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Contrasting Styles of Sediment Delivery to the East Texas Shelf and Slope During the Last Glacial-Eustatic Cycle: Implications for Shelf-Upper Slope Reservoir Formation
High-resolution seismic data, platform boring descriptions, and sediment cores were used to map and characterize late Quaternary highstand, lowstand, and transgressive fluvial/deltaic deposits of the ancestral Trinity, Brazos, and Colorado rivers. The objective of this research was to evaluate these different fluvial/deltaic systems as potential reservoirs and to assess their capacity for nourishing outer shelf-upper slope sand bodies.
Two main end-members are recognized. The first, rivers which have relatively low sediment yields, is represented by the Trinity/Sabine rivers. These rivers occupied the same incised valley throughout the eustatic cycle, and thus delivered significant volumes of sand to the slope during lowstands. The Brazos and Colorado rivers have relatively high sediment yields. They are prone to avulsion, which results in a significant portion of the sands delivered by these rivers being sequestered on the shelf in highstand and transgressive fluvial channels and associated deltas. Thus, rivers with relatively low sediment yields may, over several eustatic cycles, deliver more sand to deep water fans than rivers with higher sediment yields.
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