Shoal massifs are cape-associated sand ridges that are shore-normal to shore-oblique and extend from the shoreline to the seaward limit of the continental shelf. These sand shoals are extremely large subaqueous features and form sites of littoral drift covergence, thereby serving as sediment sinks. Best examples of shoal massifs are from the eastern United States continental shelf where Cape Hatteras, Lookout, Fear and Romain are each associated with a large sand shoal (Fig. 52).
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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.