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Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

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Marine and Petroleum Geology

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Research paper

Geology of the Campanian M1 sandstone oil reservoir of eastern

Ecuador: A delta system sourced from the Amazon Craton
Cristian Vallejo a, *, Diego Tapia b, Janeth Gaibor c, Ron Steel d, Mario Cardenas b,
Wilfried Winkler e, Anne Valdez b, Jose Esteban f, Mariana Figuera c, Jose Leal c,
Dario Cuenca b
Departamento de Geologa, Escuela Politecnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador
Petroamazonas EP, Quito, Ecuador
Halliburton Latin America, Quito, Ecuador
Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, C1100, Austin, TX, United States
Department of Earth Sciences, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland
Departamento de Geodina mica, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnologa, Universidad del Pas Vasco, Apdo. 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The Campanian M1 sandstone Member of the Napo Formation is one of the main reservoirs of the
Received 11 January 2017 Capiron-Tiputini oil play system of the eastern part of the Oriente Basin of Ecuador. This study presents a
Received in revised form geological model for this reservoir at the Apaika and Nenke oil elds included within the Block 31, and
20 June 2017
the Eden Yuturi oil eld, operated by PETROAMAZONAS EP. The geological characterization of the M1
Accepted 23 July 2017
sandstone is based on an integrated study, which includes core description, electric log analyses and
Available online 25 July 2017
seismic data interpretation.
The sedimentological descriptions from available cored sections show that M1 sandstone records a
M1 sandstone
variety of uvial to shallow marine processes, including mass ow and delta-front turbidity currents not
Oriente Basin previously documented. The stratal stacking pattern interpreted from electric logs indicates that the
Delta succession reects deltaic progradation rather than the backstepping pattern typically displayed by the
Napo Formation underlying Albian to Santonian sediments of the Napo Formation. Seismic RMS amplitude denes cli-
Tena Formation noform geometries with sigmoidal sand body architecture prograding from east to west. Correlation with
Ecuador neighboring regions in Colombia suggest that the M1 sandstone was probably part of a large river-
Provenance analysis dominated delta system sourced from the east during major Campanian progradation.
The location of the source area of sediment was determined using U-Pb detrital zircon dating. Prov-
enance ages are uniform within the M1 Sandstone cluster in a population that ranges from 1.4 to 1.6
billion years. These ages indicate that sands were derived mostly from erosion of the lithotectonic Rio
Negro-Jurena province, located to the northeast of the studied area. Detrital ages from the overlying
Maastrichtian Tena Formation include ages between 80 and 200 Ma pointing to an important change in
the source areas, located in the Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador. The change in sediment supply from east to
west recorded in the Tena Formation coincide with the initial episodes of the Andean orogeny, and may
be driven by the collision of fragments of the Caribbean large igneous province (CLIP) against the con-
tinental margin of northwestern South America.
2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction The oil is hosted in Cretaceous (Aptian-Maastrichtian) reservoirs.

Contemporaneous, organic-rich sediments (e.g., Basal and upper
With nearly 30 billion barrels of oil in place (Rivadeneira and shale members of the Napo Formation) were deposited over a large
Baby, 2004), the Oriente Basin of Ecuador is one of the most pro- area and are considered the source of almost all hydrocarbons
lic Sub-Andean oil basins of northwestern South America (Fig. 1). (Dashwood and Abbotts, 1990; Mello et al., 1995). In the western
and central part of the basin, oil exploration and production is
* Corresponding author. mostly focused on the Albian-Cenomanian uvio-estuarine
E-mail address: (C. Vallejo).
0264-8172/ 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1208 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

Fig. 1. Tectonic sketch map of Ecuador showing the geological setting of the Andean Amazon Basin in Ecuador and adjacent regions. Compiled from Spikings et al. (2001) and
Gombojav and Winkler (2008). Location of the area of study is represented by a black square in the map.

sandstones of the Holln and Napo formations (T and U sandstone the Campanian to Maastrichtian sedimentation, particularly the
members). The Campanian M1 sandstone member of the Napo transition from the M1 sandstone member of the Napo Formation
Formation is a reservoir restricted to the eastern part of the Oriente to the Tena Formation.
Basin of Ecuador and its equivalent, the Vivian Formation in the
Maran ~ on Basin of Peru. The M1 sandstone is unconformably over- 2. Material and methods
lain by continental deposits of the Maastrichtian Tena Formation,
which marks the end of the marine sedimentation within the This study included core descriptions, electric log analyses,
Oriente Basin and neighbouring areas. The deposition of the Tena seismostratigraphic interpretation and provenance analysis. The
Formation coincided in time with the initiation of the Andean sedimentological study of a 92-ft core from the APKA-02 well
Orogeny (Dashwood and Abbotts, 1990). However, its continuity (Block 31, eastern part of the Oriente Basin; Fig. 1) allowed for
and trap potential has not been dened due to the lack of data characterizing the depositional environment and processes during
integration and interpretation, including the origin of the M1 deposition of the M1 sandstone member. The sedimentological and
sandstone. stratigraphic data are complemented with a seismostratigraphic
Previous models based on lithostratigraphic correlations (e.g., analysis using root mean square (RMS) amplitude-seismic attri-
Barraga n et al., 2004) proposed that the M1 sandstone was butes, which allow us to dene the geometries of the reservoir. This
deposited within incised valleys during transgression. Among the study also integrates a petrophysical analysis, including porosity
available data, Jaillard (1997) recognized the difculty in deter- and permeability measured directly from rock samples collected
mining the depositional environment of the M1 sandstone and from a cored section.
suggested a subaqueous and continental environment for this The source area of the sediment was determined from a zircon
member at the Tiputini Minas 1 well of the Tiputini oil eld provenance analysis, which included zircon U-Pb ages from detrital
(eastern border of the Oriente Basin). grains obtained by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass
This contribution is one of the rst published detailed geological spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Zircons were extracted using conven-
overviews of the M1 sandstone reservoir of the Napo Formation; tional separation techniques (i.e., crushing, sieving, magnetic, and
another is a published MS thesis by Yu Ye (2014). We propose a new heavy-liquid separation) at the University of the Basque Country.
model for the origin of the M1 sandstone member, integrating core Only the cleanest crack and inclusion-free zircons were mounted
description, biostratigraphy, electric log analyses, and seismic data into epoxy and polished to reveal their internal structure and
interpretation from Eden Yuturi, Apaika and Nenke oil elds. In imaged using a JEOL 6400 scanning electron microscope. Appro-
addition, new UePb detrital zircon ages were obtained within the priate zircons were ablated with a NewWave UP-213 excimer
M1 sandstone and the overlying Tena Formation. ablation system at a 30-mm diameter beam size, 10-Hz repetition
The objectives of this study are: (1) to interpret depositional rate, 60-s signal, and a beam intensity of 2.5 J/cm2. The isotopic
processes from core descriptions; (2) calibrate the depositional ratios were measured using a Thermo Scientic Xseries II. External
facies with wireline logs; (3) establish sand-body geometries using reference standards used to calibrate and monitor fractionation and
stratigraphic correlations of well logs and seismic data; (4) develop consistency in the measured U-Pb dates were either GJ1 (608.5 4
a depositional model by integrating core, outcrop, log, and seismic Ma; Jackson et al., 2004) zircon or Plesovice (337.13 0.37 Ma;
data; and (5) discuss the tectonic setting during the deposition of ma et al., 2008) zircon. Data reduction was carried out by the
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1209

