Carlos Zavala

Carlos Zavala
Universidad Nacional del Sur | UNS · Departamento de Geología

Professor, PhD
Hunting for hidden information in the sedimentary record

About

198
Publications
111,588
Reads
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2,786
Citations
Citations since 2016
105 Research Items
1617 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
Introduction
My research interest is focused on understanding the origin of clastic rocks, both sedimentary processes and cyclicity. Sedimentary rocks are a huge library, where we can spend hours reading fascinating stories about ancient landscapes in a different world. All we don’t know about sedimentology is there, waiting to be revealed.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - December 2020
PetroChina Company Limited
Position
  • Consultant
August 2012 - present
Universidad Nacional del Sur
Position
  • Professor
August 2007 - present
GCS Argentina SRL
Position
  • CEO
Education
December 1994 - December 1996
Università di Parma
Field of study
  • Geology, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology
March 1988 - August 1993
Universidad Nacional del Sur
Field of study
  • Geology
February 1982 - December 1987
Universidad Nacional del Sur
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (198)
Article
Full-text available
Hyperpycnal flows originate when sediment-laden fluvial discharges enter standing, lower-density water. Because of their excess density, the flows plunge near the river mouth and continue to travel basinward as a quasi-steady and fully turbulent underflow. The related deposits are hyperpycnites, and constitute a particular type of turbidite with po...
Article
The discovery of turbidites represents perhaps themajor genuine advance of sedimentology during the twentieth century. Turbidites are the deposits of turbidity currents and were originally related to the gravitational instability and re-sedimentation of previously accumulated shallow water sediments into deep waters. As these flows originate and en...
Article
Full-text available
A hyperpycnal flow forms when a relatively dense land-derived gravity flow enters into a marine or lacustrine water reservoir. As a consequence of its excess of density, the incoming flow plunges in coastal areas, generating a highly dynamic and often long-lived dense underflow. Depending on the characteristics of the parent flow (flow duration and...
Article
Full-text available
Growing evidence suggests that land generated sediment gravity flows are the most important source of clastic sediments into marine and lacustrine sedimentary basins. These sediments are mostly transferred from source areas during exceptional river discharges (river floods). During floods rivers discharge a sediment-water mixture having a bulk dens...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
El análisis palinofacial en conjunción con el análisis de las litofacies constituye una excelente herramienta para la interpretación de los paleoambientes sedimentarios, así como también, para la determinación del potencial oleogenético. La utilidad del análisis palinofacial para refinar las interpretaciones paleoambientales es innegable, siendo ob...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La Formación Los Molles ha sido escasamente estudiada desde el punto de vista palinológico. La presente contribución reúne los resultados de un análisis palinofacial y sedimentológico de la sección basal de esta unidad, aflorante en la Subcuenca Picún Leufú. El análisis palinofacial se realizó en 15 muestras contando 500 partículas por preparado. L...
Article
Fine-grained sedimentary rocks generally undergo severe mechanical compaction during burial, which complicates the recognition of primary mudstone fabrics and associated sedimentary features. Early diagenetic concretions, however, provide a rare glimpse of primary fabrics because cement filling the pore space prevents the collapse of original grain...
Article
Full-text available
Upper Tertiary aeolian strata (Río Negro Formation) outcrop in extensive sea cliffs at the Northeast of Patagonia. These outcrops show deposits corresponding to a complete suite of aeolian and aeolian related sub-environments, and also provide excellent exposures to analyse the sedimentology and internal architecture from a sequence stratigraphic p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Current sequence stratigraphic concepts and models were mostly designed for the analysis of marine basins. In this context, relative sea-level changes are considered one of the key elements controlling stacking patterns, types of systems tracts, and the origin of sequence boundaries. In these models, sea level changes deeply controlled the availabl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Deltas are constructive depositional elements generated when a subaerial discharge (typically a river) directly supplies water and sediments into a standing body of water (marine or lacustrine). The paradigm of deltaic sedimentation has dramatically changed during recent years, from the popular very simplified ternary models of marine littoral delt...
Article
Full-text available
A Miocene macroflora recovered from Ñirihuau Formation sediments exposed at Quebrada Vera site in northwesterern Patagonia, Argentina, is recorded and described for the first time. The assemblage is composed exclusively of free-sporing plants, mainly by Equisetum remains with subordinate occurrences of four fern morphotypes (represented by bi-, tri...
