STEPS Theme 1 - Source to Sink Analysis

The first annual STEPS Theme was “Source to Sink analysis.” This involved examining the transfer of material from mountain ranges and elevated continental areas, transport and storage of that sediment and ultimately its deposition in sedimentary basins.

STEPS project listing for 2017

Project ID
Question/Thesis title
Examining sediment dispersal patterns in transform margins where there is limited hinterland relief available (spatially limited input areas and with sediment infill and burial controlled by active tectonics in the basin rather than transport mechanisms).
Douala and Rio Muni basins: Identifying the depositional system segments with the highest probability to contain sediments with good reservoir characteristics (sediments source character).
Evolution of a region affected by complex (plates convergence) tectonics; effects on Petroleum Systems distribution and efficiency.
Regional assessment of lithological variation within the Eagle Ford Group, Gulf of Mexico, implications for unconventional reservoirs.
Is first pass Source to Sink investigation utilising machine learning achievable?
Source to Sink studies in the Barents Sea: Predicting sand quality from regional understanding of the hinterland to provide inputs for basin screening.
Reconstructing Triassic sedimentation pathways of the Circum-Arctic: Utilising geodynamic reconstructions and Source to Sink analysis.
Understanding the impact of diachronous collision on clastic reservoir development along the sub-Andean trend.
Does the Late Cretaceous switch from longitudinal (Chukotka source) to transverse (Brookian source) sediment supply recorded in the Arctic Alaskan Foreland Basin influence reservoir potential?
Exploring the Jurassic reservoirs of the Troll Field, Norwegian North Sea (Combining detrital geochronology with detrital thermochronology and subsurface data).
Investigating the cause of low TOC in the Silurian resource play, Poland.
Using the geodynamic context and uplift history to make predictions about drainage on the North Atlantic margin and impact on reservoir quality.
Can numerical landscape evolution models and thermochronometry methods be used to accurately predict offshore sediment flux?

These studies encompassed a vast array of parameters and data, allowing the researcher to get an enhanced view of the architecture of the depositional system, the likely character of the sediment (composition and variability) and its hinterland.

These studies are particularly beneficial to those exploring for hydrocarbons and can enable:

  • Regional understanding of basin architecture: paleo-shelf morphology, drainage pathways, etc.
  • Identifying the key periods of uplift and erosion, and the resulting intervals of highest sedimentation rates (understanding the duration of lag). Identification of sediment input points (point source versus reworking on shelf) and how these change over time.
  • Mapping and predicting the distribution of sands and their thickness.
  • Predicting clastic reservoir quality from hinterland characteristics.
  • Timing of provenance switches, the sediment source and impact on reservoir quality.
  • The utilization of these data types as input parameters for basin modelling.

Recordings of the Theme 1 Distinguished Lectures can be found HERE.

Below, a selection of our Theme 1 students present a short summary their research.

STEPS Theme 1 Source to Sink Student Presentations

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