Forward modelling as a method for predicting the distribution of deep-marine sands: an example from the Peïra Cava Sub-basin
The aerial extent, thickness and internal distribution of grain-size are key, bed-scale controls on turbidite reservoir performance. Process-based modelling provides a method for predicting both the sandbody thickness and the grain-size distribution within the bed. The goal of the current study is to test such an approach on the Annot Sandstone in the Peïra Cava Sub-basin in SE France, and determine whether the process-based model can reliably recreate the bed characteristics observed in the outcrop. Turbidity currents were modelled using a commercially available software solution called MassFlow3D that is based on computational fluid dynamics. The goal of the current study was to accurately replicate a single bed (termed MU5). To achieve this goal, the base of the basin was structurally restored and then a simplified simulation of the beds below MU5 was generated using four flow events in order to recreate the bathymetry on to which MU5 was simulated. Several versions of MU5 were simulated with different input parameters for the flow, and the results were compared with the observed thickness and grain-size distribution from the outcrop. The study suggests that process-based modelling has the potential to be a useful tool in reservoir modelling.