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Sessions > SR7 Sedimentology & Resources

SYMPOSIUM SR7 - Sedimentology and Resources

Chairs. Julien BAILLEUL (UniLaSalle, FRA), Philippe JOSEPH (IFP Energies Nouvelles, FRA), Patrice IMBERT (TOTAL, FRA) mailto

The objective of this theme is to bring together sessions ranging from academic approaches to exploration-production studies to provide a state of the art of our current understanding of sedimentary and stratigraphic processes building: petroleum, geothermal and unconventional systems; sedimentary-hosted mineralization including relationships between continental weathering and ore deposits; outcrop and modern analogs of subsurface geology; gas, CO2 and energy storage.

We also welcome presentations dedicated to case studies of joint industry-academia research and knowledge transfer including environmental impacts of petroleum activities.

  • SR7.0 Open Session on Sedimentology and Resources
  • SR7.1/SS6.12 Role of depositional environment and climate in the formation of continental sedimentary-hosted ore deposits: Placer (Au), Exotic (Cu) and others (COPEDIM)
  • SR7.2 Ore geology in sedimentary realm
  • SR7.3/FSD8.7/CB1.11 Impact of facies and diagenesis on Hydrocarbon Carbonate Reservoirs quality
  • SR7.4/FSD8.8 Geothermal studies in sedimentary basins with clay minerals and organic indices to characterize present-day geotherms, fluid- and hydrocarbon migration systems
  • SR7.5 Sedimentology of Unconventional Systems
  • SR7.6/SB5.10 Frontier Basins and new exploration plays
  • SR7.7 To the Energy Transition: the role of sedimentology in Gas, CO2 and Energy Storage, and Optimization of Gas Production
  • SR7.8 Outcrop analogues: modern study techniques, application in subsurface geology and knowledge transfer
  • SR7.9 Quantitative data from Modern systems applied to subsurface case studies: strengths and pitfalls
  • CSP2.3/SS6.6/SR7.10 Quantitative analysis of sediment generation, provenance, and diagenesis: keys to reconstruction of Earth-surface processes and reservoir-quality prediction
  • SB5.3/SS6.8/SR7.11 Sedimentologic, stratigraphic and geomorphic record of orogen-foreland dynamics and compressionals sedimentary basins (OROGEN)
  • SB5.4/SS6.9/SR7.12 Extensional basins: rifts and passive margins (PAMELA-ACTION MARGE)
  • SB5.6/SS6.11/SR7.13 Advances in South American continental basin
  • SS6.2/SR7.14 New insights into the numerical stratigraphic forward modeling of sedimentary systems from depositional environments to source-to-sink scale.


  • SR7.0 Open Session on Sedimentology and Resources

Conveners. Julien BAILLEUL (UniLaSalle, FRA), Philippe JOSEPH (IFP Energies Nouvelles, FRA), Patrice IMBERT (TOTAL, FRA) mailto

Description. This open session invites contributions on the general topics related to Sedimentology and Resources. It is an opportunity to present studies that do not fall within research covered by the special sessions SR7.1 to SR7.13.


  • SR7.1/SS6.12 Role of depositional environment and climate in the formation of continental sedimentary-hosted ore deposits: Placer (Au), Exotic (Cu) and others (COPEDIM)

Conveners. Rodrigo RIQUELME (Universidad Católica del Norte, CHL), Sébastien CARRETIER (IRD GET, FRA), Alberto FERNÁNDEZ-MORT (Universidad Católica del Norte, CHL & Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ESP) mailto

Description. The deposition of continental sedimentary successions is occasionally accompanied by different types of ore mineralization. These mineralization processes vary, for instance, from mechanical concentration of heavy minerals (e.g. gold, diamonds) to ore minerals precipitation from ore-bearing solutions (e.g. copper, iron). All of these ore deposits occur within sedimentary deposits of various ages (from Precambrian to Present day) and can be formed within variable depositional settings (from alluvial fan to coastal environments) and under different climatic conditions (from hyperarid to humid).

