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Architectural Elements in a Ponded Submarine Fan, Ross Sandstone, Ireland

By
David R. Pyles
David R. Pyles
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Published:
January 01, 2008

Abstract

Exposures of the Carboniferous Ross Sandstone are commonly highly continuous, and both sandstone and mudstone strata are well exposed on vertical to near-vertical sea cliffs. The stratigraphic architecture of these submarine-fan exposures has been the subject of numerous papers in recent years (e.g., chapin et al., 1994; Elliott, 2000a, b; Sullivan et al., 2000; Strachan, 2002; Lien et al., 2003). Each of these papers provides significant insight into a specific architectural building block of the Ross Sandstone: chapin et al. (1994) discussed the sheetlike architectural features; Elliott (2000a, b), Sullivan et al. (2000), and Lien et al. (2003) discussed the channellike architectural features; and Strachan (2002) discussed the slumplike architectural features. They all offer a unique frame of reference from which to view the Ross Sandstone. Although stratal architecture of the Ross Sandstone has been described by several authors, several questions remain unaddressed. How many architectural elements build the Ross Sandstone? Do these architectural elements stack in a hierarchical manner? What proportion of Ross Sandstone strata does each architectural element comprise? How can lessons learned from Ross Sandstone architecture be applied to other submarine-fan reservoirs?

The Ross Sandstone of western Ireland in and around the Loop Head Peninsula is constructed of four architectural elements: channels, lobes, chaotic-contorted bodies, and mudstone sheets (composed of thin-bedded, dilute turbid flows, turbiditic mudstones, and hemipelagic and pelagic clays). Each architectural element is unique in terms of its cross sectional shape in strike view, each has a unique aspect ratio, and each occupies a unique domain on a thickness-versus-width plot.

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Contents

AAPG Studies in Geology

Atlas of Deep-Water Outcrops

Tor H. Nilsen
Tor H. Nilsen
Desceased
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Roger D. Shew
Roger D. Shew
University of North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
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Gary S. Steffens
Gary S. Steffens
Shell International E&P
Houston, Texas
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Joseph R. J. Studlick
Joseph R. J. Studlick
Maersk Oil America Inc.
Houston, Texas
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
56
ISBN electronic:
9781629810331
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

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