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Chemostratigraphy of Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) sequences from the Southern North Sea (United Kingdom)

Chemostratigraphy of Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) sequences from the Southern North Sea (United Kingdom)

Pearce, Tim J., Martin, John H., Cooper, Diana and Wray, David S. ORCID: 0000-0002-0799-2730 (2010) Chemostratigraphy of Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) sequences from the Southern North Sea (United Kingdom). In: Ratcliffe, Kenneth T. and Zaitlin, Brian A., (eds.) Application of Modern Stratigraphic Techniques: Theory and Case Histories. SEPM Special Publications (94). Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)), Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, pp. 109-127. ISBN 978-1-56576-199-5

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Important gas reservoirs occur in the Upper Carboniferous coal measures and red beds of the Southern North Sea. The thick red beds of the Boulton and Ketch formations are difficult to correlate, due to poor internal seismic definition, repetitive e-log signatures, and their barren nature. Although the underlying coal measures of the Westoe, Cleaver, and Caister Formations have better seismic resolution and contain palynomorphs, coals that die out laterally and the lack of diagnostic taxa over certain intervals contribute to their correlation being problematical. However, the application of chemostratigraphy to more than sixty wells from numerous fields in UK Quadrants 44 and 49, as well as from Dutch sector Blocks E, F, and K, allows the establishment of an independent, robust, detailed correlation framework
for the aforesaid red beds and coal measures.
Presented in this paper are correlative chemostratigraphic reference sections for the Caister, Westoe, Cleaver, Ketch, Boulton, and Step Graben formations. The chemostratigraphic zonations erected for these formations are based on variations in silty claystone geochemistry that can be tied to changes in provenance, climate, and depositional environment. In addition, the zonations are supported by stratigraphic changes in sandstone and coal geochemistry, the geochemical correlation of tonsteins and marine bands, and the recognition of different types of paleosol in the above formations.
The chemostratigraphic correlation framework enables specific broad intervals ("packages") to be correlated between fields and is also used to constrain seismic correlations with a view to highlighting potential exploration targets. Furthermore, the same framework allows
much thinner intervals ("units" and "subunits") to be correlated within fields: these smaller-scale correlations enhance reservoir correlations with respect to the development of fields such as Boulton, Schooner, Tyne, Ketch, and Topaz. In addition to using inorganic
geochemical data to characterize and correlate sedimentological packages, data can also used to identify and correlate marker horizons and surfaces (tonsteins, coals, marine bands, major paleosols), which may be highly correlative low-diachrony surfaces, which greatly enhance
the overall validity of the stratigraphic correlation scheme.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: chemostratigraphy, Upper Carboniferous, correlation, provenance, Ketch Formation, Westoe Formation, southern North Sea, Cleaver Formation
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Science
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:10

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