This session aims to expose diverse study cases which reveal the importance of the environmental and climatic conditions during the formation of these continental sediment-hosted ore deposits. This session is proposed by the French Chilean research project LMI-COPEDIM (COpper and PEDIMents), that tries to link the formation of supergene and exotic-Cu ore deposits in Northern Chile with the sedimentary, geomorphologic and paleoclimatic evolution of the Atacama Desert. This session also attempts to show how these kinds of researches can be very valuable as an exploration tool for mining industry.


  • SR7.2 Ore geology in sedimentary realm

Conveners. Olivier PARIZE (AREVA, France), El Hassane CHELLAI (UCA, Maroc) mailto

Description. We propose that the session dedicated to the ore geology in sedimentary realm during this international meeting of sedimentology, groups all contribution topics between these two end members:

  1. Sedimentary control of ore deposits to characterize the function of the geometry of the ore deposits and its relationships with the effect of textural parameters of the host formations such as their lithological domain (siliciclastic versus calcareous), grain size, sorting, or their depositional environment, and the geometry of reservoir bodies, the influence of their sedimentological heterogeneities and the influence of basin architecture and stratigraphy.
  2. Ore processes in sedimentary basins, in order to take into account all processes from the ore source of to the ore deposition, including the nature and the origin of mineralizing fluids and the followed pathways (fluid transfer, phi/K parameters evolution) during the successive stages of diagenesis.

We hope that aggregating most fields and technical approaches could unite behind a same goal and lead to enriched exchanges between specialists from various horizons.


  • SR7.3/FSD8.7/ CB1.11 Impact of facies anddiagenesis on Hydrocarbon Carbonate Reservoirs quality

Conveners. Raffaele DI CUIA (GEPlan Consulting, ITA), Renaud TOULLEC (UniLaSalle, FRA), Alberto RIVA (GEPlan Consulting & Univ Ferrara, ITA), Youri HAMON (IFP Energies Nouvelles, FRA) mailto

Description. In the last decades, multi-disciplinary studies at the boundary between petroleum industry and academics focused on theimprovement of both reserves estimation and the “Yet to Find” in the inherently heterogeneous carbonate porous media classically associated with low recovery factor (10 to 30%). The quality of carbonate reservoirs is strongly influenced by the original depositional facies and their later paragenetic evolution and burial history. To understand the complex distribution of reservoir properties and the impact on the hydrocarbon potentials of carbonate sequences it is fundamental to correctly asses the initial depositional setting and it lateral and spatial variability but also the impact of the burial and later diagenetic fluids circulating within the carbonate sequence.

This section aims at attracting presentations of studies that focus on the characterization of carbonate depositional systems, on the paragenetic evolution of carbonate sequences, on the petrophysical characterization of carbonate rocks and reservoirs and on new approaches to the modeling of carbonate sequences and reservoirs.


  • SR7.4/FSD8.8 Geothermal studies in sedimentary basins with clay minerals and organic indices to characterize present-day geotherms, fluid- and hydrocarbon migration systems

Conveners. Sébastien POTEL (UniLaSalle, FRA), Isabel SUÁREZ-RUIZ (INCAR-CSIC, ESP), Rafael FERREIRO MÄLHMANN (Technische Universität Darmstadt, DEU), Simon LOPEZ (BRGM, FRA), Andrea MOSCARIELLO (University of Geneva, CHE) mailto

Description. The sedimentary basins can be the origin of different energy sources: oil, gas, geothermal; and therefore, a subject of major interest.

