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Carbonate Systems and Reservoir Characterization and Unconventional Reservoirs

Carbonate depositional environments are inherently heterogeneous because of the superposition of sedimentary and diagenetic processes during successions of relative sea level changes. Projects in the modern environment use a combination of various types of remote sensing data and surface samples to capture the spatial trend metrics of sedimentary bodies. Surface samples from northwestern Great Bahama Bank are intended to refine the facies maps of this classic modern platform system.


Understanding flow, compartmentalization and mineralization in reservoirs depends on knowledge of the 3-D architecture of sedimentary structure and fracture network in the rock volume around the borehole. Several of our projects aim to increase our understanding of the lateral and vertical heterogeneity of facies and fractures. To achieve this goal, we have developed a new generation of 3-D Ground Penetrating Radar to retrieve the sub-meter scale variability of facies and flow units from Pleistocene grainstone shoals in the Miami Oolite and for fractures in several locations around the world. Seismic data from various regions are used to examine the evolution of carbonate systems in different tectonic settings and assess the influence of tectonic activity, sea level changes and sediment supply on the carbonate depositional system. Currently, we study seismic data from the Bahamas-Cuba foreland basin to decipher carbonate platform drowning as a result of increased subsidence during the formation of this foreland basin, and to delineate the evolution of the Gulf Stream from sediment drifts in the Bahamas region.


Reservoir heterogeneities and the large-scale distribution of reservoir quality dolomite have been the focus of projects in the Mississippian Madison Formation. Currently we are assessing the dolomitization processes in the Madison Formation and the correlation of the dynamics of the evolving foreland basin on the evolution of these ramp carbonates. In addition, we continue our research in relating mechanical stratigraphy to sequence stratigraphy. These projects will provide us with a methodology to predict to a certain degree the fractures from facies and stratigraphic information.

 

Current Projects



Marine Carbonate Sedimentation in an Active Rift Basin (Red Sea – Gulf of Aqaba)

Red_Sea

Project Media
     
Purkis_Re...2021.pdf
Media Type:Media Type
File Size:602KB

 

Investigators: Sam Purkis and Paul (Mitch) Harris

Project Objectives

  • Develop a rich geophysical dataset for the northern Red Sea capturing the diversity in styles of syn-rift carbonate deposits.
  • Examine this dataset to disentangle the varied controls of carbonate deposition through time in an active rift basin.

 



     

CARBONATE CONTOURITE DRIFT SYSTEMS

Eberli_contouritesystem_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Eberli_co...2021.pdf
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File Size:2MB

 

Investigators: Gregor P. Eberli, Sara Bashah and Ralf J. Weger

Project Objectives:

  • Continue assembling dimensions and sedimentary characteristics of carbonate contourite systems for a comprehensive data base of such systems.
  • Examine the depositional processes of coarse and fine-grained current deposits in carbonates.
  • Evaluate the potential of carbonate contourite systems as reservoir and seals.


     

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CARBONATE SLOPES AND CONTOUR CURRENTS

Bashah_driftslope_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Bashah_dr...2021.pdf
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File Size:2MB

 

Investigators: Sara Bashah and Gregor P. Eberli

Project Objectives:

  • Current strength along carbonate ramps, shelves and isolated platforms determines the

- dip of the platform flanks

- dip of the mounded contourite drift

- grain size of the contourite drift

  • Carbonate slopes steepen worldwide in the late Middle Miocene after the onset of modern ocean currents at approximately 13 Ma.

 



     

TOWARDS A DEPOSITIONAL MODEL OF COARSE-GRAINED DELTA DRIFT DEPOSITS, MAIELLA, ITALY - YEAR 2

Eberli_deltadrift_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Eberli_de...2021.pdf
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File Size:603KB

 

Investigators: Gregor P. Eberli, Mark Grasmueck, and Ralf J. Weger

Project Objectives:

  • Test the hypothesis that stratal succession of the delta drift in the Maiella is the combined product of hyperpycnal flow of a sediment-laden semicontinuous current flowing through the feeder channel and supercritical flow in the adjacent basin.
  • Document the proximal to distal facies trends within the delta drift of the Maiella and assess the flow conditions necessary for producing the observed facies distribution.

 



     

SEISMIC FACIES AND STRATIGRAPHY OF THE YUCATAN PLATFORM

Guzman_Yucatan_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Guzman_Yu...2021.pdf
Media Type:Media Type
File Size:1MB

 

Investigators: Elizabeth Guzman and Gregor P. Eberli

Project Objectives:

  • Assess the tectonic deformation of the Cretaceous portion of the Yucatan Platform and place the evolution of the Yucatan Platform into the regional context of Caribbean tectonics.
  • Map the seismic sequences in the intraplatform seaway of the Yucatan Platform.
  • Document the influence of the currents on the Neogene deposits on the eastern portion of the Yucatan platform.


