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ABSTRACT

Within the Middle Jurassic Saltwick Formation of Yorkshire, England, 65% of the fluvial channel sandstones (n= 22) have width to thickness ratios in the range 17–30. More than 90% lie in the range 17–67 and are classified as narrow sheet channel sandstones. A broad sheet channel sandstone (c. 15 m thick, 3 km wide, width to thickness ratio of 200) occurs at the base of the formation in the proximal part of the studied depositional system. The thicknesses of the channel sandstones are in the range 4 m to more than 22 m, with 90% in the range 4–12 m. The widths of the channel sandstone sections are in the range 100–800 m, with 80% between 100 and 400 m. In plan view the channel sandstones display relatively constant thicknesses across the main part (80%) of the channel body.

Channel sandstones are usually multistorey. The storeys are separated by major scour surfaces, with depths of scour ranging from 2 m to 8–10 m. The individual storeys are 4–13 m thick, and transverse and oblique storey sections have lateral extents of 60–480 m. Vertical stacking of storeys is accompanied by a decrease in the width to thickness ratio of the channel sandstones, whereas lateral stacking of storeys is accompanied by an increase. Mudstones and siltstones within channel sandstone bodies occur at the top of storeys and were in most cases deposited during channel abandonment.

The Saltwick Formation was deposited during increasing accommodation forming a transgressive systems tract. The channel sandstone to interchannel sediment ratio is highest in the lower parts of the transgressive systems tract. The quantitative geometry and architecture data from the Saltwick Formation may be useful for describing and modelling humid delta plain hydrocarbon reservoirs of transgressive systems tracts.