Abstract

In this study, a novel application of a statistical approach is utilized for analysis of downhole logging data from Miocene-aged siliciclastic shelf sediments on the New Jersey Margin (eastern USA). A multivariate iterative nonhierarchical cluster analysis (INCA) of spectral gamma-ray logs from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 313 enables lithology within this siliciclastic succession to be inferred and, through comparison with the 1311 m of recovered core, a continuous assessment of depositional sequences is constructed. Significant changes in INCA clusters corroborate most key stratigraphic surfaces interpreted from the core, and this result has particular value for surface recognition in intervals of poor core recovery. This analysis contributes to the evaluation of sequence stratigraphic models of large-scale clinoform complexes that predict depositional environments, sediment composition, and stratal geometries in response to sea-level changes. The novel approach of combining statistical analysis with detailed lithostratigraphic and seismic reflection data sets will be of interest to any scientists working with downhole logs, especially spectral gamma-ray data, and also provides a reference for the strengths and weaknesses of multicomponent analysis applied to continental margin lithofacies. The method presented here is appropriate for evaluating successions elsewhere and also has value for hydrocarbon exploration where sequence stratigraphy is a fundamental tool.

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