Before leaving barrier island shoreline depositional systems, a very important sedimentary environment, the tidal inlet, must be examined. The channel sands and tidal deltas associated with the inlet environment are geologically most important. Tidal inlets can migrate laterally along a shoreline reworking the previously deposited barrier island sediments, and deposit thick sequences of fining upward inlet-fill. Recent studies have shown that as much as 50% of the sediment associated with a modern barrier shoreline is deposited in the inlet environment (Moslow and Tye, 1984).
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This lecture course is designed to provide geologic insights towards the development of depositional and exploration models for sandstone reservoirs associated with one or more of a variety of shelf and shoreline environmental settings. Sedimentologic and stratigraphic criteria will be utilized to more accurately predict the subsurface distribution and trend of reservoir quality sandstones. These criteria include a number of basic geologic “tools” such as well logs, cores, outcrop, seismic, and isopach and structure maps, all of which will be utilized in varying degrees during this course. Equally important in the development of models for shelf and shoreline sandstones is the subsurface analysis of modern depositional systems. An understanding of the three dimensional framework of modern clastic sedimentary environments is critical to the proper interpretation of vertical sequences, lateral facies relationships, sand body geometries and inhomogeneities of sandstone reservoirs.