Quantifying spatial and architectural relationships from fluvial outcrops

Quantifying fluvial architectural relationships

Brian S Burnham, David Hodgetts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Outcrop analogue studies allow detailed investigation of sandstone body geometry and architecture within fluvial systems. Characterization of these ele­ments is fundamental to understanding and quantifying sandstone body connectivity within hydrocarbon reservoir models, and hence improving recovery from those reservoirs being modeled. This study utilized a laterally and vertically continuous terrestrial light detection and ranging (lidar) data set from the La Serrata section of the Oligocene–Miocene Huesca fluvial fan, in the Ebro Basin in Spain. This data set was used to create a high-resolution three-dimen­sional digital outcrop model of a 2 km2 cliff section representing the heterogeneity in the medial (midfan) portion of a large fluvial fan. Geostatistical information (i.e., sandstone body width and thickness) extracted from the models using quantitative analytical techniques, integrated with traditional sedimentary log data, allowed the calculation of probability density functions of 42 sandstone bodies from corrected (true) width measurements. These data show that sandstone bodies are up to 6 m thicker and 209 m wider than previous studies have estimated. Furthermore, an observed temporal trend of thickening and widening of sandstone bodies up section before a reduction in the uppermost portion provides evidence for possible avulsion events. These data, compared with previous studies of this and other fluvial systems, illustrate the efficacy of digital outcrop models as quantitative tools for accurate characterization of critical reservoir elements from outcrop analogues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeosphere
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018

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outcrop
sandstone
avulsion
hydrocarbon reservoir
probability density function
cliff
connectivity
analytical method
geometry
basin

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Quantifying spatial and architectural relationships from fluvial outcrops : Quantifying fluvial architectural relationships. / Burnham, Brian S; Hodgetts, David.

In: Geosphere, Vol. 15, No. 1, 20.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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note = "We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Total S.A. for funding this work. We would like to thank W. Head, R. McAllister, and A. Newton for their assistance with the field data collection, and G. Heldreich for her valuable geological discussions in and out of the field. We would also like to thank Gary Nichols for his invaluable insight and discussions about the Huesca fluvial system and the Ebro Basin. We kindly thank Jerome Bellian, Peter Flaig, and Steve Hubbard for providing helpful suggestions and feedback that led to significant improvements to this manuscript.",
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