  1. Basins are filled with sedimentary rocks and formed in different geodynamic settings. In this context, geothermal studies involving clay mineralogy and organic indices are of great importance to characterize pressure (P) and temperature (T) conditions involved in the formation and evolution of sedimentary basins. As they involve rock-water interaction, dissolution and precipitation and transfers of mass and energy (e.g. hydrocarbon migration, thermal up-flows) fluids dynamics are also of interest.
  2. Then, the reconstruction of the subsidence and tectonic history combined with the dynamic study of fluids is crucial for basin modelling. Moreover, these studies are also significant for evaluating the potential sources of hydrocarbons and/or geothermal resources.
  3. The characterization of P-T fields of a basin, the correlations between clay indices, organic parameters, index minerals (Barrow zones), facies critical paragenesis (facies zones of Winkler), fluid inclusion P-T determinations and clay mineral isotopic studies are necessary to understand different geodynamic settings.

All these investigations are dedicated to gain insights into the geodynamic evolution of low-grade metamorphic terranes. Geodynamics, advective heat flow or hydrothermal convective heat transfer have an important control on all applied geothermal indices. Finally, the present-day thermal equilibrium of the basins and the distribution of potential geothermal and hydrocarbon resources may be the result of this complex evolution history and later re-distribution of heat. The session is intended to consolidate the progress in these types of studies.


  • SR7.5 Sedimentology of Unconventional Systems

Conveners. Vincent CROMBEZ (IFP Energies Nouvelles, FRA), Tristan EUZEN (IFP Technologies, CAN), François BAUDIN (University of Paris VI, FRA), Dorrik STOW (Heriot-Watt University, GBR) mailto

Description. The recent development of unconventional resources shed a new light on fine-grained and organic-rich sediments deposited in shelf and deep-marine environments. A wealth of new data and the need for better predicting variations of rock and fluid properties from pore to basin scales, have fueled an active and innovative research from both the industry and the academia. The spatial and temporal distribution of sedimentary heterogeneities and their evolution during burial directly impact the present-day organic richness, porosity, permeability and mechanical properties of these rocks. Understanding these heterogeneities is therefore paramount to quantify technically recoverable resources and design development strategies for these plays.

This session aims at presenting leading edge research on the sedimentology, stratigraphy and diagenetic evolution of unconventional plays. We will welcome innovative workflow for characterization and modelling of these sedimentary systems. A special focus will be brought to the high-resolution distribution of sedimentary facies in fine-grained deposits, to the distribution of the mineralogy and organic matter and to the characterization of porosity and permeability changes associated to diagenetic evolution.


  • SR7.6/SB5.10 Frontier Basins and new exploration plays

Conveners. Vincent DELHAYE-PRAT (TOTAL, FRA), Mélanie LOUTERBACH (REPSOL Madrid, ESP), Emmanuel PETTINOTTI (OPHIR Energy London, GBR), Julien BAILLEUL (UniLaSalle, FRA), Massimo ROSSI (ENI, ITA) mailto

Description. In a depressed oil prices environment and declining production in mature provinces, it is necessary to unlock new resources with lower risk and better efficiency. Indeed, there are still significant resources to be explored in the frontier basins which offer great potential for further developments. These are often poor-data areas, where the basin geology is insufficiently constrained, making exploration and prospective risks difficult to assess. However, advances in sedimentology and basin analysis can be a key in difficult times for hydrocarbon exploration to better evaluate the distribution and the quality of source-rocks, reservoir bodies as well as seal intervals, especially in such under-explored areas. Moreover, an enhanced understanding of recently rediscovered depositional environments, such as lacustrine systems or contourite complexes for example, may help for future discoveries and definition of new plays.

This session constitutes an opportunity to present papers on the way to de-risk exploration in frontier areas with state of the art sedimentology, paleogeography and tectonic-sedimentation interaction studies.


