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Facies architecture of heterolithic tidal deposits : The Holocene Holland Tidal Basin

Author: Donselaar, M.E. · Geel, C.R.
Institution: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
Source:Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 4, 86, 389-402
Identifier: 240480
Keywords: Geosciences · Facies architecture modelling · Heterolithic deposits · Tidal estuary · cone penetration test · facies analysis · Holocene · lithofacies · modeling · ocean basin · tidal channel · tidal current · tidal flat · Benelux · Eurasia · Europe · Netherlands · Western Europe


The size, shape and spatial position of lithofacies types (or facies architecture) in a tidal estuarine basin are complex and therefore difficult to model. The tidal currents in the basin concentrate sand-sized sediment in a branching pattern of tidal channels and fringing tidal flats. Away from the sandy tidal flats the sediment gradually changes to mud-dominated heterolithic deposits and clay. In this paper the facies analysis of a tidal estuarine basin, the Holocene Holland Tidal Basin (HHTB) is presented based on core data and Cone Penetration Tests (CPT). Four lithofacies associations are recognized: (1) tidal channel sand, (2) sand-dominated heterolithic inter-tidal flat, (3) mud-dominated heterolithic inter-channel, and (4) fresh-water peat. The high data density allowed for the construction of a detailed facies architecture model in which the size, shape and spatial position of the tidal estuarine facies elements were established. The results can be used to improve the reservoir modelling in highly heterogeneous estuarine reservoir settings.