Department of Earth Science
Masterprosjekt - Ressurser / Energi

Sedimentary characterization and interpretation of tidal regressive units in outcrop and the subsurface

The Master's project is given by the research group Geodynamics and basin studies.

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Project description
The main goal of this thesis is to study and characterize the sedimentary architecture of a tidal influenced regressive unit in outcrop at the inter-well scale, compare it to a subsurface unit in the Norwegian continental shelf, and produce vital information for subsurface modelling of tidal and mixed-process units in general. It is a project in which the candidate will gain training and experience in sedimentology and stratigraphy of outcrop and subsurface units with a focus on reservoir aspects that are key for the energy industry.

Facies models for sedimentary systems developed at progradational, tidal influenced shorelines (e.g., tidal modulated shorefaces and tidal deltas) are relatively underdeveloped in comparison to models of tidal systems developed in transgressive contexts. As such, they have been less identified and modelled in subsurface scenarios. This gap in knowledge, and the importance of these units in the Norwegian shelf, make this type of study particularly relevant.

The Sego sandstone in Utah, USA, is validated by previous studies and by experience of the supervisors as an ideal candidate for this study. Furthermore, the Garn and Ile formations are chosen as potential candidates for the subsurface unit given their importance as a reservoir and their well-known tidal signatures. The candidate will carry out a field season in spring 2024, studying the Sego sandstone nearby Green River, Utah. This will include the acquisition of sedimentary logs, architectural panels, and drone-based images. This information will be interpreted by facies and sedimentary architecture analysis to elaborate a conceptual model of the sedimentary system and its evolution. The candidate will also undertake the logging of sections from cores at NPD in Stavanger, following a similar workflow to compare the subsurface and outcrop sections. Finally, measurements of the geometry and dimensions of the sedimentary bodies at the outcrops will be extracted from virtual outcrop models. This will be of assistance to a second MSc candidate, which will be tasked with the reservoir modelling of such units, and who will assist the candidate in the field.

This thesis will produce relevant information for the understanding of the record of tidal regressive systems and measurements which are vital for the modeling of such deposits. For instance, results will have direct application to project GEOPARD which is run by the supervisors. The candidate will gain experience in characterizing outcrop and subsurface sedimentary successions, and skills which are a standard part of a geologist role in the energy industry or for any other economic activity related to the utilization sedimentary deposits.

Proposed course plan during the master's degree (60 ECTS):
GEOV352 - Field course in reservoir geology
GEOV360 - Advanced clastic sedimentology

Felt- lab- og analysearbeid
Field work in Utah, spring 2024
Core analysis in NPD in Stavanger