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Stratigraphic forward modelling of distributive fluvial systems based on the Huesca System, Ebro Basin, northern Spain
Basin Research  (IF4.308),  Pub Date : 2021-08-18, DOI: 10.1111/bre.12597
Swiad Snieder, Cedric M. Griffiths, Amanda Owen, Adrian J. Hartley, John A. Howell

To better understand the stratigraphic development of sedimentary systems, it is necessary to link the controls on sedimentary processes to the resulting deposits, which in turn allows predictions of stratigraphic architectures at a range of scales. We use a stratigraphic forward model to link the governing parameters to the distribution of deposits within a distributive fluvial system (DFS). The numerical model has been validated against outcrop observations to establish how the depositional processes needed to form the specific sedimentary system have been reproduced. We chose the previously studied Oligocene to Miocene Huesca DFS in northern Spain to investigate and calibrate the model. Additionally, downstream profiles from modern DFS in northern India, and hydrological measurements from the High Island Creek, Minnesota, USA, were used as input parameters for the model in addition to the outcrop data from the Huesca DFS. The resulting model adequately reproduced the real-world system. Once validated, the analysis of the modelled DFS led to key findings, which expand our understanding of DFS stratigraphic architecture. Reservoir characteristics in radial DFS are dependent on the angle away from the meridian (straight line from the source through the apex to the distal zone of the DFS). The greater the angle is, the coarser the average grain size in the proximal zone is but the finer the average grain size in the medial and distal zones. Lateral variability of net to gross, sandbody thickness and number, and amalgamation ratio is greatest at the transition between the proximal and medial zone and is still significant in the distal part of the DFS. Stratigraphic forward modelling enhanced our understanding of DFS, which leads to reducing risk associated with exploration, production and storage of fluids in subsurface DFS.