laboratory staff using Iolite 3 (Paton et al., 2011) and VizualAge successions that retrograde from uvial to tide-dominated estua-
(Petrus and Kamber, 2012) software. rine, and then to open marine shelf environments. Facies transi-
tions within the next three stratigraphic units, the T, U, and M2
3. Regional geology sequences, are similar in stratigraphic architecture and trans-
gressive trend to the Holln Formation. For most of the Holln, T, U,
The Oriente Basin is part of a retro-arc foreland basin, one of the and M2 sedimentation periods, the basin was remarkably protected
Sub-Andean basins of northwestern South America (Gombojav and from large, open, oceanic waves and swells, a feature supporting
Winkler, 2008; Baby et al., 2013), located between the Andes to the the presence of a partial topographic barrier to the west (Jaillard,
east and the South American Craton to the west (Fig. 1). Develop- 1997; Vallejo et al., 2002; Gombojav and Winkler, 2008) The
ment of the Oriente Basin was closely controlled by the early dy- conguration of the Cretaceous Oriente Basin was, thus, somewhat
namics of the Northern Andes starting in the Jurassic period comparable with the late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway
(Spikings et al., 2015). The basin is bordered to the west by the (WIS) of the USA, though this basin shows abundant evidence of
primordial Eastern Cordillera and the Amazon Craton (Guyana ocean waves, as well as tides, and is not dominated by repeated
Shield) to the east (e.g., Ruiz et al., 2007; Gombojav and Winkler, transgressive intervals (Steel et al., 2012). Consequently, the Oriente
2008; Spikings et al., 2015). Basin appears to have been narrower than the WIS, relatively
The Cretaceous Ecuadorian Oriente Basin was developed as a protected from large waves and inuenced mainly by river and tidal
part of an epicontinental sea that included the Maran ~ on Basin in currents moving through the shallow Ecuadorian Cretaceous
Peru, as well as the Putumayo, Magdalena, and Llanos basins in seaway (e.g., Jaillard, 1997).
Colombia and the Barinas-Apure Basin in Venezuela (Balkwill et al., The M1 shale and M1 limestone of the Napo Formation (Fig. 2)
1995; Vallejo et al., 2002). The Oriente Basin, including the Napo were deposited during the Santonian transgression (Ordo n
~ ez et al.,
Uplift, has further developed as an eastward-pinching foreland 2006) and comprise mainly carbonates and shallow offshore and
basin since the Maastrichtian (Gombojav and Winkler, 2008) and shelf marine shales. During this period, the sea transgressed across
has yielded the majority of Ecuador hydrocarbons (Rivadeneira and the whole basin and the M1 limestone and associated shales is
Baby, 2004). There is general agreement that the Oriente Basin considered to be the maximum ooding zone of the Napo second-
initiated latest at z 115e100 Ma. This occurred after a long period order stratigraphic cycle. The organic-rich Upper Napo Shale (Fig. 2)
of extension between 145 and 120 Ma, which led to the formation is the youngest part of the Napo depositional system. In the west-
of grabens and half-grabens that were lled by evaporites, conti- ernmost part of the Oriente Basin, this member was deposited in a
nental debris ows, and shallow marine sediments of Middle shallow marine environment during the Campanian period
Jurassic age (Diaz et al., 2004; Gaibor et al., 2008; Spikings et al., (Jaillard, 1997; Vallejo et al., 2002). The deposition of the various
2015). The extension was followed by a period of compression overlying M1 sandstones and shales is more complex and some-
along the northern South American plate margin, which closed a what different from the previous four stratigraphic sequences in
series of fore-, inter-, and back-arc basins (Guamote, Peltetec, Alao, the basin and is the main subject of this paper.
and Upano basins) against the continent (Litherland et al., 1994; The establishment of prevailing continental depositional envi-
Spikings et al., 2015). In the Oriente Basin, this compression ronments in the Oriente Basin occurred from Maastrichtian times
created an unconformity above the pre-Cretaceous strata, which is and is represented by uvial sandstones and red beds from the
clearly observed in the seismic lines of the Oriente Basin (Balkwill continental Tena Formation (Tschopp, 1953; Caneld et al., 1982).
et al., 1995) and occurs below the Aptian to Albian Hollin Forma- There is a regional erosional unconformity separating the Napo
tion in this basin. Earlier authors ascribed this deformational event Formation from the Tena Formation. This unconformity represents
(Peltetec event) to the collision of allochthonous terranes erosion of the upper part of the Napo Formation and marks a sig-
between z 120 and 110 Ma (e.g., Litherland et al., 1994; Spikings nicant lithological change from shallow marine sediments of the
et al., 2015), creating a primordial Andean chain in the Eastern Napo Formation to overlying continental deposits of the Tena For-
Cordillera located to the west of the basin (Ruiz et al., 2007; mation. Along the western border of the basin, the erosion level
Gombojav and Winkler, 2008). Compression was followed by a below the Tena Formation reaches the Turonian-Coniacian M2
period of punctuated thermal subsidence, during which the limestone of the Napo Formation; whereas, along the eastern
Cretaceous strata were deposited. border of the basin, this unconformity separates the uvial to
The pre-Aptian unconformity formed paleotopographic de- coastal sediments of the Campanian M1 sandstone from the red
pressions that became lled by uvial deposits of the Holln For- beds of the Tena Formation (Fig. 2). During this late Cretaceous
mation (Fig. 2). Shanmugam et al. (2000) proposed four stages of deformation period, thick-skinned tectonics produced the inver-
deposition for this formation from oldest to youngest: 1) uvial sion of pre-Cretaceous extensional, mainly northward-striking fault
channels of low sinuosity, which may represent braided rivers; 2) systems (Balkwill et al., 1995; Baby et al., 2013). The inverted faults
tide-dominated estuaries; 3) continued drowning of the tide- propagated to the Cretaceous sedimentary series and gave rise to
dominated estuaries; and 4) a shelf environment. This transition the formation of N-S elongated folds, which form the main struc-
and the component environmental changes were clearly the result tural oil traps of the basin. This late Cretaceous deformation event is
of a major, long-term transgression (Boyd et al., 2006), probably likely related to the collision of fragments of the Caribbean Plateau
driven by tectonic downwarping and relative sea-level rise across against the continental margin of the Northern Andes (Luzieux
the new basin oor. Detrital sediment supply during deposition of et al., 2006; Vallejo et al., 2006).
the Holln Formation was routed from both the South American The Tena Formation is, in turn, overlain by the Paleocene to
craton and from a primordial, Cretaceous Andean cordillera Eocene alluvial fan conglomerates from the Tiyuyacu formation.
(Gombojav and Winkler, 2008). The Tiyuyacu Formation depicts the accelerated uplift of the An-
The Napo Formation, overlying the Holln Formation (Fig. 2), is a dean cordillera located to the west of the Oriente Basin (e.g.,
stratigraphic series that includes at least ve major stratigraphic Gombojav and Winkler, 2008).
sequences deposited from the Albian to the Campanian (White
et al., 1995; Vallejo et al., 2002; Barraga n et al., 2004). The rst 4. The M1 sandstone
two stratigraphic sequences (T and U) were deposited during
Albian and Cenomanian transgressions; they comprise marine The M1 sandstone member is one of the most prolic reservoirs
1210 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

