SEDIMENTARY ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS AND SANDY BRAIDED FLUVIAL
SUCCESSIONS IN AJALI SANDSTONE RIDGES, WESTERN AFIKPO BASIN, UTURU,
Journal: Earth Science Malaysia (ESMY)
Raphael Oaikhena Oyanyan, Modestus Chijioke Ohaegbulem, Christian Chukwudi Agbo, Nonyelum Stella Iloanya
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Lithofacies, bounding surfaces and sedimentary architectural elements exposed in two ridges at Uturu being quarried for construction sands were analysed to determine the paleoenvironment of deposition and the factors that control the deposition of sand units. Mainly outcropped is Ajali Formation overlying locally exposed Mamu Formation in Western Afikpo basin. Lithofacies identified include: Trough cross bedded medium- to coarse-grained (St), Planar cross bedded fine- to coarse-grained sandstone (Sp), Small scale planar cross bedded sandstone (SSp), Lenticular mudstone (Fm), Heterolithic sandstone/mudstone (Fsm), Horizontal stratified sandstone (Sh), Cross ripple laminated sandstone (Sr), Reddish muddy sand (Fl), Siltstone (SSm) and Shale (Fsh). The associations of lithofacies and bounding surfaces gave four fluvial and one marine architectural element. The fluvial elements which mainly characterized the Ajali Formation include: Channel-fill (CH), Macroforms Accretion (MA). Flood-Plain Fines (FF) and Channel Abandonment Fines (CAF). Offshore-shoreface fines (OSF) element defined marine Mamu Formation. The profiles of the ridges show dominance of MA followed by CH while FF is limited in occurrence and in some zones pinch-out to lenticular inter-bar mudstone. The MA is characterized by planar cross beddings, reactivation surfaces, internal grading, steep dipping ferruginized accretion surfaces and abrupt flat top which indicate mid-channel bars deposition in typical sandy braided fluvial depositional system. Generally, there is vertical aggradation/ amalgamation of channel deposits and dominance of sheet alluvial architecture. Low rate of channel avulsion, moderate rate of lateral migration and aggradation, variable discharge rate and high rate of sediment supply and subsidence were considered as factors that controlled the deposition and preservations of sand units. This study provided an understanding of mesoscopic heterogeneities and compartmentalization style inherent in hydrocarbon bearing sandy braided reservoirs which can be used as analog model for its development.