Forward stratigraphic modelling of sediment pathways and depocentres in salt‐influenced passive‐margin basins: Lower Cretaceous, central Scotian Basin
C. Sangster, D. J. W. Piper, N. Hawie, G. Pe‐Piper and F. Saint‐Ange
Journal name: Basin Research
Issue: Vol 31, No 4, August 2019 pp. 728 - 753
Info: Article, PDF ( 4.11Mb )
Source‐to‐sink studies and numerical modelling software are increasingly used to better understand sedimentary basins, and to predict sediment distributions. However, predictive modelling remains problematic in basins dominated by salt tectonics. The Lower Cretaceous delta system of the Scotian Basin is well suited for source‐to‐sink studies and provides an opportunity to apply this approach to a region experiencing active salt tectonism. This study uses forward stratigraphic modelling software and statistical analysis software to produce predictive stratigraphic models of the central Scotian Basin, test their sensitivity to different input parameters, assess proposed provenance pathways, and determine the distribution of sand and factors that control sedimentation in the basin. Models have been calibrated against reference wells and seismic surfaces, and implement a multidisciplinary approach to define simulation parameters. Simulation results show that previously proposed provenance pathways for the Early Cretaceous can be used to generate predictive stratigraphic models, which simulate the overall sediment distribution for the central Scotian Basin. Modelling confirms that the shaly nature of the Naskapi Member is the result of tec-tonic diversion of the Sable and Banquereau rivers and suggests additional episodic diversion during the deposition of the Cree Member. Sand is dominantly trapped on the shelf in all units, with transport into the basin along salt corridors and as a result of turbidity current flows occurring in the Upper Missisauga Formation and Cree Member. This led to sand accumulation in minibasins with a large deposit seawards of the Tantallon M‐41 well. Sand also appears to bypass the basin via salt corridors which lead to the down‐slope edge of the study area. Sensitivity analysis suggests that the grain size of source sediments to the system is the controlling factor of sand distribution. The methodology applied to this basin has applications to other regions complicated by salt tectonics, and where sediment distribution and transport from source‐to‐sink remain unclear.