Channelized sandstone bodies (‘cordons’) in the Tassili N'Ajjer (Algeria & Libya): snapshots of a Late Ordovician proglacial outwash plain
Published:January 01, 2012
F. Girard, J.-F. Ghienne, J.-L. Rubino, 2012. "Channelized sandstone bodies (‘cordons’) in the Tassili N'Ajjer (Algeria & Libya): snapshots of a Late Ordovician proglacial outwash plain", Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems, M. Huuse, J. Redfern, D. P. Le Heron, R. J. Dixon, A. Moscariello, J. Craig
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The architecture, distribution and development of channelized sandstone bodies are described from Late Ordovician paraglacial successions of the Tassili N'Ajjer (SE Algeria and SW Libya) based on satellite images and field data (sedimentary logs, photomosaics). Sandstone bodies have a ribbon-like form at outcrop (often referred to as ‘cordons’ in the literature). They typify a fluvioglacial outwash plain deposited between a continental ice front and a marine delta-front zone. Channelized sandstone bodies are straight to sinuous, with widths (W) in the 60–600 m range, thicknesses (T) in the 5–30 m range and they have a mean W/T ratio of 16.5. They develop within an aggradational–progradational sand-dominated deltaic topset succession including at its distal end a terminal distributary channel and mouth-bar environments. The architecture of channel bodies and the related depositional facies, which includes climbing-dune cross-stratification, indicates that channelized sandstone bodies represent plugs of isolated channels related to high-magnitude flood events (glacier outbursts). These plugs form fossilized networks of both braided channels and interlaced anastomosed channels, offering snapshots of an outburst-related unconfined proglacial outwash braidplain constituted by the amalgamation of adjacent, elongated outwash fans.
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Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems
Glaciogenic reservoirs and hydrocarbon systems occur intermittently throughout the stratigraphic record, with particular prominence in Neoproterozoic, Late Ordovician, Permo-Carboniferous and Late Cenozoic strata. Recent interest in glaciogenic successions has been fuelled by hydrocarbon discoveries in ancient glaciogenic reservoirs in North Africa, the Middle East, Australia and South America. Glaciogenic deposits of Pleistocene age are noteworthy for their content of groundwater onshore and potentially prospective and/or hazardous gas accumulations offshore. The abundant imprints of Pleistocene glaciations in both hemispheres can be used to reconstruct complex histories of repeated ice cover and retreat, and glacier-bed interactions, thus informing our view on the dynamics of older ice caps and predictions of future glaciations. This volume aims to provide a better understanding of glaciogenic processes, their stratigraphic record and reservoir characteristics of glaciogenic deposits. The book comprises 3 overview papers and 16 original case studies of Neoproterozoic to Pleistocene successions on 6 continents and will be of interest to sedimentologists, glaciologists, geophysicists, hydrologists and petroleum geologists alike.