Fig. 2. Regional Stratigraphic framework of the Cretaceous interval at the Oriente Basin, including the oil reservoir intervals (in yellow) and the sequence stratigraphic inter-
pretation (modied from Barragan et al., 2004). (For interpretation of the references to colour in this gure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

along the eastern reaches of the Oriente Basin, including the (Mathalone and Montoya, 1995).
Capiron-Tiputini oil play (Rivadeneira and Baby, 2004), where the In this study, we present cross sections from the M1 shale
Eden Yuturi, Apaika, Nenke, and the giant Ishpingo-Tambococha- member of the Napo Formation to the Tena Formation, depicting
Tiputini (ITT) oil elds are located. the stratigraphic structure of the M1 sandstone in the Eden Yuturi
The M1 sandstone member includes several sandstone intervals and Apaika elds (Fig. 3). These stratigraphic sections are attened
(Fig. 3) that were deposited on top of thick marine shale with some to the regional chronostratigraphic L marker. The overall stratal
limestone intercalations. This underlying ne-grained succession, stacking pattern of the M1 sandstone, as observed in wireline logs
dened as the M1 shale member, is dated to Santonian age at the of the study area, differs from what is observed in lower cycles (T, U)
Amo-1 well in the eastern part of the Oriente Basin (Jaillard, 1997). of the Napo Formation stratigraphy.
A regional stratigraphic marker within the M1 limestone was Fig. 3A shows a NE-SW stratigraphic correlation for the M1
identied as the L marker, a surface interpreted as the maximum sandstone member at the Eden Yuturi oil eld located 30 km north
ooding level of the Santonian transgression (Fig. 2), and is used as of Block 31. The M1 sandstone here consists of at least three sand
a chronostratigraphic datum for well correlations (Fig. 3). In the bodies that thin and almost disappear towards the southwest,
eastern part of the Oriente Basin, the M1 sandstone is overlain by where the sandstones are replaced by shale. An eastward thick-
red beds and discontinuous sandy strata from the Tena Formation. ening of the sands towards the proximal region is clearly observed
There is an east-to-west thinning of the strata between the L in the well correlation.
marker and the top of the M1 sandstone. Regional thickness maps The gamma ray logs through the M1 sandstone succession
for the M1 sandstone, itself, also indicate a maximum thickness of shows clearly that it consists of an alternation of shale and sand-
200 ft near the Peruvian border (Dashwood and Abbotts, 1990; stone. Both the uppermost and lowermost sandstone horizons in
Barraga n et al., 2004), but the unit thins or disappears in the cen- Fig. 3A are shown to be progradational because of the upward-
tral part of the basin (Sacha-Shushundi corridor). No outcrop or coarsening shale-to-sandstone log patterns. However, the middle
subsurface type section has been described for the M1 sandstone. of the three sandstones is sharp based.
In Peru, the lateral equivalent of the M1 sandstone is the Vivian Fig. 3B is a N-S stratigraphic correlation within the Apaika oil
Formation, which is the main reservoir of the Maran ~ on Basin eld, depicting a lateral thickness change of the M1 sandstone. The
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1211

Fig. 3. Stratigraphic sections across the M1 Sandstone. (A) West to East stratigraphic section of the M1 sandstone at the Eden Yuturi oil eld. (B) Stratigraphic section of the M1
Sandstone at the Apaika oil eld. Note the wedge-shaped geometry of the sands.

thickest part of the sandstone is located within the APKA-06 well as the shale between the sandstones. Careful viewing of the sand-
area; whereas, a progressive thinning of the sandstone occurs to- stones in Apaika M1 wells in Fig. 3B shows that the M1 sandstone
wards the APKA-02 well, becoming more dramatic at the APKA-14 consists of an upper sand that is upward coarsening and is amal-
well, where the sandstone disappears. gamated to a lower, sharp-based sand, just as in Eden Yuturi. The
The stratigraphic correlation of the M1 sandstone in Apaika intervening shale is absent because the Apaika wells lie in a more
(Fig. 3B), is somewhat similar to Eden Yuturi; however, the lower- proximal paleogeographic position. The upward-coarsening, upper
most sandstone of the Eden Yuturi wells (Fig. 3A) is missing, as well sandstone level in both elds (and the lowermost sandstone in the
1212 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