Presentation
Full-text available
Más de 30 años de experiencia en el entrenamiento de profesionales de la industria petrolera en combinación con las más innovadoras técnicas de realidad inmersiva, nos han permitido concebir una nueva dimensión en términos de transmisión de información y conocimiento. Nuestro nuevo producto “Ambientes Sedimentarios Aplicados al Entendimiento de Res...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Los modelos sedimentológicos propuestos para explicar la sedimentación deltaica han sido históricamente sumamente simplificados, considerando a los deltas litorales marinos como el tipo de delta dominante en la naturaleza. A modo de ejemplo, la clasificación ternaria de Galloway (1975), la cual considera los tipos de procesos de difusión en zonas c...
Article
A Miocene macroflora recovered from Ñirihuau Formation sediments exposed at Quebrada Vera site in northwesterern Patagonia, Argentina, is recorded and described for the first time. The assemblage is composed exclusively of free-sporing plants, mainly by Equisetum remains with subordinate occurrences of four fern morphotypes (represented by bi-, tri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Se presentan los resultados de un estudio sedimentológico de testigos corona correspondientes a 7 pozos exploratorios de la Formación Vaca Muerta, los cuales representan un total de 387 m de corona. A grandes rasgos, siguiendo las zonas defi nidas por Sattler et al. (2016), los pozos nº 1 y 2 se ubican en la Zona Noroeste, los pozos nº 3 y 4 en la...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dentro del marco de estudio de los testigos corona de los pozos PANG0003 (729,85 m) y PANG0001 (768,40 m), asignados a la Formación Tunas, se encontraron dentro de la sucesión numerosas evidencias de inyectitas clásticas que hasta la fecha no han sido descriptas en esta unidad. La Formación Tunas se presenta en estos pozos como una sucesión de aren...
Poster
Full-text available
Dentro del marco de estudio de los testigos corona de los pozos PANG0003 (729,85 m) y PANG0001 (768,40 m), asignados a la Formación Tunas, se encontraron dentro de la sucesión numerosas evidencias de inyectitas clásticas que hasta la fecha no han sido descriptas en esta unidad. La Formación Tunas se presenta en estos pozos como una sucesión de aren...
Chapter
This study introduces a new sequence stratigraphic framework for the Middle-Late Triassic Yanchang Formation based on the sedimentological analysis of a ~ 850-m-thick composed stratigraphic column constructed after the integration of 21 partial field sections and 17 high-resolution photomosaics showing overviews of the stratigraphy and stacking of...
Chapter
Research into transport and deposition mechanisms of fine-grained mass-flow deposits is hampered by the absence of an easily applicable classification scheme. We propose here such a scheme on the basis of the mud content in combination with the presumed transport mechanism. The scheme comprises 12 types of gravity-flow deposits. The practical appli...
Presentation
Full-text available
Collection of 45 hand drawings made during the 16 hs training course given for the Shandong University of Science and Technology in Qingdao, China. During this course we apply a novel educational strategy, combining old-fashioned online hand made-drawings and the last virtual technology. Thank you Prof Yang Renchao for your kind invitation!
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in the understanding of deltaic deposits provide new tools for the study and analysis of deltaic deposits in shallow epicontinental seas. After the introduction of sequence stratigraphic concepts, meter-scale coarsening and thickening upward successions have been considered as "para-sequences" originated by high-frequency sea-level...
Article
Full-text available
Deltas constitute complex depositional systems formed when a land-derived gravity-flow (carrying water and sediments) discharges into a marine or lacustrine standing body of water. However, the complexity of deltaic sedimentary environments has been oversimplified by geoscientists over the years, considering just littoral deltas as the unique possi...
Article
Full-text available
Shallow-water deltas remain enigmatic in terms of placing the observed facies within a coherent process-based depositional model. Here we report tank experiments on mouth-bar formation from shallow water pure and stratified jets that, combined with recent flume experiments on bedforms, suggest new interpretations of field observations from shallow-...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Ordos Basin is one of the most important oil-bearing basin of China. During most of the Triassic, this basin accumulates extensive fluvial-lacustrine deposits forming a very thick succession assigned to the Yanchang Formation. One distinctive characteristic of the Yanchang Formation is the virtual absence of coarse-grained deposits (i.e. gravel...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Paleosols are very important paleoclimatic indicators, since they provide evidence not only about the existence of exposed (weathered) surfaces, but also about other important paleoclimatic parameters. During the Middle-Late Triassic, the Ordos Basin in China was a huge continental basin characterized by a permanent lacustrine body surrounded by d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tidal action is an important process that can eventually control the shape and distribution of clastic bodies in marine basins. The effect of tides can be locally very important in shallow marine settings, although tidal processes can be recognized also along turbidity canyons. In contrast with the marine counterpart, tidal action in large lacustri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Triassic Yanchang Formation in the Ordos Basin (People's Republic of China) contains one of the biggest and most famous oil-bearing lacustrine records of the world. These continental deposits were accumulated in a complete suite of lacustrine and related environments ranging from deep water to subaerial conditions. During decades, most studies...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During the Barremian, the Neuquen Basin experienced a permanent disconnection from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the development of an extended underfilled lake system. Lacustrine deposits comprise a more than 1000 m-thick succession of clastic and minor evaporitic deposits assigned to the Rayoso Formation. This unit is internally composed of thr...
