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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database
Depositional Environments Defined by Dipmeter Interpretation
J. A. Gilreath, J. S. Healy, J. N. Yelverton
A new method of dipmeter interpretation gives an estimation of water depth during deposition. This method is applied to high resolution dipmeter surveys in which short-interval correlations are machine-computed at closely spaced levels of the well.
The major premise is that these short-interval dip computations reflect the energy of the depositional environment. High energy marine environments lead to a large scatter of dip magnitudes. Conversely, low energy environments, such as found in deep water, lead to "layer-cake" deposition, and appear as uniform dip magnitudes on the dipmeter plot. Thus, the scatter of dip magnitude in a formation is the key by which the depositional water depth is interpreted to be shallow (less than 50 feet deep), medium, or deep (greater than 300 feet).
Comparisons with paleoecologic data indicate the interpretation method to be both valid and useful. Exceptions to the rules for dipmeter interpretation occur when the original bedding planes are distorted or overshadowed, as in the cases of fault zones, weathered formations underneath unconformities, marine slides, and heaving shales. Even with these exceptions, and partly because of them, the dipmeter interpretation and paleoecologic data augment one another in defining depositional environments.
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