Salt Wash distributive fluvial system

Work conducted in Phase 1 has provided a regional framework for the Late Jurassic aged Salt Wash distributive fluvial system (DFS), SW USA. This work has allowed a clear understanding of the size, shape and distribution of channel-fill sandstone bodies in proximal, medial and distal parts of the system. A quantitative assessment of key characteristics (sand to mud ratio, facies percentages, thickness, grain size, and channel thickness), has allowed the DFS model to be robustly tested.

Phase two work builds upon the framework established in Phase 1 by undertaking detailed, high quality reservoir scale studies in relatively proximal, medial and distal areas of the Salt Wash DFS. This project aims to characterise heterogeneity in fluvial deposits and build three-dimensional reservoir models of key depositional elements. Other work will focus on comparing outcrop data to subsurface data to help calibrate findings from outcrop analogues to the subsurface.

Fifty Mile Point Point-bar

Raton Basin

The Raton Basin is a Cretaceous to Paleocene foreland Basin located at the Colorado – New Mexico border. Extensive publicly available sub-surface data can be correlated with adjacent high quality outcrops, allowing detailed assessment of coal, overbank and channel facies distribution within a well constrained stratigraphic framework. Work in this basin will build towards creating a conceptual model for the distribution of depositional elements in coal-bearing sequences. 

Bighorn Basin

The Bighorn Basin, NW Wyoming, contains extensive exposure of fluvial deposits within an asymmetric Laramide intermontane foreland basin. The aim of the work in this basin is to test the DFS concept at a basin scale and to develop a basin scale facies model. Extensive work on the Paleocene-Eocene boundary provides an excellent chronostratigraphic framework, allowing exposures to be correlated across the basin. The basin also provides excellent opportunities to analyse fluvial response to climatic variations.

Willwood Formation


Marine-influenced distributive fluvial systemsOrinco

The aim of this work is to characterise and develop a predictive model for fluvial processes and architecture in marine influenced systems.  Work shall largely be carried out through the analyses of satellite imagery, with the potential of further research at outcrop.


Splay deposits

Satellite imagery analyses of splay deposits on the Parapeti DFS, Bolivia, aims to characterise both lateral and terminal modern splay systems, in a hope to identify criteria for their recognition in the rock record. Outcrop examples from the Ebro Basin, Spain, shall be studied in order to compare dimensional data as well as understand their three-dimensional relationship with channel bodies.