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Fluvial Research Group

Fluvial-aeolian system interaction and response to climatic cyclicity


Nigel Mountney, Stephen Cain, Alison Jagger & Oliver Wakefield
Fluvial-aeolian interaction: Cutler Group-Cedar Mesa Sandstone transition
N3

0
00

EH SFB

N1

N2

0
27

MB

SB
SCB

0
09

IC

Mean aeolian
bedform
migration
o
>125

0
18

The predominantly fluvial Cutler Group of the Paradox


foreland basin, Utah exhibits a variety of styles of
interaction with aeolian dune-dominated parts of the
succession. In places, large-scale channelised fluvial
deposits demonstrate evidence for multiple fluvial
incursions into the margins of a range of types of
aeolian dune fields and in some instances
demonstrate fluvial penetration for distances of
several tens of kilometres into dune-field centres.
Elsewhere, fluvial sheet-flood deposits occupy broad
interdune corridors and are indicative of unconfined
flash-flooding in marginal dune-field regions. A range
of styles of fluvial-aeolian interaction are indicative of
coeval system activity and have resulted in a complex
interdigitation of a variety of facies types with subtly
varying porosity-permeability characteristics. Results
from this ongoing project are being used to develop
reservoir models for marginal plays in the Southern
and Northern Permian basins of the North Sea.

Mean fluvial
transport
direction
o
>225

F
F
D

Detailed analysis has involved the construction of over


100 1D logs, the assembly of many tens of kilometres
of architectural panels, the development of a series of
detailed 3D semi-quantitative facies models that
depict styles of facies interaction on a range of scales,
the construction of a series of sequence stratigraphic
models to demonstrate system response to periodic
changes in regional climate, and the development of a
series of numerical forward stratigraphic models with
which to account for the variety of styles of fluvialaeolian system interaction identified.

F
F
F
FD
F
Aeolian dune

Chert

Dry interdune

Limestone

Sandsheet

Palaeosol

Damp interdune

Fluvial channel

Wet interdune

Underlying
sequence

20
m
0
F
D

Flood surface
Deflation surface

20
km

Reconstruction of 3D fluvial architectural elements


<210

030 >

50

Fluvial flood surfaces, Indian Creek


5
4

Aeolian dune
Aeolian sandsheet

3
2

Damp interdune

Wet interdune

12

21

Creation of bypass
supersurface does not
require a cessation in
aeolian dune activity but
does require non-climbing
dune migration

metres

03

30

Amalgamated overbank flood


units occupy interdune corridors.
These extend downwind to form a
continuous flood surface as nonclimbing aeolian dunes migrate

Reworked aeolian sst


Overbank mudstone

Calcrete palaeosol
Chert

Fluvial flood surfaces, Farley Canyon

Freshwater limestone

4
m
0
Aeolian bypass flood
supersurface equates to
flooded but laterally
restricted interdune
ponds towards erg centre

Bypass supersurface
immediately overlain by
flood deposits

Aeolian dune sets


re-commence climbing
after flood event

Non-climbing aeolian
bypass is a likely consequence
of flooding as aeolian sand
supply becomes restricted
by the elevated groundwater table

For Further Information Visit


www.see.leeds.ac.uk/research/igs/frg

fluvial sheet-flood facies


in interdune element

75

aeolian dune element