Chapter
This contribution integrates lithologic, mineralogical, geochemical, and geomechanical data from cores and outcrops, and emphasizes where and how sedimentology may help the exploration of self-sourced unconventional reservoirs. In fact, the activity in the unconventional, 2020, Sedimentology, depositional model, and implications for reservoir quali...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The relationship between water flow velocity and bedfoms in open channels is relatively well known. Flume experiments show that a waxing clear-water flow moving over a substrate composed of unconsolidated fine-grained sand will start generating current ripples followed by plane bed and finally antidunes. Consequently, a deposit composed of laminate...
Article
The Songliao Basin in NE China is a large rift basin filled with Cretaceous terrestrial sediments. Lacustrine mudstones of the Nenjiang Formation form an important source rock in the Cretaceous Songliao Basin. These shales are commonly thought to have been deposited in deep, quiet, and anoxic environments. Samples obtained from the core of the SK‐2...
Article
Being the main oil-bearing basin of Argentina, the Neuquén Basin contains a well-documented stratigraphic record of continental and marine sedimentation during the Jurassic and Cretaceous in the western margin of Gondwana. Marine sedimentation started in the Early Jurassic with the deposition of the offshore to prodelta shales of the Los Molles For...
Presentation
Full-text available
New free educational videos about hot topics in sedimentology & Stratigraphy, and tools for reading the rocks are available in our Channel. Every topic is explained with hand-made drawings that accompanied the discussion. Comments and criticisms are welcome. Spanish and English subtitles are available.. Chinese and Russian subtitles are coming.....
Article
Full-text available
"Gravity flows may be triggered by different initiation processes in both marine and lacustrine basins. Recognizing the different initiation processes of gravity flow based on their deposits is vital to accurately establish gravity-flow sandstone distribution, which is important for defining paleogeography and for efficient oil and gas exploration. Grav...
Article
A hyperpycnal flow forms when a relatively dense land-derived gravity flow enters into a marine or lacustrine water reservoir. As a consequence of its excess of density, the incoming flow plunges in coastal areas, generating a highly dynamic and often long-lived dense underflow. Depending on the characteristics of the parent flow (flow duration and...
Article
Full-text available
The conventional sedimentological model suggests that the accumulation of organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rocks (<62.5 μm) is uniquely associated with fallout processes in low energy depositional environments. This contribution analyzes organic-rich mudstones belonging to the lower section of the Vaca Muerta Formation at central areas of the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Marine sedimentation in the Neuquén Basin started in the Early Jurassic with the accumulation of a progradational clastic system: the Cuyo Group. This sedimentary cycle begins with offshore shales of the Los Molles Formation, transitionally overlaid by shelfal to littoral sandstones and conglomerates of the Lajas Formation. According to the current...
Article
Full-text available
Cores recovered from PANG0001 and PANG0003 wells provide an exceptional record of the upper Paleozoic of the Ventania/Claromecó Basin. These wells are located at 90 km at the northeast of Sierra de la Ventana locality, reaching a depth of 958.30 and 901.66 meters, respectively. Two continuous sections of more than 700 m each were described. These c...