Eden Yuturi Field) represent deltas that clinoformed as they pro- the APKA-02 well (Fig. 5). The samples yielded abundant paly-
graded westwards, and an abrupt pinch-out of sand can be nomorphs, but were barren in foraminifera and calcareous nan-
observed towards the southwest. However, the sharp-based, blocky nofossils. Palynomorphs included the cysts of the dinoagellate,
sandstone (the middle sand in Eden Yuturi wells, and the lower Dinogymnium sp, Dinogymnium aff rigaudae of Campanian to
sand in Apaika) is likely to be transgressive and of estuarine origin. Maastrichtian age (Boltenhagen, 1977), Dinogymnium cf. digitatus of
It is very common in stratigraphy that transgressive and regressive Coniacian-Maastrichtian age, and Dinogymnium acuminatum of
sands alternate, during the construction of shelf platforms, by Campanian to Maastrichtian age (Evitt et al., 1967). Palynomorphs
repeated back-and-forth transits of the sediment delivery system also include the pollen, Tricolporites sp, and Camarozonosporites sp
(Steel et al., 2008). Discontinuous sand packages also occur towards trilete spores. Therefore, the palynomorphic association suggests a
the base of the M1 sandstone member, most likely representing the Campanian to Maastrichtian age, with sediments reecting a
distal parts of older clinoforms. shallow marine to coastal environment. These data are consistent
Fig. 4 represents a net-sand isopach map of the combined M1 with previous biostratigraphic studies in the M1 sandstone mem-
sandstone reservoir for the Apaika and Nenke oil elds of Block 31. ber, which indicated a Campanian age for this reservoir at the Eden
The map depicts lobate geometries for the M1 sandstone member, n
Yuturi and ITT oil elds (Raynaud et al., 1993; Miles, 2003; Ordo ~ ez
with an overall west-northwestward progradation direction. et al., 2006). As indicated earlier, the Upper Napo Shale member of
Distally on the Apaika wedge, both the transgressive basal sand and the Sub-Andean zone is also dated as Campanian; therefore, the M1
the overlying regressive clinoform sand become thinner. At the sandstone of the eastern part of the Oriente Basin was coeval with
Apaika area, the lateral discontinuity of the sand distribution the Upper Napo Shale of the westernmost part of the Oriente Basin.
within the M1 sandstone member was conrmed when drilling the According to Jaillard (1997) and Vallejo et al. (2002), the paly-
APKA-14 well (Fig. 4), which failed to nd sandstones. This well nomorph assemblage of the Upper Napo Shale along the western
crossed a mud-rich interlobate area that separates the Apaika from parts of the basin is dominated by a high diversity of di-
the Apaika Sur sandy lobes. noagellates, suggesting a normal marine environment for this

4.1. Age of the M1 sandstone in the Apaika oil eld 5. Lithofacies of the M1 sandstone in the APKA-02 well core

Three samples were collected in this study for biostratigraphic There have been few published sedimentological studies on the
analyses within the M1 sandstone member from a cored section of M1 sandstone member, mostly due to the lack of a continuous
cored section of this reservoir. For this study, we had access to a
cored interval of the M1 sandstone from the APKA-02 well located
in the Apaika area (Fig. 5). Cores were examined for (1) bedding
contacts, (2) bed-thickness variations, (3) grain size, (4) lithologic
variations, (5) primary physical-sedimentary structures, (6) bio-
logical sedimentary structures, (7) syndepositional and post-
depositional sedimentary structures, and (8) oil staining.
The core description and the environmental interpretations
have subsequently been calibrated against the local and regional
seismic data. Despite the fact that the analyzed cored section is not
complete, the cores help us to interpret the depositional processes
involved during the sedimentation of the M1 sandstone member at
the Apaika and neighbouring areas. The APKA-02 well includes a
cored section of 92 ft, and the lithofacies characteristics are sum-
marized in Table 1.

5.1. Mudstones (F1)

5.1.1. Description
Lithofacies F1 is located at the base of the M1 cored section from
the Apaika and consists of massive, black to grey-colored claystone
(Fig. 6A). Bioturbation is absent in this lithofacies.

5.1.2. Interpretation
The muddy nature of this lithofacies and the absence of bio-
turbation suggest stressed conditions and probably high-
sedimentation rates consistent with a shallow marine settings.

5.2. Breccia (F2)

5.2.1. Description
Lithofacies F2 include centimetric blocks of intra-basinal
reworked material, supported by a matrix of poorly sorted
medium-to coarse-grained sand. Some of the clasts, as observed in
the cored section and image logs (Fig. 5), are estimated at
Fig. 4. Net sand isopach map from the base to the top of the M1 Sandstone Member at approximately 30-cm long. Clasts are subangular and internally
the Apaika and Nenke oil elds. Note the lobate nature of the sands. deformed (Fig. 6B). A petrographic analysis (Fig. 7A) shows that the
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1213

Fig. 5. Logs showing the lithology, stratigraphy, sedimentological features, lithofacies associations, image log and paleocurrent data of the M1 sandstone from a cored section in
APKA-02 well at the Apaika oil eld.
1214 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

