A submarine channel network, named Abalama Channel System (ACS), has been recognised in the subsurface of the Niger Delta continental slope. It overlies a mass-transport complex (MTC) and consists of six channel segments, delimited by five avulsion points and one confluence point. High-resolution 3D seismic data are used to investigate the development of the ACS and to describe the interaction between the channels and the underlying MTC. The MTC mainly consists of highly disaggregated materials (MTC matrixes) and in plan-view has a very complex fingered geometry, characterised by the presence of erosional remnants (remnant blocks). The different character of the MTC matrixes compared to that of the remnant blocks likely resulted in a bathymetry characterised by negative and positive relief, which provided the initial confinement for the channels of the ACS. In areas where the MTC-induced confinement was weak or decreased abruptly, channels tended to develop higher sinuosity, increasing channels instability and ultimately causing avulsions. Three ideal categories of submarine channel avulsions are observed. Type 1 is characterised by parent and avulsion channel having similar size and maturity; Type 2 is characterised by a large, high-maturity parent channel and a small, low-maturity avulsion channel; Type 3 emphasizes the larger scale and higher maturity of the avulsion channel compared to the parent channel. In the distal part of the study area, topography related to mud diapirs provided lateral confinement that captured flows avulsed at different times resulting in a channel confluence phenomenon. Submarine channel network evolution recorded by avulsion and confluence points represents an important research theme in deep water sedimentology, as it controls the final distribution of sediments and the extension of sands in the whole deep-water depositional system; hence this study can be used to guide hydrocarbon exploration in analogue systems.

Submarine channel network evolution above an extensive mass-transport complex: A 3D seismic case study from the Niger delta continental slope

Patacci M;
2019-01-01

Abstract

A submarine channel network, named Abalama Channel System (ACS), has been recognised in the subsurface of the Niger Delta continental slope. It overlies a mass-transport complex (MTC) and consists of six channel segments, delimited by five avulsion points and one confluence point. High-resolution 3D seismic data are used to investigate the development of the ACS and to describe the interaction between the channels and the underlying MTC. The MTC mainly consists of highly disaggregated materials (MTC matrixes) and in plan-view has a very complex fingered geometry, characterised by the presence of erosional remnants (remnant blocks). The different character of the MTC matrixes compared to that of the remnant blocks likely resulted in a bathymetry characterised by negative and positive relief, which provided the initial confinement for the channels of the ACS. In areas where the MTC-induced confinement was weak or decreased abruptly, channels tended to develop higher sinuosity, increasing channels instability and ultimately causing avulsions. Three ideal categories of submarine channel avulsions are observed. Type 1 is characterised by parent and avulsion channel having similar size and maturity; Type 2 is characterised by a large, high-maturity parent channel and a small, low-maturity avulsion channel; Type 3 emphasizes the larger scale and higher maturity of the avulsion channel compared to the parent channel. In the distal part of the study area, topography related to mud diapirs provided lateral confinement that captured flows avulsed at different times resulting in a channel confluence phenomenon. Submarine channel network evolution recorded by avulsion and confluence points represents an important research theme in deep water sedimentology, as it controls the final distribution of sediments and the extension of sands in the whole deep-water depositional system; hence this study can be used to guide hydrocarbon exploration in analogue systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/220361
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