March 2019: Charlie Harman

Charlie Harman | Whiting


Quantified Facies Distribution and Sequence Geometry of the Yates Formation, Slaughter Canyon, New Mexico


This study uses a new integrated outcrop data and airborne lidar from Slaughter Canyon, New Mexico, to quantitatively characterize the cycle-scale facies architecture within the G23-G26 high frequency sequences of the Yates Formation. High frequency cycle-scale mapping of these sequences shows sedimentological evidence for accommodation reduction associated with the Permain composite sequence (CS) 13 highstand (G23-G25). Development of the G26 HFS additionally demonstrates the isochronous balance of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic deposition across the Yates-Capitan reef-rimmed shelf during the initial CS-scale transgression following significant exposure and bypass of sand across the shelf. Detailed individual-HFS reconstruction was required to correctly correlate cycles across multiple syndepositional fault zones.

            This sequence framework is quantitatively analyzed using progradation to aggradation (P/A) ratios, facies tract dip widths, and facies bedding angles to characterize the spatial evolution of depositional environments as they respond to the interplay of eustacy and syndepositional deformation. Individual facies distributions and cycle stacking patterns largely reflect eustatic change; while syndepositional faulting locally alters facies, cycle, and sequence thicknesses. The accommodation trends recorded in this largely shelf crest to shelf margin window can be additionally projected into the middle shelf producing zones of the prolific Yates-aged reservoirs on the Northwest Shelf and Central Basin Platform. The syndepositional fault zones may also correlate to drilling hazards encountered while pursing deeper unconventional targets in the Delaware Basin.

BIOGRAPHY: Charlie Harman

Charlie Harman grew up in Southport, CT and received his BS in Geology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York in 2009. He was lucky to do field work in Croatia looking at Cretaceous carbonates and wrote an undergraduate thesis on the Aptian stage outcrops in Southern Croatia. He then moved to Austin, TX to attend UT and pursue a master’s at the Jackson School of Geoscience under Dr. Charlie Kerans. He continued to work carbonates in the field and in core with the Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory (RCRL) consortium which led to a thesis (2011) in Slaughter Canyon in the Guadalupe Mts. focusing on the mixed carbonate-clastic facies and sequence geometry of the Yates Formation. He moved to Denver, CO in the fall of 2011 and has worked for Whiting Petroleum in various roles since, currently holding the title of Geology Discipline Manager. Charlie enjoys live music, outdoor adventures, and is ecstatic to be just past 2 months into fatherhood.