  • SR7.7 To the Energy Transition: the role of sedimentology in Gas, CO2 and Energy Storage, and Optimization of Gas Production

Conveners. Lena DAUPHIN (ENGIE, FRA), Nigel MOUNTNEY (University of Leeds, GBR) mailto

Description. The energy transition concept involves CO2 storage, an energy source mix (wind, solar, geothermal and natural gas), and optimization of the gas chain (EGR, UGS). In this perspective geoscientists play a key role in the characterization of underground reservoirs for various types of mass storage. For sedimentologists, much of the petroleum-system knowledge relating to the heterogeneity and flow properties of siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs is essential. Yet geoscience issues relating to underground storage require many additional and specific considerations:

  1. The small relative small size of chosen storage sites in comparison to the typical scale of oil and gas reservoirs. Novel approaches to reservoir modelling need to be developed for the effective capture of lithological heterogeneity at a very high resolution. This will necessitate novel approaches to the detailed sedimentological analysis of subsurface reservoirs, including the development of novel criteria for the selection and utilization of appropriate analogues used in reservoir modelling workflows.
  2. Underground storage sites can take varied forms, including disused mine cavities and salt caverns for UGS/CCS/HES/CAES, in addition to aquifer storages in siliciclastic and carbonate successions (UGS, CCS, ATES).
  3. Although methane is inert (UGS), CO2 is acidic (CCS) and air contains water (CAES), both of which can potentially lead to a complex series of reactions with host rock formations.
  4. Rock must be sufficiently strong to resist to high-frequency, high-pressure variations for CAES.

The objective of this session is to illustrate how sedimentology inputs into the frame of the energy transition, from UGS/CCS/HES/CAES/ATES/EOR/EGR case studies or from combination/conversion cases (CCS with EOR/EGR, from UGS to CCS/HES/CAES, and from depleted reservoirs to CCS). Underground Gas Storage (UGS), CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS), H2 for Energy Storage (HES), Compressed air energy storage (CAES), Heat and Cold Storage (ATES), Enhanced Oil/Gas Recovery (EOR/EGR) and possible combinations (CCS with EOR/EGR) or conversion (from UGS to CCS/HES/CAES or from depleted reservoirs to CCS)


  • SR7.8 Outcrop analogues: modern study techniques, application in subsurface geology and knowledge transfer>

Conveners. Rémy DESCHAMPS (IFPEN, FRA), Gilberto ALBERTAO (Petrobras, BRA), Oriol FALIVENE (Shell, USA), Philippe JOSEPH (IFP School, FRA), Jean Loup RUBINO (TOTAL, FRA), John THURMOND (Statoil Gulf Services, USA) mailto

Description. The objective of this session is to review the current state of the art in the use of outcrop analogues in the industry and the link with other fields such as geomatics, 3D or 4D visualization, augmented reality and training. We aim to motivate and encourage cross-disciplinary discussions among scientists and engineers focusing on recent developments, and to share the different approaches relative to acquisition techniques, data treatment and use in subsurface reservoir modelling workflows. The emerging innovative techniques for outcrop analogues characterization, such as 3D virtual modelling (Lidar, photogrammetry, hyperspectral imaging…) and near-surface geophysics (GPR, velocity tomography, microgravity surveying…) provides incredible opportunities to the current generation of geoscientists for integrating data that give useful information to identify the key analogue architectural elements, better characterize reservoir geometries and properties, and thus make the missing link with subsurface issues: the outcrop models can provide realistic quantitative parameters for reservoir modelling (object sizes, facies and fault network distributions…) or be used to test synthetic seismic or fluid flow modelling.

This session aims also to discuss how these new techniques may be deployed on the field (mobile learning during real fieldtrips) or used in-house for transfer knowledge, during training of resources geoscientists or technical work on subsurface, for example by giving access to the outcrop information through virtual fieldtrips, interactive outcrop databases or internal wikis.


