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Environmental Modeling: A Useful Exploration Tool in Carbonates
M. Malek-Aslani (1)
The areal distribution of hydrocarbon-producing fairways within any particular carbonate shelf results from the imprints left in the rocks by climate, wind, tide, and contemporaneous tectonic history. Carbonate shelves marginal to the oceanic basins are different from those which were formed adjacent to the cratonic basins.
Combinations of the above factors produce a spectrum of environments which can be interrelated within the framework of an environmental model.
Holocene carbonate depositional models such as Bahama-Florida, British Honduras, Persian Gulf, Shark Bay, and others have provided us with clues needed to analyze the ancient carbonates and to recognize the appropriate environmental models. The comparison of Holocene models provides a cause-and-effect relationship between various factors.
During the early stage of exploration in a carbonate province one should attempt to select an appropriate environmental model from petrologic study of surface and subsurface data. Such a model can be molded to fit the tectonic framework of the basin. The resulting paleoenvironmental model is useful for extending productive fairways and for predicting new trends.
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