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Title: Understanding palynomorph distribution in turbidite systems
Author: Porro, Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 0082
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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Distribution of terrestrially sourced and marine palynomorphs within turbidite sequences is controlled not only by taphonomy and ecology, but also by climatic conditions and tectonic evolution. This research focuses on the challenge of developing an improved understanding of palynomorph distribution in turbidite systems, distinguishing the different controls in the palynological assemblages. Palynomorphs are usually underestimated compared to other microfossil groups, but their use must be fostered. Important information can be obtained in terms of biostratigraphy, characterization of the turbidite system, and argillaceous sediment provenance. In a commercial context, these investigations represent a key to understanding reservoir geometry, heterogeneity, connectivity and, consequently, reservoir quality, that can improve hydrocarbon exploration efficiency. A repeatable approach, based on multivariate statistical analysis, was identified to constrain palynomorph distribution. This approach provided a widely applicable visualization and correlation between the different localities, from slope to toe, within turbidite systems. Three Cenozoic case studies were investigated: the outcrop-based Numidian Succession turbidite system, in central-northern Sicily, the outcrop-based Hecho Group turbidite system in Spain, and the subsurface data from the Wilcox Group and the Wilcox Formation, respectively in the Gulf Coastal Plain and Gulf of Mexico. Sicilian and Spanish studies present original data, while Wilcox data were provided by Shell. In each setting, the palynological analysis and the application of multivariate techniques allowed to: identify multiple inputs feeding the turbidite systems; explain climatic variations through the analysis of the palynological assemblages; characterize architectural elements in terms of palynomorphs content. Despite the different tectonic setting, morphology of the basin, and seafloor topography, the three case studies highlighted that differences within the palynological assemblage in turbidite settings are fractal, and that multivariate statistical analysis plays an important role in their understanding, its use is therefore strongly recommended.
Supervisor: Jolley, David W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Turbidity ; Fossils