sandstone is composed of >80% quartz grains, 5% silt and <15% hyperpycnite character, which would be common on the front of a
autigenic clay (mainly kaolinite). Calcareous cement is locally river-dominated delta. There was occasional reworking of these
present. The quartz grains are subangular to subrounded. thin turbidites by waves. Where F4 occurs in the lower part of the
core, the rhythmic beds could be of tidal current origin, probably
5.2.2. Interpretation associated to estuarine tidal channels.
The chaotic nature of these deposits suggest a gravitational
collapse by subaqueous gravity-induced mass movements. The 5.5. Inverse-graded beds (F5)
sediments were likely supplied from unstable slopes. These
collapse features are similar to the slope failures identied on some 5.5.1. Description
modern submarine slopes downdrift of large river mouths (Nemec Lithofacies F5 is dominated by inverse-graded sandstone beds
et al., 1988). Another possible interpretation is that the gravity- approximately 1-ft thick (Fig. 6E). Grain size varies from ne-
induced collapse was on the margin of an estuarine channel. medium sands to granule-size quartz grains. The graded beds are
Gravel or breccia can easily occur by bank collapse into the thalweg capped by thin layers of rippled sandstones. Wood, leaves, and
of a large channel, and the F2 lithofacies can occur above the sharp other plant fragments occur occasionally. A petrographic analysis
base of the lowermost part of the basal blocky M1 sandstone. shows that this lithofacies is composed of >70% quartz, 20% silt, and
<10% authigenic clays (Fig. 7D). The quartz grains are subangular to
5.3. Medium-to coarse-grained heterogeneous sands (F3) subrounded. The thin layers of rippled sandstones present organic-
rich laminae. Paleocurrent data obtained from this lithofacies and
5.3.1. Description the associated F3 lithofacies indicates a west-northwest transport
Lithofacies F3 includes poorly sorted medium-to coarse-grained direction (Fig. 5).
sandstone. Elongated mudstone clasts and coal fragments occur at
the top of individual beds and, in some cases, parallel to the 5.5.2. Interpretation
stratication (Fig. 6C). Contorted mud layers also occur intercalated The inverse grading of the sandy matrix can be explained by
within this lithofacies. The individual beds have sharp upper con- dispersive pressure in grain ows (Bagnold, 1954) or in other types
tacts (Fig. 6C). A petrographic analysis indicates that the sandstone of sediment gravity-ow deposits (Naylor, 1980). This is because
include >80% subangular to subrounded quartz grains, 5% silt, 5% larger particles in high-concentration granular ows tend to be
detritical clays and <10% autigenic clays (Fig. 7B). pushed upward toward the free, upper surface of the ow due to
internal grain collision (Shanmugam, 2012). Inverse grading is also
5.3.2. Interpretation diagnostic of the acceleration of sediment-laden hyperpycnal ows
The poorly sorted nature of this lithofacies suggests mass ow that have reached maximum capacity during a waxing river ood
processes. The presence of oating mudstone clasts with planar (Mulder et al., 2003; Bhattacharya, 2010). The association of the
fabric near the top of the sandstone beds suggest laminar ow inverse-graded beds with small, sandy debris ows is consistent
conditions typical of debris ows with plastic rheology with hyperpycnal delta-front ows from the river mouth in asso-
(Shanmugam et al., 1994). Sharp upper contacts at the top of the ciation with other delta-front collapse episodes.
sand beds are interpreted as evidence of deposition by en masse
freezing, which is typical of debris ow processes (Shanmugam, 5.6. Heterolithic lithofacies (F6)
2012). The coal fragments were derived from terrestrial areas and
transported by rivers. 5.6.1. Description
Lithofacies F6 occurs at the top of the analyzed section and
5.4. Rhythmic layers of ripple-laminated sand and mud (F4) consists of intercalations of silt-to ne-grained sands with mud.
The individual beds are greater than 1-cm thick, with sharp bases
5.4.1. Description and normal grading. The parallel-laminated sand presents small-
Lithofacies F4 includes rhythmic layers of ripple-laminated scale load structures of ne to very ne grain size. Some of the
sandstone and mudstone. Rhythmic occurrence of mud and sand sandstone beds are overlain by ripples (Fig. 6F). Many of the thinner
layers present normal grading and sharp-based beds (Fig. 6D). siltstone or very-ne-grained sandstone laminae are lenticular and
Small-scale load structures are also characteristic of these in- appear to have formed starved ripples (Fig. 6F). This lithofacies also
tercalations. The ripples are symmetrical, resembling wave ripples, displays low intensities of bioturbation and phytodetrital material.
and sometimes truncated at the top. Hummocky cross-
stratication can also occur within this lithofacies. Cm-scale beds 5.6.2. Interpretation
of F3 lithofacies are frequently intercalated with this lithofacies, Sedimentary structures include sharp-based beds that show
which is composed of 30e60% quartz, 20e40% silt, 5% detritical normal grading and are capped by ripples indicative of sustained
clays, and <15% autigenic clays (Fig. 7C). The quartz grains are ows that waned. The associated thin-bedded mudstones and ne-
subangular to subrounded. grained sandstones may suggest a dilute hyperpycnal ows, as they
contain organic material with sharp but not erosive bases (Petter
5.4.2. Interpretation and Steel, 2006). This lithofacies is similar to modern hyper-
The sharp-based beds capped by ripples suggest decelerating pycnite sediments produced by direct uvial discharges generally
waning ows from river oods (Bhattacharya and Walker, 1991) or related to river oods (e.g., Mulder and Syvitski, 1995), deposited in
dilute turbiditic currents as the ow emerged from a channel and a distal delta front to prodeltaic setting.
changed from conned to unconned (Ambrose et al., 2009). The
loading indicates that the muds were less dense than the overlying 6. Seismic data interpretation
denser sandstones. The presence of wave ripples and mud drapes,
together with occasional hummocky cross-stratication, suggest Three-dimensional (3-D) post-stack seismic data from Block 31
possible wave-reworking processes (Shanmugam, 2012). Therefore, was available for this study. The seismic data were migrated in time
this lithofacies, when present in the upward-coarsening, part of the with a bin size of 25  25 m. After a frequency analysis, the seismic
sandy core, may represent ne-grained turbiditic ows, possibly of resolution was estimated to be 80 ft on average. Stratigraphic
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1215

Table 1
Lithofacies description and palaeoenvironmental interpretation.

Lithofacies Lithology Processes and depositional environment

F1: Mudstones Massive claystone of black to grey color. Low energy shallow marine to prodeltaic
F2: Breccia Centimetric intrabasinal blocks in a matrix formed Gravitational collapse by recurrent subaqueous
by medium to coarse grained sands. gravity induced mass movements in submarine
slopes, or gravity-induced collapse on the margin of
an estuarine channel.
F3: Medium to coarse grained heterogeneous sands Poorly sorted medium to coarse grained sandstone. Debris ows deposited by en masse freezing in a
Elongated mudstone clasts and coal fragments delta front.
occur at the top. Locally contorted mud layers.
F4: Rhythmic layers of sand and mud intercalated Rythmic layers of sand and mud intercalated with Fine-grained turbiditic ows, possibly of
with ripples wavy rippled sandstones. hyperpycnite character, reworked by waves in a
river-dominated delta front.
F5: Inverse graded beds Inverse graded ne-medium sandstones capped by Hyperpycnal delta-front ows.
thin layers of rippled sandstones.
F6. Heterolithic lithofacies Intercalations of silt to ne grained sands with Low-density hyperpycnal ow in a distal delta front
muds. to prodeltaic environment.