  • SR7.9 Quantitative data from Modern systems applied to subsurface case studies: strengths and pitfalls

Conveners. Stephan JORRY (IFREMER, FRA), François LAFONT (TOTAL, FRA), Adrian HARTLEY (University of Aberdeen, GBR) mailto

Description. The petroleum industry faces a strong need of quantitative data, in particular dimensions, to model the subsurface. The size of the reservoirs, their potential interconnections, the lateral extent of seals and baffles are all critical elements that drive the evaluation of the resources and the development strategy, with major industrial and financial implications. For this purpose, quantitative databases have been developed and are now widely used; with a large part of the data coming from well constrained outcrop studies. Data from active sedimentary systems are also of major interest. The dimensions and statistical distributions are much better constrained. However, entering the world of stratigraphy and thus preservation– may change completely the geometrical parameters.

This session is dedicated to discussions about how to use wisely the dimensions of modern sedimentary objects to quantify the fossil ones.


  • CSP2.3/SS6.6/SR7.10 Quantitative analysis of sediment generation, provenance, and diagenesis: keys to reconstruction of Earth-surface processes and reservoir-quality prediction

Conveners. Luca CARACCIOLO (FAU University Nürnberg-Erlangen, DEU), Gert Jan WELTJE (University of Leuven, BEL), Eduardo GARZANTI (University of Milan-Bicocca, ITA), Bill HEINS (ExxonMobil, Houston) mailto

Description. The ability to trace sediments from their sources to sedimentary basins is a prerequisite for quantitative analysis of Earth-surface dynamics. The comparatively recent revival of sedimentary provenance analysis has greatly benefitted from the continuously expanding range of tools to quantify sediment properties (isotopic, mineral, chemical, and petrographic composition, grain-size, -shape, and -density distributions, age spectra, etc.) and interpret such data in palaeo-geographic, -tectonic and -climatic terms. The breakdown of sediment budgets into source-specific contributions, which is one of the most important tasks of quantitative provenance analysis (QPA), permits quantification of rates of surface processes in the geological past ("deep time"), even in cases where source areas have been destroyed by global tectonics. QPA is therefore crucial to the reconstruction of ancient sediment-routing systems, the fundamental units of mass transfer at the Earth's surface. In terms of applications, QPA fulfils a key role in the prediction of sediment properties at the time of deposition, and their diagenetic pathways which determine reservoir quality.

Early diagenetic modifications (grain rearrangement and early cementation) are controlled by the combination of sediment characteristics (mineral/grain composition as a function of size) and the nature of the depositional environment, which can only be understood by integration of sedimentary petrology with sedimentology. Sediment characteristics and depositional facies also control further diagenetic modifications during deep burial, which may give rise to wholesale dissolution of primary and secondary phases, and precipitation of late cements. All of these factors together determine the final properties of ancient sediments, and may limit the extent to which reconstruction of initial sediment properties is feasible.

One of the long-standing obstacles to modelling of the spatial distribution of sediment properties is the selective nature of grain entrainment, transport, and deposition, which gives rise to joint compositional-textural variations that are not of primary concern to those who wish to reconstruct provenance, but are key to predicting spatial variation of reservoir quality. Finding ways to navigate these complexities is one of the most challenging tasks of sediment-generation studies, and the subject of ongoing research on modern sediments in particular, which do not suffer from diagenetic overprinting.

In this session we welcome all contributions dealing with the above themes. We aim to provide a broad overview of pertinent problems in the field, and hopefully, of solutions to some of them. We invite you all to contribute to this session, which is aimed at charting the state of the art and pointing the way forward in the field of sediment-property analysis for geological reconstructions and reservoir-quality prediction.


