Schwartz, 1977; Pray and Esteban, 1977). However, in contrast, relatively few detailed sedimentologic studies of the less abundant siliciclastic units that are interbedded with the shelf carbonates have been reported (Smith, 1974; Candelaria, 1982, 1983, 1988; Thorkelson, 1983). The lack of sedimentologic studies of the shelf sandstones has been due, no doubt, to the notable, and disconcerting apparent widespread, absence of visible primary stratification and bedforms indicative of physical processes and depositional environment. As a result, most interpretations of the shelf sandstone depositional environment have been made a priori and have remained largely unchallenged and unverified.
Candelaria (1982, 1983, 1988) described the sedimentological characteristics and lateral facies distribution of the upper two siliciclastic intervals of the Yates Formation as exposed along the outermost 5 km of the Northwest Shelf in the southeastern Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico (Fig. 1). The two upper Yates sandstones are continuously traceable across the study area and well beyond (east) into the subsurface. The lateral continuity and uniformity of interval thickness on depositional strike is remarkable as is the absence of channeling within the sands or incisement into the subjacent carbonate units.
Figures & Tables
Subsurface and Outcrop Examination of the Capitan Shelf Margin, Northern Delaware Basin
Shelf sandstone reservoirs are becoming a more and more common exploration target. What they are, how they may be characterized, and how they differ from shoreline and deep-water deposits in the subject of this publication. Shelf sands and sandstone reservoirs are among the more poorly understood types of sandstones. Continental, shoreline and deep water sandstones have all been studied in much more depth than have shelf sands and sandstones. However, during the last fifteen years significant progress has been made in understanding shelf sands and sandstones. Studies of modern sediments have allowed us to understand many of the depositional processes active on the shelf. This book is intended to be an up-to-date summary of shelf processes and products. The papers are intended for those new to shelf sands and sandstones as well as the shelf specialist.