     

EVOLUTION OF A MODERN OOID SAND ISLAND - SOUTH JOULTER CAY, GREAT BAHAMA BANK

Laya_Joulterooids_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Laya_Joul...2021.pdf
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File Size:1MB

 

Investigators: Juan Carlos Laya, Paul (Mitch) Harris, and Miles Frazer

Project Objectives:

  • To complete acquisition of high-resolution drone imagery and a DTM for better delineation of the morphology of Holocene ooid sand ridges forming South Joulter Cay (SJC) allowing a detailed interpretation of the processes that formed the island.
  • To further calibrate the timing of key depositional events within the island’s history by select radiometric dating.

 



     

SEDIMENT TRANSPORT ON THE GREAT BAHAMA BANK - INSIGHTS FROM FAIR- & STORM-WEATHER CONDITIONS

Lopez-Gamundi_GBB_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Lopez-Gam...2021.pdf
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File Size:712KB

 

Investigators: Cecilia Lopez-Gamundi, Brian Barnes, Thomas Dobbelaere, Emmanuel Hanert, Paul (Mitch) Harris, and Sam Purkis

Project Objectives:

  • To assess the sediment budget of Great Bahama Bank (GBB) via quantification of sediment production, transport, and on- and off-platform accumulation.
  • To evaluate the balance between fair and storm-weather conditions on sediment transport.
  • To quantify volumetric sediment loss from the platform top via analysis of offmargin geophysical data.

 



     

PERMEABILITY VARIATIONS IN CROSS-STRATIFIED OOLITIC GRAINSTONES (LATE PLEISTOCENE MIAMI OOLITE)

McNeill_ooliticpermeability_CSL2021

Project Media
     
McNeill_o...us-9.pdf
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File Size:765KB

 

Investigators: Donald F. McNeill

Project Objectives:

  • To conduct whole-core constant-head hydraulic conductivity measurements on outcrop cores of cross-stratified Late Pleistocene barrier bar facies of the Miami
  • Oolite to assess the range and variability of matrix porosity.
  • To provide a flow comparison to solution-enhanced (touching vug) ichnogenicinfluenced permeability of the burrow-mottled oolitic pack/grainstones of the tidal shoal complex.


     

CARBONATE SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY IN LIGHT OF “STANDARDIZED SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY”

Eberli_carbonatestratigraphy_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Eberli_ca...2021.pdf
Media Type:Media Type
File Size:437KB

 

Investigators: Gregor P. Eberli

Project Objectives:

  • Evaluate how the accommodation succession method (Neal and Abreu, 2009), as well as the stratigraphic surfaces method of Catuneanu et al. (2009), can be reconciled with unconformity-based carbonate sequence stratigraphy.
  • Interrogate seismic and outcrop data if surfaces relevant for sequence stratigraphy fall into the same position in a base-level cycle in carbonates as proposed in the siliciclastic depositional models.


     

CHARACTERIZATION OF THE AGRIO FORMATION, NEUQUÉN BASIN, ARGENTINA

Weger_Agrio_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Weger_Agr...2021.pdf
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File Size:625KB

 

Investigators: Ralf J. Weger, Peter K. Swart, and Gregor P. Eberli

Project Objectives:

  • Characterize the facies, TOC distribution, geochemical signature and petrophysical properties of the Agrio Formation in the Neuquén Basin.
  • Compare these data with the existing data set in the Vaca Muerta Formation to assess similarities and differences in these two marine stages of the basin following terrestrial conditions.


     

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP TO THE VACA MUERTA FORMATION, ARGENTINA

Weger_virtualfield_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Weger_vir...2021.pdf
Media Type:Media Type
File Size:428KB

 

Investigators: Ralf J. Weger, Arthur C.R. Gleason, and Gregor P. Eberli

Project Objectives: 

  • Provide the opportunity to visit the outcrops of the Vaca Muerta Formation in the Puerta Curaco area in the form of an “Interactive Multiuser Virtual Reality” field trip.
  • Explore georeferenced content such as measured lithologic sections, short cores, detailed photographs in the context of their realistic location within a textured high-resolution 3D digital elevation model (DEM).


     

ENHANCED OUTCROP TO SUBSURFACE CORRELATION IN THE VACA MUERTA FORMATION

Smith_VMoutcropfsubsurface_CSL2021

Project Media
     
Smith_VMo...2021.pdf
Media Type:Media Type
File Size:823KB

 

Investigators: Taury Smith, Ralf J. Weger, and Gregor P. Eberli

Project Objectives: 

  • Tie the outcrop to the subsurface based on the composition determined from thin sections and cuttings from 20 wells and outcrop sections across the basin.
  • Evaluate compositional similarities and differences in the sequences and cycles to capture the lateral and vertical facies variability within the Vaca Muerta Formation.
  • Provide a (semi)quantitative comparison of facies similarities in the outcrop and subsurface.


     
 

 

 

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