  • SB5.3/SS6.8/SR7.11 Sedimentological, stratigraphic and geomorphic record of orogen-foreland dynamics (OROGEN)

Conveners. Sébastien CARRETIER (IRD - GET, FRA) Stéphane BONNET (University of Toulouse III - GET, FRA), Sébastien CASTELLTORT (University of Geneva, CHE), Emmanuel MASINI (TOTAL, FRA) mailto

Description. Our session aims to bring together sedimentologists, geomorphologists, and structural geologists with broad interests in surface processes in sediment routing systems of convergent zones:

  1. Propagation of tectonic and climatic signals from source to sink and sink to source, with delays, time lags, dampening, shredding and other autogenic transformations of the primary signals along the sedimentary system.
  2. Field studies as well as conceptual, theoretical and laboratory models illustrating mountain-foreland couplings over time scales covering thousands to millions of years.
  3. Analyses of the structure and stratigraphic architecture of foreland basins and of the stratigraphic expression of sedimentary systems to climatic and tectonic perturbations.
  4. Studies based on thermochronometric, cosmogenic, paleohydraulic, provenance and sediment budget calculations.
  5. Focus studies of foreland and foothills dynamics, source to sink and their applications in geomorphology, tectonics and sequence stratigraphy.


  • SB5.4/SS6.9/SR7.12 Extensional to transtensional basins: rifts and passive margins (PAMELA-ACTION MARGE)

Conveners. Cécile ROBIN (University of Rennes 1, FRA), Christophe Basile (ISterre, FRA), Sylvie Leroy (ISTeP, FRA), Leni SCHECK-WENDEROTH (GFZ Potsdam, DEU) mailto

Description. The mechanism of continental break-up, from the formation of rifts to passive continental margins (divergent to transform), and their consequences on the geometry of the sediment infilling, are still poorly understood. Several european programs (in France Actions Marges and PAMELA programs) addressed these questions which provide new observations, models and concepts. In this session we want to address several key points:

  1. the 3D crustal geometry of rifts and continental margins: what are the factors that control and explain their diversity?
  2. the vertical displacements: what are the mechanisms of uplift and subsidence in the rift and continental margins in both the basins and the upstream catchments?
  3. the first order geometry of the stratal pattern of rifts, divergent margins and oblique to transform margins,
  4. the interactions between lithosphere deformation, climate, surface processes (erosion-sedimentation) and topography (aerial and subaqueous).

We encourage contributions aiming to present observations, quantifications and/or modeling addressing these questions, with special attention to the coupling processes.


  • SB5.6/SS6.11/SR7.13 Advances in South American continental basins

Conveners. Martin RODDAZ (University of Toulouse III - GET, FRA), Roberto VENTURA SANTOS (Universidade de Brasilia, BRA), Patrice Baby (IRD GET, FRA) mailto

Description. This session is dedicated to multidisciplinary studies of Precambrian to Cenozoic South American basins. It aims to present new findings and developments related to these basins. Are expected:

  1. contributions about the evolution of foreland basins under different climatic settings and/or changing geodynamic conditions (e.g. influence of flat-slab subduction), as well as
  2. contributions about sedimentary and tectonic evolution of intracratonic basins, such as the Paraná, Parnaíba, Amazon (Solimoes) and marginal basins including their potential for oil and gas.

The scope is broad so we seek synthetic multidisciplinary studies contributions regarding one or more of these aspects although representative case study contributions are also welcome.


  • SS6.2/SR7.14 New insights into the numerical stratigraphic forward modeling of sedimentary systems from depositional environments to source-to-sink scale

Conveners. Didier GRANJEON (IFP Energies Nouvelles, FRA), Erwan LE GUERROUÉ (Beicip-Franlab Paris, FRA), Cédric M. JOHN (ESE Imperial College London, GBR) mailto

Description. This session addresses the numerical modeling of sedimentary systems at different temporal and spatial scales in order to predict facies and property distributions in a sequence stratigraphic framework. It aims to bring together a wide range of studies focusing on clastic, carbonate and evaporite depositional environments. Contributions addressing numerical modeling of major processes affecting the production, transport and deposition of sediments at a source to sink scale are especially encouraged (from weathering and early diagenesis to fluvial, coastal and deep-water sediment transport).

We aim to balance academic approaches to industrial applications to provide an updated view of the contribution of stratigraphic forward models to our understanding of sedimentary systems and assessment of natural resources.


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