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3D Numerical Modelling and Sensitivity Analysis of the Processes Controlling Organic Matter Distribution and Heterogeneity—A Case Study from the Toarcian of the Paris Basin

1
Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris (ISTeP), Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France
2
ENGIE, 92930 Paris La Défense CEDEX, France
3
IFP Energies Nouvelles, 92852 Rueil-Malmaison CEDEX, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(11), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8110405
Received: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistical Applications in Petroleum Geology)
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Abstract

The active debate about the processes governing the organic-rich sediment deposition generally involves the relative roles of elevated primary productivity and enhanced preservation related to anoxia. However, other less spotlighted factors could have a strong impact on such deposits, e.g., residence time into the water column (bathymetry), sedimentation rate, transport behavior of organo-mineral floccules on the sea floor. They are all strongly interrelated and may be obscured in the current conceptual models inspired from most representative modern analogues (i.e., upwelling zones and stratified basins). To improve our comprehension of organic matter distribution and heterogeneities, we conducted a sensitivity analysis on the processes involved in organic matter production and preservation that have been simulated within a 3D stratigraphic forward model. The Lower-Middle Toarcian of the Paris Basin was chosen as a case study as it represents one of the best documented example of marine organic matter accumulation. The relative influence of the critical parameters (bathymetry, diffusive transport, oxygen mixing rate and primary production) on the output parameters (Total Organic Carbon, and oxygen level), determined performing a Global Sensitivity Analysis, shows that, in the context of a shallow epicontinental basin, a moderate primary productivity (>175 gC·m−2·year−1) can led to local anoxia and organic matter accumulation. We argue that, regarding all the processes involved, the presence and distribution of organic-rich intervals is linked as a first-order parameter to the morphology of the basin (e.g., ramp slope, bottom topography). These interpretations are supported by very specific ranges of critical parameters that allowed to obtain output parameter values in accordance with the data. This quantitative approach and its conclusions open new perspectives about the understanding of global distribution and preservation of organic-rich sediments. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic matter; TOC; global sensitivity analysis; modelling; Paris Basin; Toarcian organic matter; TOC; global sensitivity analysis; modelling; Paris Basin; Toarcian
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bruneau, B.; Villié, M.; Ducros, M.; Chauveau, B.; Baudin, F.; Moretti, I. 3D Numerical Modelling and Sensitivity Analysis of the Processes Controlling Organic Matter Distribution and Heterogeneity—A Case Study from the Toarcian of the Paris Basin. Geosciences 2018, 8, 405.

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