Article
Full-text available
The Agrio fold and thrust belt contains structures formed during the Andean orogeny that involve the basement and the Mesozoic column of the Neuquén Basin. This belt can be divided into an inner zone, dominated by thick-skinned deformation, and an outer zone characterized by thin-skinned deformation and a subordinate participation of the basement....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A hyperpycnal flow forms when a relatively dense land derived gravity flow enters in a marine or lacustrine water reservoir. As a consequence of its excess in density, the flow plunges in coastal areas generating a highly dynamic and often long-lived dense underflow. Depending on the characteristics of the parent flow (flow duration and flow rheolo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Hyperpycnal flow is a kind of sustained turbidity currents generating from flood-river estuary, flowing along the bottom of water for its higher density than catchment basins water. It has frequent occurrences and stable sediments supplies, which are triggered by river floods. Hyperpycnal flow is controlled by factors of topography, climate and den...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Hydrocarbons are contained on rock pore spaces. Porous sedimentary rock bodies have shapes, thickness, and continuity that depend mainly on active depositional processes during accumulation. In this context, the sedimentological model (or static model) represents an approximation to the reality of the oil field. An accurate model is necessary to re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A number of flume experiments conducted in the past on sediment-free stream flows allowed to get a precise understanding of the relationships between sedimentary structures and flow velocity for different grain sizes at different water depths. As an example, these experiments showed that a waxing streamflow moving over a substrate composed of uncon...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent contribution G. Shanmugam (2018) discusses and neglects the importance of hyperpycnal flows and hyperpycnites for the understanding of some sediment gravity flow deposits. For him, the hyperpycnal flow paradigm is strictly based on experimental and theoretical concepts, without the supporting empirical data from modern depositional syst...
Article
Subaqueous sediment gravity-flow (SSGF) deposits have recently been recognized as a major reservoir plays in lacustrine basins. Research on their genesis and depositional models are crucial to understand gravity flow evolution and the distribution of their deposits. This study analysed SSGF deposits in the third member of the Shahejie Formation in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
En el marco del estudio estratigráfico de testigos coronas de la Formación Tunas, fue necesario lograr una buena calibración en profundidad con los registros de pozo existentes. Es por ello que se decidió obtener la información de la emisión de rayos gamma presentes en los 1716 metros de testigos coronas existentes de una manera relativamente rápid...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
El paradigma del actualismo ha influenciado notablemente el pensamiento geológico moderno. Según este concepto los sedimentos fósiles se habrían acumulado en sistemas depositacionales similares a los presentes en el paisaje geomorfológico actual. Lo cierto es que el actualismo surgió mucho antes que los conceptos de subsidencia y análisis de cuenca...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
RESUMEN El rol de los flujos fluidos de fango en la acumulación de fangolitas bituminosas. Formación Vaca Muerta (Tithoniano temprano-Valanginiano temprano), Cuenca Neuquina, Argentina. Durante los últimos años, el avance de técnicas no convencionales de explotación de hidrocarburos puso especial interés en obtener una mejor comprensión de los proc...
Conference Paper
The Guarico Formation in the north of Venezuela corresponds to an up to 8,000 ft thick clastic succession of turbidites and associated deep water deposits. These deposits accumulated in an extended foredeep developed as a consequence of the oblique collision of the Caribbean plate against the South American plate during the Paleogene. Marine deep w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of accurate sedimentological models in hydrocarbon reservoirs is fundamental to reduce exploration and production risks. The most accurate sedimentological models are those derived from detailed description and interpretation (facies analysis) performed on cores. Unfortunately, many mature fields are characterized by a large number of produ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The accumulation of organic-rich mudstones was largely associated to low energy depositional environments with anoxic bottom waters, where mudstone deposition was mainly related to gradual and continuous mud fallout from dilute buoyant plumes. Based on this, basin inner zones were considered as unsuitable environments for source rock deposition due...
Conference Paper
A hyperpycnal flow forms when a land derived dense flow enters a marine or lacustrine water reservoir. As a consequence of its excess in density, the flow plunges in coastal areas generating a highly dynamic and often long lived dense underflow. Depending on the characteristics of the parent flow (flow duration and flow type) and basin salinity the...
Conference Paper
Ever more sedimentological research focuses on the transport and depositional processes of fine-grained sediments, and more specifically of fine-grained gravity-flow deposits. The main reason is the ongoing exploration for shale oil and gas. Whereas the exploration for hydrocarbons was directed for a century towards sediments with a high porosity a...
Conference Paper
Ever more sedimentological research focuses on the transport and depositional processes of fine-grained sediments, and more specifically of fine-grained gravity-flow deposits. The main reason is the ongoing exploration for shale oil and gas. Whereas the exploration for hydrocarbons was directed for a century towards sediments with a high porosity a...
Article
Interpretation of the continental or marine character of sediments on the basis of the paleosalinity is increasingly based on the concentration of some trace elements. The paleosalinity can be affected, however, also in deep-marine environments, by discharge peaks of major sediment-laden rivers. These induce hyperpycnal flows that run down the basi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The representation of core and outcrop data in on-scale sedimentary columns is a common practice in modern Geology. Either core or outcrop description involves the observation of a human and the related annotations. The traditional practice consist on sketching at the field or at core facilities and afterwards redrawing the chart at the lab. Conven...