surfaces identied from core and/or well logs were tied to seismic The geometries depicted by the stratigraphic correlations,
horizons and mapped for the entire area. Root mean square (RMS) sedimentological processes identied in the core descriptions, and
amplitude extractions from the 3-D seismic cube were performed the seismic data indicate that the M1 sandstone reservoir in the
to dene the geometry of the sands within the M1 sandstone Apaika, Nenke and Eden Yuturi areas was deposited as a thin lower
member in the Apaika and Nenke areas. This technique was applied tier of estuarine channels and a thicker upper tier of prograding
to better dene the sandstone limits. Fig. 8 represents a plan view delta lobes. This would explain the lateral discontinuity of the
of a time window within the M1 sandstone. In the map, the cooler sandstone observed in the Apaika and Nenke areas, a feature typical
colours (lower amplitudes) represent muddy sediments, while the of debris ow lobes (Shanmugam and Moiola, 1991; Shanmugam
areas with higher amplitude (yellow to red) are interpreted to be et al., 1994).
sand rich. The geometries dened after this amplitude extraction In the case of the deltas, the delta-front slope is known to be
depict lobe geometries for the M1 sandstone in the Apaika and inherently unstable and prone to debris-ow processes (Nemec,
Nenke areas and the neighbouring Apaika Sur. 1990). The palynomorph association, which is interpreted in
Fig. 9A and B show a southwest-to-northeast-oriented seismic terms of coastal environments, supports this interpretation. The
fence and another seismic line depicting the internal structure of high abundance of coal fragments and the abundance of phytode-
the M1 sandstone lobe in the Apaika area. The wedge-shaped ge- trital material derived from continental areas identied in the
ometry of the bed succession is evident and is similar to what was cored intervals suggest direct river input into the basin (Plink-
observed from the wireline log correlations (Fig. 3), demonstrating Bjo rklund and Steel, 2006). Down-dip, clinoform cross-sectional
that the prograding clinoforms that form the upper level of M1 architecture identied in the seismic data is also consistent with
sandstone oil reservoirs can be seismically mapped. The clinoform westward-dipping, prograding delta lobes.
slope geometry of the individual sand bodies is also evident, which In our interpretation, debris ows were likely sourced by a
(in the context of a river-dominated delta front) can also explain the delta-front collapse, a process known to occur elsewhere in the
gravitational sedimentary processes observed in the analyzed geological record (e.g., Nemec et al., 1988). Cross-stratication is
cored section of the APKA-02 well. rare, which suggests that sedimentation was rapid, impeding the
development of these traction structures. However, farther east for
7. Depositional environment of the M1 sandstone the Vivian Formation of northern Peru, Radomski et al. (2010) re-
ported the presence of abundant trough cross-bedded sandstones
According to the log patterns and cored lithofacies as described with interbedded coaly organics, gutter scours, rhizoliths, calcrete
above, the M1 sandstone in the Apaika area of the Oriente Basin of horizons, and a lack of observable trace fossils. Similar facies with
Ecuador is likely to have been deposited in two different environ- abundant cross-bedded sandstones were observed in cores of the
ments: the sharp-based basal beds with blocky log pattern, M1 sandstone at the ITT oil elds (Vallejo et al., 2015), east of the
rhythmic tidal beds and breccia-collapse bank margins are likely to Apaika and Nenke areas (Fig. 1). These observations suggest the
have originated in estuarine channels developed thinly during the presence of channelized facies to the east of the study area, in a
transgression of the area; the thicker and upward-coarsening proximal part of the system.
succession dominated by mass-ow deposits, particularly sandy In the studied deltaic part of the succession, we recognized
mass-transport deposits, are likely to represent regressive deltas delta-front and pro-delta lithofacies (Fig. 5), with no representation
that prograded westwards across the Apaika area. The presence of of proximal delta-front facies or evidence of subaerial exposures.
oating mudstone clasts, inverse grading, and sharp upper contacts However, in the present study, we did not have a continuous cored
of individual beds, which are typical of hyperpycnal ows and section of the transition from the described deltaic sediments to
sandy debris ows, support this interpretation. There was also shallower facies. Overlying the Campanian M1 sandstone, there is
some inuence of wave-reworking of sediments. The absence of an important change in sedimentation. Electric log data and cut-
bioturbation suggests high sedimentation rates (e.g., MacEachern tings description indicate a regional change from the subaqueous
et al., 2005). The presence of mass-ow deposits and hyper- sediments of the M1 sandstone to red beds of the Tena Formation,
pycnites suggests river ooding and gravitational instability on the which represent a different sedimentary cycle when compared
river-dominated delta front, which, according to the seismic with the M1 sandstone (see provenance analysis).
interpretation, can be related to low-angle, subaqueous, prograding
1216 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

Fig. 6. Lithofacies of the M1 sandstone at the APKA-02 well cored section. (A) Claystone sediments underlying the base of the M1 Sandstone Member (F1 lithofacies); (B) Brecciated
sediments presenting deformed clats of intrabasinal origin (F2 lithofacies); (C) Poorly sorted medium to coarse grained sandstone. It includes elongated mudstone clasts at the top
of the bed, parallel to the stratication, and sharp upper bed contact (F3 lithofacies); (D) Rythmic layers of ripple-laminated sandstone and mudstone, including wave ripples and
hummocky cross stratication (F4 lithofacies); (E) Inverse-graded sandstone beds capped by thin layers of rippled sandstones (F5 lithofacies); (F) Sharp-based sandstone inter-
calated with mudstones in cm-scale beds. Sandstone show grading, load structures and organic matter laminae (F6 lithofacies).

