As study of the deep-water fans deposits has advanced to progressively finer scales, debate regarding the nature and origin of stacking patterns has become refined. To quantitatively test conceptual models, Terlaky and others statistically analyze stacking patterns of stratal elements in the Proterozoic Upper Kaza Group (Windermere Supergroup, Cariboo Mountains, southern Canadian Cordillera) by Markov-chain analysis, an under-utilized tool in deep-water sedimentologic research. The results of the analysis shows that the stacking pattern in this passive-margin sedimentary pile is statistically non-random, and is more heterogeneous than would be expected in a random distribution. These observations form the basis for a conceptual model for lobe development driven by splay deposition and frequent avulsion. Beyond showing the utility of the tool, the results are interpreted to be significant for reservoir characterization in similar passive-margin settings, providing analogs and data on thicknesses, volumes, and connectivity of stratal elements and reservoir bodies.
The control of terminal-splay sedimentation on depositional patterns and stratigraphic evolution in avulsion-dominated, unconfined, deep-marine basin-floor systems by Viktor Terlaky and Robert William Charles Arnott