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As we stated in Chapter 1, several reservoir elements have now been recognized by various workers and are used routinely in industry: channel-fill, levee (thin beds), sheets (amalgamated and layered), and mass-transport deposits (slides). We describe each of these elements in a systematic manner in Chapter 6 through Chapter 9. A series of three unusual deepwater elements (remobilized sands, chalk turbidites, and carbonate debris aprons) are described in Chapter 10. Pitfalls in the interpretation of different elements are briefly summarized in Chapter 11.

The discussion of each reservoir element is organized by scales of observation. We first describe regional aspects of each element using data sets at the exploration scale (seismic: surface and shallow subsurface; buried elements at exploration and development scale). We then describe more development-scale data sets: outcrops, cores, conventional, and borehole image logs.

The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview to the following five chapters. We will: (1) describe the elements and try to equate different terminologies that have been used by different workers (a non-trivial issue); (2) discuss which data sets we use to describe deepwa-ter elements and their resolution; (3) discuss how deepwater systems vary in grain size and sediment-delivery systems; (4) describe the hierarchy of deepwater deposits and how these different elements stack stratigraphically through time; (5) discuss shallow analog studies and their importance, and (6) address how production from various elements varies between different basins, and within the same basin, in systems of differing age.

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