Deep Water Deposition

SEPM Deepwater Research Group
Annual Meeting Report
Date: Monday, April 3, 2017, 7-10 PM
Location: Four Seasons Downtown Hotel, Houston, TX

2017 DWRG Organizers
Zane Jobe,
Sarah Southern,

Program Events were as follows:
   The 2017 DWRG invited Zoltan Sylvester and Ian Kane to lead a discussion on the variety of thin-bedded turbidites associated with submarine channels. These often neglected deposits contain a more complete record of submarine channel evolution and can contain significant volumes of producible hydrocarbons. Major issues in the community are: How do we distinguish these deposits? What can they tell us about turbidity current variability and how channel systems evolve? What are the implications of our interpretations for stratigraphic architecture and connectivity in subsurface systems? How much do they contribute to hydrocarbon production in submarine channel reservoirs?
   Zoltan Sylvester kicked off the discussion with a perspective from the modern seafloor, focusing on results from a study on a submarine channel from deepwater Nigeria. Zoltan presented core data showing that grain size and bed thickness varies as a function of the height above the channel thalweg. Zoltan then provided a novel modeling algorithm to generate thin-bedded stratigraphy associated with submarine channels based on the Rouse profile (vertical grain size distribution in a sediment gravity flow). This model calculated the spatial and temporal evolution of deposition of multiple flows in order to replicate channel-fill stratigraphy. Zoltan’s model also explored the effects of channel margin/bank angle and relief on the resultant stratigraphy. This model formed the basis for discussions after the talk, which included how we should begin to introduce erosion into these event-based models such that we can better replicate more complex stratigraphic architectures.
   After a short break, Ian Kane presented on thin-bedded turbidites from an ancient perspective, using multiple examples from outcrops and seismic data. These examples illustrated the variety of channel-related, thin-bedded turbidites, their geometries and facies architecture. Ian’s presentation focused on the differences in recognition criteria for margins, terraces, and internal and external levees. Ian showed spectacular examples of each geometry from outcrop, seismic, and experimental data, and wove in a few puns about herbs and the exposure quality in Britain. Discussion after Ian’s talk was quite vigorous, and focused on these distinction criteria, in addition to how well terrace and levee deposits actually represent the flow that passed through the channel thalweg.
   During the meeting, Howard Harper (Executive Director of SEPM) announced the creation of an SEPM Foundation Endowed Fund – The Arnold and Lienecke Bouma Fund in honor of Arnold Bouma and his wife Lienecke. This fund was created by the generosity of the Bouma family and will provide funding for a series of Bouma Research Conferences focused on Deep-Water Geoscience. More information from SEPM is forthcoming detailing the fund and the chance to donate to the fund to honor Arnold Bouma’s contributions to deep-water sedimentary geology. The Bouma family has also donated $25,000 to be used for matching funds to other’s donations to the fund.

Please contact one of the DWRG Organizers (listed above) or Hayley Cooney at SEPM headquarters:

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