8. Provenance analysis also selected for detrital zircon dating. One of the samples (ISHP-
01T) came from the ISHP-01 well in the neighbouring ITT oil elds
Three samples from the M1 sandstone member at the APKA-02 (Fig. 1), and a second sample (BT-001) was collected in the Sub-
and one sample from the ITT oil elds (ISHP-01M) were collected andean zone of the Oriente Basin (Puyo area). The ISHP-01T sample
for provenance analysis. These samples were taken at different of the Tena Formation was taken above the late-Cretaceous un-
depths within the Campanian M1 sandstone member (Fig. 5). In conformity, which separates the M1 sandstone member from the
addition, two samples of the Maastrichtian Tena Formation were Tena Formation at the ITT. The BT-001 sample was also taken above
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1217

Fig. 7. Representative thin sections of the M1 Sandstone oil reservoir from the APKA-02 well at the Apaika oil eld.

the late Cretaceous unconformity that separates the M2 limestone volcanism had an intraplate origin and was restricted to the
from the Tena Formation in the Sub-Andean zone. western part of the Cretaceous Putumayo-Oriente-Maran ~ on basins.
Histograms represent the age distribution of the four analyzed Therefore, we suggest that the 80 to 100 Ma zircons within the Tena
samples of the M1 sandstone (Fig. 10). Concordant U/Pb of indi- Formation were derived from volcanic rocks of these ages exposed
vidual zircon grains for the analyzed samples were used for the age in the Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador during the Maastrichtian. These
histogram. The age histograms for the M1 sandstone in the Apaika rocks have been eroded in the Eastern Cordillera due to the uplift of
and ITT areas show a relatively wide range of ages, ranging from 1 the Andes.
to 3 billion years. However, the population of detrital zircons in the An important age population recorded in the Tena sandstone
range of 1.5e1.6 billion years is the most important. The ages of the ranges from 240 to 220 Ma. This imprint on the Tena Basin was
source regions overlap with the ages reported for the Rio Jurena possibly derived from the erosion of the Tres Lagunas S-type
lithotectonic province (Tassinari and Macambira, 1999). This prov- granitoid, which is exposed in the Eastern Cordillera and is dated
ince is located in the western part of the Amazon Craton, along a between 240 and 220 Ma (Litherland et al., 1994; Spikings et al.,
NW-SE trend approximately 2000-km long and 600-km wide, and 2015). The zircons dated from 400 to 600 Ma overlap ages re-
underlies parts of Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia (Fig. 11). The ported in the Palaeozoic rocks of the Eastern Cordillera (Spikings
basement of the Rio Negro-Jurena province is primarily composed et al., 2015). Few zircon ages are dated between 1000 and 1300
of gneiss and granitoids, with an age range of 1.8 to 1.55 Ga. Its Ma, which may correlate with zircons eroded from rocks belonging
northern part is predominantly composed of biotite monzogranites, to the Sunsas province (Litherland et al., 1985). A notable equivalent
while in the southern part, the basement rocks are composed of of such source rocks lies in southern Colombia, where the Garzo n
granitic gneisses and migmatites with tonalitic compositions. In Granulitic Belt is interpreted to represent an extension of the
general, the rocks are metamorphosed to amphibolite facies, Sunsas Belt. In general, the detrital zircon ages of the Tena For-
although some granulites are also present (Dall'Agnol and mation suggest that this formation was derived from the erosion of
Macambira, 1992). the Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador, as well as from the reworking of
The location of the Rio Negro-Jurena province is consistent with material from the South American Craton.
the expected direction of rivers that fed the delta dened for the
upper M1 sandstone; therefore, we can conrm an east-to-west 9. Geological setting of eastern Ecuador during the
direction of deltaic progradation. This direction is also consistent Campanian to Maastrichtian period
with the direction of clinoform progradation, as interpreted from
seismic data in the Apaika and Nenke areas. The tectonic evolution of the Northern Andes during Campanian
Detrital zircon ages of the Tena Formation (Fig. 10A and B) reveal to Maastrichtian time was strongly inuenced by collision of the
at least ve different age populations. The youngest zircons yielded Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) at z 75 Ma (Luzieux et al.,
ages between 80 and 100 Ma. Source regions with these ages are 2006; Vallejo et al., 2006). In Ecuador, this event caused a change
not known from the neighbouring areas. However, Barraga n et al. from shallow marine deposition of the Napo Formation to non-
(2005) dated a series of volcanic cones restricted to the western marine deposits of the Tena Formation (Gombojav and Winkler,
part of the Oriente Basin. Vasquez (2007) also reported the pres- 2008).
ence of Cretaceous volcanism at both anks of the Eastern Cordil- The analysed stratigraphic interval, which includes the M1
lera of Colombia. Both authors indicated that the Cretaceous sandstone of the Napo Formation and the lower part of the Tena
1218 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

Fig. 8. RMS amplitude time slice map from a window spanning the M1 sandstone in the Block 31 area. Brighter colors (yellow to red) correspond to layers that are interpreted to be
sand rich. Note the lobate shape of the anomalies representing the Nenke, Apaika, Apaika Sur oil elds. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this gure legend, the reader
is referred to the web version of this article.)

Formation, coincide with the time of the early collision between the clinoforms downlapping onto the former, shallow-dipping trans-
CLIP with the northwestern margin of South America. gressive deposits of the pre-Campanian section of the Napo For-
Deltaic progradation can be caused by either (1) an anomalously mation. Progradation of the Campanian delta occurred in the
high siliciclastic sediment ux with a relatively stable sea level or eastern part of the basin (Fig. 11), whereas marine conditions pre-
(2) a smaller sediment ux during deltaic forced regression with a vailed in the central and western parts.
relative sea-level fall (Edwards, 1981; Galloway, 1989). Local uplift Maastrichtian continuation of the regional deformation event in
of the South American craton caused an increase in clastic input to Ecuador and the early phases of the Andean Orogeny caused a
the Oriente Basin shelf margin during the Campanian, forcing dramatic change in sedimentation and the abandonment of the
progradation of clastic wedges. This resulted in delta-driven east-to-west drainage system that dominated during the
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1219

Fig. 9. Seismic interpretation of the M1 sandstone at the Apaika area. (A). Fence diagram showing three-dimensional RMS amplitude variation from the Apaika oil eld. Sandstones
in the M1 interval are likely indicated by high amplitude orange reectors, which represents the prograding clinoforms; (B) Southwest to northeast seismic section showing the
Apaike deltaic clinoforms. Clinoforms wedge towards the southwest, which is also consistent with the stratigraphic correlations based on wireline logs. (For interpretation of the
references to colour in this gure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

