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Characterization of a Fine-Grained Outer Submarine Fan Deposit, Tanqua-Karoo Basin, South Africa

Daniel J. Rozman
Daniel J. Rozman
BP Amoco, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
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January 01, 2000


Fan 2 deposits of the late Permian Tanqua-Karoo subbasin in South Africa are sheet sandstones typical of an outer submarine fan. The fan consists of three sand-rich units, separated by several meters of shale, that thin to the north and northeast into the Tanqua subbasin. The stacking pattern is progra-dational, with lateral offset to the east, suggesting that the lower units influenced the depositional location of those above.

Broadly lens-shaped beds, random vertical thickness trends, and variable paleocurrent directions suggest that sedimentation occurred through relatively broad, shallow pathways whose position changed frequently during deposition of the outer fan. The resulting sheet sand deposits have estimated dimensions of 3–10 km in a dip direction and 100–2000 m in a strike direction. These individual sheet sands, which laterally have relatively uniform sedimentary characteristics, stack to form depositional lobes.

Detailed outcrop-scale observations and measurements reveal that amalgamation and scouring are more prevalent than is initially apparent, enhancing sandstone connectivity both vertically and laterally. Shale clasts, bed-scale scours, and the three sand-rich units of Fan 2 represent three scales of geologic heterogeneity that would affect fluid flow in this type of reservoir.

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Figures & Tables


AAPG Memoir

Fine-Grained Turbidite Systems

Arnold H. Bouma
Arnold H. Bouma
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Charles G. Stone
Charles G. Stone
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2000




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