Derald Smith studying Late Cretaceous deposits in the Alberta Badlands.
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Programme - Theme III Sessions

The goal of the conference is to bring together a diverse group of fluvial geoscientists and provide a forum to exchange ideas, challenge current paradigms and forge new partnerships that can help expand our understanding of fluvial sedimentology now and in the future. Keynote and invited speakers, along with the technical sessions (oral and poster) and field trips, will provide attendees with a wealth of opportunity to interact with other members of the fluvial sedimentology community.

The conference is organised into four overarching theme areas focussing on:

Theme III

Fluvial Stratigraphy and Subsurface Resources

Using fluvial-process insight and case studies to explore, produce, and manage hydrocarbon, groundwater, geothermal, and mineral resources housed in fluvial deposits.

Keynote Speaker

Andrew Miall

University of Toronto

Confirmed Sessions

Controls on channel architecture and reservoir connectivity (FSSR‑1)

Luca Colombera

University of Leeds

Nigel P. Mountney

University of Leeds

Amanda Owen

University of Aberdeen

Adrian Hartley

University of Aberdeen

The lithological organization of fluvial channel deposits maps onto wide ranges of petrophysical properties, and determine the occurrence of barriers to flow (e.g., mud drapes) and thief zones (e.g., open-framework gravels), which affect hydrocarbon recovery and groundwater use and clean-up. The connectivity of porous units in hydrocarbon reservoirs and aquifers of fluvial origin is further complicated by the variability in geometries that channel deposits can take and by how these units relate to other types of deposits. Several geological processes shape the architecture of channel deposits, determining their geometrical, topological, and lithological organization, and therefore representing fundamental controls on their static and dynamic connectivity. Fluvial channel deposits are sensitive recorders of both autogenic dynamics, such as meander cut-off processes or channel-belt avulsions, and allogenic controls, such as variations in sediment supply rates or water discharge regime. Thus, knowledge of geological controls on channel-deposit architecture and reservoir connectivity can be used predictively in contexts of subsurface characterization. This session seeks to bring together results of the latest research aiming to improve our understanding of factors controlling channel-deposit architecture and resulting connectivity of fluvial reservoirs and aquifers.

We invite presentations covering research themes relating to the sedimentary architecture and connectivity of fluvial channel deposits, and their relationships with controlling factors. Contributions are invited on topics that include, but are not limited to, the following: influence of autogenic mechanisms on sand connectivity; importance of allogenic forcing on channel-body geometries and stacking patterns; characterization of channel-deposit connectivity in relation to styles of morphodynamic evolution; enhanced oil recovery and dynamic connectivity in fluvial reservoirs; groundwater flow and contaminant transport in heterogeneous fluvial aquifers; connectivity characterization of outcrop, subsurface and modern analogues; investigations of the sensitivity of channel-deposit architecture and connectivity to controls by means of numerical or physical modelling approaches.

Dispersing the load - Controls on sediment extraction and mass balance (FSSR‑2)

Ryan Sincavage

Vanderbilt University

Jennifer Pickering

Vanderbilt University

Sediment is dispersed in distributive systems via surface flow processes that partition sediment flux in response to changing basin boundary conditions such as climate and tectonics, as well as autogenic fluvial system dynamics. The processes that govern sediment distribution in time and space are non-linear and inherently difficult to couple with the observed sedimentary archive. An understanding of dispersal patterns and rates of mass extraction are key to establishing this link between process and record, enabling the prediction of subsurface stratigraphy and locations of important natural resources. Furthermore, utilizing a mass balance framework aids in the comparison of sedimentary systems of vastly different temporal and spatial scales. In spite of their importance, the controlling mechanisms that drive selective deposition and storage of material into stratigraphy remain poorly understood. We invite abstracts from studies that quantify patterns and rates of sediment mass extraction along the source to sink trajectory across a wide spectrum of temporal and spatial scales. Submissions using field, numerical modeling, or experimental data are encouraged, as well as projects that bridge these traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Basin-scale distribution and connectivity of geo-bodies in fluvial and deltaic systems (FSSR‑3)