deposition of the Napo Formation. According to provenance ana- Colombia (Guerrero and Sarmiento, 1996; Villamil, 1999) includes
lyses, the sediments of the Maastrichtian Tena Formation were sandstone beds interpreted as part of a large progradational delta
derived from a different source than the underlying M1 sandstone. system sourced from the east (Villamil, 1999; Egbue and Kellogg,
The source of the Tena Formation was likely located in the Eastern 2012). In the Llanos foothills, the Guadalupe Group rests on San-
Cordillera, as suggested by the detrital zircon ages presented in this tonian shallow marine sediments of the Gacheta Formation (Egbue
study and previous provenance analyses (Ruiz et al., 2007; and Kellogg, 2012), which are correlatable with shallow marine
Gombojav and Winkler, 2008); Therefore, during this period, the sediments of the Napo Formation of Ecuador (Jacques, 2004).
drainage system switched from west to east, similar to the present Therefore, the delta system described for the M1 sandstone of the
drainage patterns in the Amazon Basin. Oriente Basin may have occupied large areas (Fig. 11). It is likely that
collision of the CLIP exed the South American plate, producing a
10. Comparison with neighbouring areas distal bulge along the outboard eastern margin of the Sub-Andean
basins, driving further sediment input from the Amazon Craton
The Campanian deltaic system in the eastern part of the Oriente immediately after an earlier transgressive phase.
Basin was probably not limited to Ecuador. The Campanian Gua- Detrital zircon ages of the Maatrichtian Tena Formation indicate
dalupe Group of the Llanos Basin and Eastern Cordillera of derivation from the Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador. This potential
1220 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

Fig. 10. A) Age histogram U-Pb LA-ICPMS zircon dating of the Campanian M1 sandstone and the Maastrichtian Tena Formation of the Oriente Basin.

source area continued into the Central Cordillera of Colombia (Silva et al., 2013), comparable to the Tena Formation. Although the
(Spikings et al., 2015). These sources include the Jurassic magmatic Umir Formation is restricted to proximal parts of the basin, detrital
arc (170-150 Ma), Triassic granitoids (230-220 Ma), and rocks input from the Central Cordillera is preserved in sediments accu-
younger than 150 Ma (Silva et al., 2013; Bayona et al., 2013; Horton mulated in proximal to medial parts of the basin (including the
et al., 2015). Magdalena Valley and Eastern Cordillera) but not the distal Llanos
For the Colombian segment, however, the arrival of detritus segment of the basin (Horton et al., 2010, 2015; Saylor et al., 2011;
from the Central Cordillera differs from Ecuador. In large segments Silva et al., 2013).
of the Magdalena Basin, Eastern Cordillera, and Llanos basin, In Ecuador, however, the clear and widespread input of Eastern
detritus from the Central Cordillera appeared in Maastrichtian to Cordillera detritus from the western to easternmost part of the
late Paleocene (Nie et al., 2012; Silva et al., 2013). During the basin during the Maastrichtian may reect contrasts in the distri-
Cretaceous, the Middle Magdalena Valley, Eastern Cordillera, and bution of subsidence and/or the regional continuity of the basin
Llanos basin constituted a major integrated sedimentary basin relative to Colombia. Maastrichtian and Palaeocene units derived
(Cooper et al., 1995; Horton et al., 2010, 2015). The axis of the basin from the Eastern Cordillera were deposited continuously along the
depocenter was located east of the Central Cordillera during Oriente Basin of Ecuador (Dashwood and Abbotts, 1990), similar to
Campanian-early Maastrichtian time (Mora et al., 2010a; Silva et al., the Late Cretaceous evolution of the neighbouring Putumayo Basin
2013) and then migrated eastward with progressive uplift of the of Colombia, which shares a stratigraphic and structural framework
Central Cordillera (Villamil, 1999), leading to selective recycling of similar to the Oriente Basin (Higley, 2001). In the Putumayo Basin,
Maastrichtian strata (Reyes-Harker et al., 2015). the Rumiyacu Formation is the lithological and time equivalent to
In Colombia, the Maastrichtian Umir and Seca formations the Tena Formation and it was deposited continuously along the
recorded detrital zircons with U-Pb ages younger than 150 Ma basin (Gonalves et al., 2002; Mora et al., 2010b; Wolaver et al.,
C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223 1221

Fig. 11. Paleogeography of the Oriente Basin and neighbouring regions during the Campanian. Lithotectonic provinces map modied from Cordani et al. (2000). Areal extension of
the Campanian progradation in Colombia modied from Villamil (1999).

2015), although no provenance data are available for this formation. Correlation with neighboring regions in Colombia suggest that the
documented M1 sandstone delta lobes of the study area were
11. Conclusions probably part of a large delta system sourced from the east during
major Campanian progradation. Deltaic progradation was possible
The architecture of the Campanian M1 sandstone in the Eden linked to a regional tectonic event associated with the collision of
Yuturi, Apaika and Nenke areas of the eastern part of the Oriente the CLIP against the Northern Andes, producing an increase in
Basin, as indicated by wireline logs, well core data, and seismic sediment supply from the South American Craton.
interpretation, strongly suggests an initial erosively based trans- A provenance analysis from the Maastrichtian Tena Formation
gression followed by the development of a prograding delta system. indicate a continental-scale drainage reorganization during this
The progradation of the M1 sandstone occurred above a basal, period. Detrital U-Pb zircon ages record an input from the emerging
sandy estuarine unit and the underlying shale-prone Napo sedi- Eastern Cordillera of Ecuador, and the Central Cordillera of
mentation cycle. The basal estuarine sand was caused by an Colombia.
immediately prior transgression eastwards across the region. The The importance of dening a delta system for the M1 Sandstone
thickness maps of the M1 sandstone member present lobate shapes reservoir is that this type of reservoir is among the world's largest
that thin rapidly westward, a pattern that is consistent with an in areal extent (Woodroffe et al., 2006). However, because of the
east-to-west delta progradation. heterogeneities associated with the bed geometry and facies vari-
Provenance analyses indicate that the main source for the M1 ation along the deltaic clinoforms, rened geological models should
sandstone were rocks within an age range of 1.4e1.6 billion years be considered when the reservoirs are being modelled. The po-
and suggest that the sediments were mostly derived from the direct tential for stratigraphic traps within the deltaic system is very high
erosion of the Rio Negro Jurena lithotectonic province, located to due to the compartmentalization of the individual sandstone
the east of the studied area, within the South American Craton. clinoforms.
Moreover, the westward progradation of clastic weges is consistent Finally, the integration of core data, wireline logs, and seismic
with the overall paleogeography, paleocurrent data and prove- data is a powerful tool for describing the geometry and lateral
nance analyses that point to a source region located to the east. extension of this type of reservoir.
1222 C. Vallejo et al. / Marine and Petroleum Geology 86 (2017) 1207e1223

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