Editing Fluvial sandbody architecture, cyclicity and sequence stratigraphic setting – implications for hydrocarbon reservoirs: the Westphalian C and D of the Osnabrück–Ibbenbüren area, northwest Germany

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Although it is clear that a sea-level linkage could produce the cyclicity described, there is no direct evidence for such a control. Elsewhere in Europe and North America there is good support for Upper Carboniferous base-level changes being driven by glacio-eustatic sea-level rises (Holdsworth & Collinson 1988, Maynard & Leeder 1992, Flint et al. 1995). However, most of this evidence comes from Namurian and early Westphalian strata, and, as discussed previously, the structural setting of northern Germany in the Bolsovian suggests that the Rheic Ocean had closed and that there was no direct marine connection to this basin (Maynard et al. 1997). In an inland basin such as this it is often difficult to be sure of the role that sea level has on facies patterns. If sea level was controlling the local base level, then this must represent a subtle influence that is not represented in the preserved succession by marine facies. No marine or tidal facies were identified from upper Westphalian and Stephanian successions in this area.
 
Although it is clear that a sea-level linkage could produce the cyclicity described, there is no direct evidence for such a control. Elsewhere in Europe and North America there is good support for Upper Carboniferous base-level changes being driven by glacio-eustatic sea-level rises (Holdsworth & Collinson 1988, Maynard & Leeder 1992, Flint et al. 1995). However, most of this evidence comes from Namurian and early Westphalian strata, and, as discussed previously, the structural setting of northern Germany in the Bolsovian suggests that the Rheic Ocean had closed and that there was no direct marine connection to this basin (Maynard et al. 1997). In an inland basin such as this it is often difficult to be sure of the role that sea level has on facies patterns. If sea level was controlling the local base level, then this must represent a subtle influence that is not represented in the preserved succession by marine facies. No marine or tidal facies were identified from upper Westphalian and Stephanian successions in this area.
  
Alternatively, third-order cycles could be driven purely by tectonic processes, possibly linked to short-term episodes of crustal loading (see Miall 1996: 477). However, such a mechanism alone may not produce the high-frequency events required to drive the cyclicity at this scale. Although not well constrained, it is thought likely that these third-order cycles have a timespan comparable with fourth-order sea-level cycles (10<sup>5</sup> years).
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Alternatively, third-order cycles could be driven purely by tectonic processes, possibly linked to short-term episodes of crustal loading (see Miall 1996: 477). However, such a mechanism alone may not produce the high-frequency events required to drive the cyclicity at this scale. Although not well constrained, it is thought likely that these third-order cycles have a timespan comparable with fourth-order sea-level cycles (10 to the power 5 years).
  
 
Hoffman & Grotzinger (1993) suggest that the climatic belt in which an orogen develops influences the tectonic style of the orogen and the architecture of the adjacent foreland basin. Monsoonal belts, such as those that would have characterized Upper Carboniferous times, would be typified by high rates of precipitation, leading to rapid erosional unroofing, deep erosion and the rapid filling of the foreland basin with sediment (Sinclair & Allen 1992, Hoffman & Grotzinger 1993). Drier periods would have less vegetation cover and hence would be characterized by increased erosion of bedrock, which would result in large volumes of material being available for transportation (Schumm 1968, Cecil 1990).
 
Hoffman & Grotzinger (1993) suggest that the climatic belt in which an orogen develops influences the tectonic style of the orogen and the architecture of the adjacent foreland basin. Monsoonal belts, such as those that would have characterized Upper Carboniferous times, would be typified by high rates of precipitation, leading to rapid erosional unroofing, deep erosion and the rapid filling of the foreland basin with sediment (Sinclair & Allen 1992, Hoffman & Grotzinger 1993). Drier periods would have less vegetation cover and hence would be characterized by increased erosion of bedrock, which would result in large volumes of material being available for transportation (Schumm 1968, Cecil 1990).
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Besly, B. M. 1988. Palaeogeographic implications of late Westphalian to early Permian redbeds, Central England. In ''Sedimentation in a synorogenic basin complex: the Upper Carboniferous of northwest Europe'', B. M. Besly & G. Kelling (eds), 200–221. Glasgow: Blackie. Bridge, J. S. 1985. Paleochannel patterns inferred from alluvial deposits: a critical evaluation. ''Journal of Sedimentary Petrology ''55, 579–89.
 
 
Bridge, J. S. 1985. Paleochannel patterns inferred from alluvial deposits: a critical evaluation. ''Journal of Sedimentary Petrology ''55, 579–89.
 
  
 
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Bristow, C. S. 1987. Brahmaputra River: channel migration and deposition. In ''Recent developments in fluvial sedimentology'', F. G. Ethridge, R. M. Flores, M. D. Harvey (eds), 63–74. Special Publication 39, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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Glover, B. W. & N. S. Jones 1997. Systematic distribution of coals within the Westphalian C–D succession of NW Germany and their implications for sequence stratigraphy. Coal Geology Workshop “Sequence Stratigraphy Applied to Coal-Bearing Strata: Quo Vadis?”, organized by VITO, March 1997, Hasselt, Belgium. Hallsworth, C. R. & J. I. Chisholm 2000. Stratigraphic evolution of provenance characteristics in Westphalian sandstones of the
  
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Yorkshire coalfield. ''Yorkshire Geological Society, Proceedings ''53, 43–72.
  
 
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Hallsworth, C. R., A. C. Morton, J. Claoué-Long, C. M. Fanning 2000. Carboniferous sand provenance in the Pennine Basin, UK: constraints from heavy-mineral and detrital-zircon age data. ''Sedimentary Geology ''137, 147–85.
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Hoyer, P., J. Leisser, M. Teichmüller, R. Teichmüller 1971. Chapter 3. The Carboniferous of Ibbenbüren, the Hüggel and the Piesberg, (c): metamorphism of coal. The Carboniferous Deposits in the Federal Republic of Germany. ''Fortschritte in der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen ''19, 87–90.
 
Hoyer, P., J. Leisser, M. Teichmüller, R. Teichmüller 1971. Chapter 3. The Carboniferous of Ibbenbüren, the Hüggel and the Piesberg, (c): metamorphism of coal. The Carboniferous Deposits in the Federal Republic of Germany. ''Fortschritte in der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen ''19, 87–90.
  
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Jackson, R. G. 1976. Depositional model of point bars in the lower Wabash River. ''Journal of Sedimentary Petrology ''46, 579–94. Jankowski, B., F. David, V. Selter 1993. Facies complexes of the Upper Carboniferous in northwest Germany and their structural implications. In ''Rhenohercynian and Subvariscan fold belts'', R. A. Gayer, R. O. Greilling, A. K. Vogel (eds), 139–58. Wiesbaden: Vieweg.
 
 
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