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Fine-grained, Submarine-fan Growth and the Distribution of Lithofacies and Architectural Elements: An Example (Fan 4) from the Skoorsteenberg Formation Basin, South Africa

By
David M Hodgson
David M Hodgson
1
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
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Nicholas J Drinkwater
Nicholas J Drinkwater
2
Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom
6
Present address: Quantitative Stratigraphy Team, chevron Corporation, Energy Technology Company, Houston, Texas, USA
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Stephen S Flint
Stephen S Flint
1
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
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Stefan M Luthi
Stefan M Luthi
3
Department of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherland
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David Hodgetts
David Hodgetts
1
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
7
Present address: Basin Studies Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
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Erik P. Johannessen
Erik P. Johannessen
4
Statoil, Stavanger, Norway
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H. De Ville Wickens
H. De Ville Wickens
5
Department of Geology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
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Kevin J. Keogh
Kevin J. Keogh
1
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
4
Statoil, Stavanger, Norway
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John P. Kavanagh
John P. Kavanagh
1
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
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John A. Howell
John A. Howell
1
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
8
Present address: Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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Published:
January 01, 2008

Abstract

The Permian Skoorsteenberg Formation in the Tanqua depocenter, southwest Karoo basin, South Africa, provides outstanding exposures of four sand-rich, basin-floor fans (Figure 1). The integration of correlated outcrops and recently acquired conventional cores and wireline logs, an extensive paleocurrent dataset, and accurate GPS-mapped fan surfaces has enabled robust models of the stratigraphic evolution of the fan systems to be developed. This paper focuses on a reinterpretation of the stratigraphic organization and evolution of Fan 4, the youngest basin-floor fan, and documents the distribution of architectural elements (Panels A-D) within a generic stratigraphic framework. Proximal feeder systems display an upward increase in the depth of incision, with thicker accumulations of mudstone-clast conglomerates (Panel A). Basinward, the axial parts of the fans during progradational and aggradational phases are dominated by amalgamated sheet turbidites (Panels B and D). In particular, an architectural element, which does not fit into the commonly used channel or sheet classification scheme, is referred to as a highly amalgamated sheet-turbidite zone (Panel C). Mapping of high-frequency intrafan sequences reveals a progradational-aggradational-retrogradational stacking pattern within each submarine fan, which enables the geographic and stratigraphic distribution of lithofacies and architectural elements to be reasonably predicted. The progradational, aggradational, and retrogradational phases are assigned to the early, middle, and late lowstand system tracts, respectively, of a fifth-order sequence. Each phase is built of higher frequency sequences, so that each fan is a composite sequence. The fine-grained, submarine-fan systems of the Tanqua depocenter lose section and reservoir sandstones from the base (through progradation)

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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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