Is an ancient river your Gas Supply? – Part I


We are here today to tell you about The Rivers and what they can give you (ancient, of course).

This is the start of a story about a river that flowed many thousands of years ago, a river that dried and just led the rocks behind for you to have a giant supply of oil that would allow you to drive your car in the future.

We should also point out that Rivers not only are places of deposition, but also serve as channels of transportation for sediment to deposit over quieter places as lakes or river deltas at the boundary between continents and oceans (where the energy is not as high), which makes their study very important and determinant for the oil industry.

Now, when we study a river to recognize their deposits, it is useful to examine the channel shapes, sediment transport processes, and sediment characteristics of Modern Rivers (we assume the systems behaved similarly through the thousands of years).

In part I we’ll talk about the Channel Forms.

For describing a channel form, we use as reference a straight path, and how much the actual channel deviates from it is called SINUOSITY. We also use the amount of channels (single or multiple), the degree of channel subdivision by large bedforms (bars) and the accreting islands aound which channe reaches diverge and converge (braiding), and something called Anastomosing that will be discussed later.

Based on this, the main point is to classify the rivers into three:

MEANDERING  (single channel) 

BRAIDED (multiple channel)


This classification serves as a guide for characteristics, because in real life what we see more often is combinations of them. Keep Posted!


(Remember to ckeck often our Petroleum Geology page to make your understanding deeper).


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