Bounding-Surface Hierarchies and Related Sources of Heterogeneity in Seemingly Uniform Fluvial Sandstone Sheets


Fluvial sandstone sheets may appear uniform initially, but detailed examination tends to reveal sharp lithologic contrasts across bounding surfaces. The mid-Creataceous Muddy Sandstone of southeast Colorado, USA contains two sandstone sheets and provides examples of such potential permeability barriers. Sediment bodies bound and respective bounding surfaces are, in order of ascending rank: bar and dune deposits (1st-to 3rd-order), nested channel fills (4th-order), channel fills (5th-order) channel belts (6th-order), nested valley-fills (7th-order), valley-fills (8th-order), and sequences (9th-order). Bar and dune through channel-belt deposits commonly have permeability barriers because the eposides of waning flow common to their deposition tend to cause draping of surfaces and filling of scours locally with finer grained deposits. Channel-fills through sequences tend to have permeability barries related to juxtaposition of permeable and non-permeable lithofacies during successive incision-and-fill events. Fluvial sandstone sheets can have reduced permeability in paleodip orientation that operates on the scale of individual wells because of draping of down-dip-oriented bar- and dune-accretion surfaces. A dip-oriented grain, reducing permeability barriers formed at nested channel through higher-order valley and sequence boundaries.

Meeting Name

22nd Annual Gulf Coast Section SEPM Foundation Bob F. Perkins Research Conference (2002: Dec. 8-11, Houston, TX)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2002 Society for Sedimentary Geology, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2002

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