Amanda Owen

University of Aberdeen

Adrian Hartley

University of Aberdeen

Luca Colombera

University of Leeds

Nigel P. Mountney

University of Leeds

Understanding the dimensions and distribution of geo-bodies in fluvial and deltaic systems has clear economic connotations as they have been proven to host important economic resources such as petroleum reserves, mineral deposits (e.g. copper), form important aquifers, as well as be potential CO2 sites. Understanding the dimension, distribution and connectivity of geo-bodies in these sedimentary systems will significantly aid in the successful identification and exploitation of such key economic resources, as well as enhance palaeogeographic reconstructions. This session aims to firstly better understand how geo-bodies range in size through space and time and how this will affect connectivity of the geo-bodies in fluvial and deltaic systems; and secondly what are the key controls that will produce such variations. Contributions are welcomed from a range of field, sub-surface and modelling based studies that are applicable to fluvial and deltaic deposits at a range of scales.

Autogenic and allogeneic forcing of fluvial and deltaic avulsions and alluvial architecture (FSSR‑4)

Steven Goodbred Jr.

Vanderbilt University

Rajiv Sinha

Indian Institute of Technology

Liviu Giosan

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mobile, avulsive channel systems and associated sediment dispersal, even in steady state, drive feedbacks and internal dynamics leading to rich, often stochastic, patterns of behavior and complex stratigraphy. These autogenic behaviors interact with allogenic forcings as well, responding to such exogenous factors as climate, tectonics, eustasy, and human impacts. Understanding and unraveling these coupled allogenic and autogenic behaviors is key to understanding the response and development of depositional systems and ultimately interpreting the stratigraphic record. This session seeks contributions that explore these topics based on field, modeling, experiment, or theory-based studies. Research that addresses the role of scale, magnitude, or coupled-system behaviors are especially welcome.

Reconstructing paleomorphodynamics from fluvial deposits for interpretation and stratigraphic prediction (FSSR‑5)

Liz Hajek

Pennsylvania State University

Vamsi Ganti

Imperial College London

Reconstructing ancient hydraulics and sediment transport conditions from fluvial deposits allows for improved comparisons with modern systems, targeted modeling efforts, quantitative reconstructions of paleoenvironmental conditions, and better-constrained subsurface predictions. We invite a broad range of contributions highlighting field, experimental and/or theoretical reconstructions of paleohydraulics or paleomorphodynamics of ancient river systems, studies aimed at constraining uncertainties associated with reconstructing ancient river dynamics, and example reconstructions from Earth history or other planets.

Perspectives on fluvial Stratigraphy and subsurface resources (FSSR‑6)

Technical Programme Committee

General contributions highlighting how fluvial-process insight and case studies can be used to to explore, produce, and manage hydrocarbon, groundwater, geothermal, and mineral resources housed in fluvial deposits.

Subsurface resources around the world - From the McMurray to the Mungaroo (FSSR‑7)

Dale Leckie

University of Calgary

Ron Boyd

University of Newcastle

Fluvial sediments are the source of some of the largest hydrocarbon reservoirs on earth. As indicated by its, this session will be broad and diverse, covering all aspects of fluvial reservoirs - from exploration to development from all reaches of the globe. We are looking for range of presentations on fluvial reservoirs, incorporating high-resolution seismic imagery, core data, reservoir characterization of fluvial reservoirs and reservoir modeling. What are the new insights of fluvial sedimentology and geomorphology that are being integrated into reservoir models? What new insights are being obtained from subsurface fluvial reservoirs that can be taken to modern studies? What information do geologists working subsurface reservoirs still require from modern river studies. We are looking for a spectrum of presentations from detailed case studies through to regional data-driven studies that may give insight on controls on fluvial systems.