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A series of cores taken along strike and dip transects through the Baptiste Collette crevasse splay, modern Mississippi River delta, have been analyzed to determine the sedimentologic nature and potential reservoir quality of modern crevasse splay sands. Internal geometry, lateral and vertical continuity, and sedimentary characteristics were determined to construct a model of crevasse splay depositional systems applicable to hydrocarbon exploration.
The stratigraphic framework is more complex than previously recognized. This complexity is demonstrated by the presence of several fine-grained (61-125µ) sand bodies (1-2 m, 3-6 ft thick), reflecting deposition in 3 distinct environments. Subaerial levee sands, which thicken toward the proximal end of the splay, contain 50-80% fine-grained (88µ) sand, 10% interlaminated muds, and 5-25% rooting. Distributary mouth-bar and point-bar deposits (-2 m, -6 ft, MSL) are 50-60% fine-grained sand (88µ), 40-50% interlaminated mud, with < 5% cross-bedding and gradational base. The deeper (-6 m, -20 ft, MSL) channel sands are 80-95% fine-grained (88µ) sand, with 20-75% crossbedding, 10% interlaminated mud and erosional base. These correlatable sands are encased in thick, org nic-rich, bioturbated, bay and abandoned-channel muds forming an impermeable seal.
Channel sands have the greatest reservoir potential, being more laterally continuous along dip, clean (5% silt and clay), well sorted, fine-grained and more homogenous, with few permeability barriers (i.e., mud layers and laminae). Conversely, the shallower bar and levee deposits have poorer reservoir quality, being less clean, less continuous laterally along dip, and with more permeability barriers.
It is felt that this study will complement the limited knowledge of modern crevasse splay systems as well as provide insights into the exploration or enhanced recovery of hydrocarbons in ancient equivalents, such as the Admire 650^prime Sandstone of Kansas.
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