Conference Paper
The accumulation of organic-rich mudstones was largely associated to low energy depositional environments with anoxic bottom waters, where mudstone deposition was mainly related to gradual and continuous mud fallout from dilute buoyant plumes. Based on this, basin inner zones were considered as unsuitable environments for source rock deposition due...
Conference Paper
The Tertiary Columbus Basin is one of the most proliferous petroleum basin of the Caribbean. It is located mostly in the offshore of Trinidad and Tobago. For a long time, the origin of most of Columbus basin sandstone reservoirs was associated to littoral deltas and shoreface environments. Nevertheless, recent regional studies integrating a huge vo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Accurate sedimentological models in hydrocarbon reservoirs are fundamental to reduce exploration and production risks. The most accurate sedimentological models are built from detailed description and interpretation (facies analysis) performed on cores. Most mature reservoirs contain a large number of producing wells but the core database contains...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bioturbated heterolithic clastic reservoirs are often characterized by clean sandstones forming thin levels, small patches, and burrow infills. This scenario makes precise estimation of percentage of sandstone (net-to-gross) a very difficult task. At present, there are no tools available that allows a straightforward quantification of the sand cont...
Conference Paper
A hyperpycnal flow forms when a land derived dense flow enters a marine or lacustrine water reservoir. As a consequence of its excess in density, the flow plunges in coastal areas generating a highly dynamic and often long lived dense underflow. Depending on the characteristics of the parent flow (flow duration and flow type) and basin salinity the...
Conference Paper
The Guarico Formation in the north of Venezuela corresponds to an up to 8,000 ft thick clastic succession of turbidites and associated deep water deposits. These deposits accumulated in an extended foredeep developed as a consequence of the oblique collision of the Caribbean plate against the South American plate during the Paleogene. Marine deep w...
Conference Paper
The importance of the existence of an accurate sedimentological model for any oil field is well known and Tertiary Columbus Basin is not an exception. Generally, a good analog system is more helpful than a universal conceptual model. In disagreement with previous considerations, the detailed sedimentological study of cores and outcrops suggest that...
Article
This study documents for the first time the occurrence of Shanbeipollenites proxireticulatus Schrank in levels of the Vaca Muerta Formation, Neuquén Basin, Argentina. It represents the first record of this species in high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. The Argentinian specimens are associated with useful palynostratigraphical indicators whic...
Article
Full-text available
河流在洪水期携带大量陆源碎屑,当其入湖或入海后,由于洪水密度大于周围水体的密度,洪水 发生下沉并沿盆地底部长距离运移,形成陆源下潜流或异重流。异重流形成的相关沉积岩被统称为异 重岩。异重岩通常由一个底部的反粒序单元和一个顶部的正粒序单元组成,反粒序单元反映了异重流 能量的逐渐增强,正粒序反映了流体能量的逐渐减弱。异重流以3 种方式搬运碎屑颗粒,即底载搬运、悬浮搬运和漂浮搬运。根据搬运方式的不同,异重岩分为3 类岩相,即底载成因的B 类岩相、悬载成因 的S 类岩相和漂浮物成因的L 类岩相。异重流的沉积充填形成了河道、堤岸和朵叶体3 类微相,内部 岩相变化极为发育。异重岩的沉积特征虽然典型且较易识别,但是常被误认为是砂质碎屑流、滨岸相、三角洲相或河流相沉积。 Flooding river di...
Article
Full-text available
以松辽盆地齐家—古龙地区白垩系嫩江组一段为研究对象,通过地震沉积学、沉积构造和沉积序列等分析,发现异重流成因的大型水道—湖底扇系统,对大型坳陷湖盆深水区分布的异重流及其形成的异重岩进行研究,构建 了陆相湖盆异重流成因的水道—湖底扇沉积模式。研究表明,异重流发源于盆地边缘,经北部三角洲后在深水区形 成完整的水道—湖底扇系统。自北向南依次发育顺直水道和弯曲水道,直线延伸距离超过80 km,宽度100~900 m;水道末端发育湖底扇,最大面积可达20 km2。该系统主要以细粒沉积为主,发育块状砂岩和流水成因的沉积构造,内部发育侵蚀接触面,富含陆源有机质碎屑,具底床载荷和悬浮载荷兼有的形成机制。异重岩沉积序列表现为向上 变粗和向上变细的旋回成对出现,反映洪水逐渐增强随后又减弱的动力学特点。图9 参5...