Sequence stratigraphy, sandstone architecture, and depositional systems of the Lower Miocene succession in the Carancahua Bay Area, Texas Gulf Coast
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This study defines depositional environments and constructs the sequence stratigraphic framework of the lower Miocene Oakville Formation and the basal part of the middle Miocene Lagarto Formation in the Carancahua Bay area. The Early Miocene of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico represents a tectonically stable period with a high sediment influx. The analysis is based on a data set composed of 45 well logs and 200 mile2 area 3D seismic volume. The study interval was divided into five depositional sequences 1-5 that encompass 0.6-2.5 My. LST, TST, and HST systems tracts were recognized by stacking patterns and bounding surfaces. Sequence thickness increases from sequence 1 to 3 and displays reverse thickness trends from sequence 3 to 5, implying changes in accommodation space relative to sediment supply, beginning with high rates of accommodation and evolving into low accommodation rates relative. Besides type-1 depositional sequence which forms during relative sea-level fall below the shoreline break, regressive units of T-R sequence model were also defined and delineated. The interval contains four regressive units, R-Unit1-4. The R-Unit net sandstone maps exhibit the same characteristic of a dip-oriented source of delta-plain origin and a delta-front depocenter basinward. Integration of well log patterns, sandstone dispersal trends from net sandstone maps and seismic stratal slices led to interpretation of depositional environments in each sequence. LST deposits are represented mainly by incised-valley fill facies. TSTs are composed predominantly of retrogradational barrier/tidal-inlet facies, whereas other TSTs contain lagoonal and reworked deltaic systems. HST1 is composed mainly of fluvial-dominated deltaic systems, whereas deltaic systems in other HSTs exhibit wave-influenced deltaic and strandplain depositional systems. The integrated methodology reveals depositional facies variations in contrast to previous work that interpreted these deposits as shorezone systems. During LSTs coarse-grained sediments bypassed shelf through incised valley systems to a downdip depocenter. More sandy sediments were stored on shelf as deltaic and strandplain deposits during HSTs. In contrast to the others, destructive process occurred in TSTs and reworked sandy sediments, for example from delta fronts to barrier bar and lagoonal facies. Submarine fans form by sediments transported through incised-valley systems and delta fronts are commonly good reservoirs. Hence, presence of such depositional facies in the study area might be genetically linked to exploration targets.