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The reserves, or extractable fraction, of the fuel-mineral endowment are sufficient to supply the bulk of the world's energy requirements for the immediately forseeable future-well into the next century according to even the most pessimistic predictions. But increasingly sophisticated exploration concepts and technology must be employed to maintain and, if possible, add to the reserve base. Most of the world's fuel-mineral resources are in sedimentary rocks. Any procedure or concept that helps describe, under stand, and predict the external geometry and internal attributes of major sedimentary units can therefore contribute to discovery and recovery of coal, uranium, and petroleum. While conceding the desirability of renewable and nonpolluting energy supply from gravitational, wind, or solar sources, the widespread deployment of these systems lies far in the future-thus the continued commercial emphasis on conventional nonrenewable fuel mineral resources, even though their relative significance will fluctuate with time. For example, a decade ago the progilostications for uranium were uniformly optimistic. But in the early 1980s the uranium picture is quite sombre, although unlikely to remain permanently depressed. Whether uranium soars to the heights of early expectations remains to be seen. Problems of waste disposal and public acceptance persist. Fusion reactors may ultimately eliminate the need for uranium in power generation, but for the next few decades there will be continued demand for uranium to fuel existing power plants and those that come on stream. This book is, to some extent, a hybrid.
1 The Fuel-Mineral Resource Base.- 2 Approaches to Genetic Stratigraphic Analysis.- Depositional Architecture.- Quantitative Facies Mapping.- Wire-Line Logs.- Seismic Stratigraphie Analysis.- Recognition of Depositional Systems—An Example.- Facies Models—Reference Points.- Integrated Genetic Stratigraphy.- 3 Alluvial-Fan Systems.- Processes Acting on Alluvial Fans.- Wet (Stream-Dominated) Alluvial Fans.- Arid-Region Fans.- Fan Deltas.- Basin-Fill Geometry.- 4 Fluvial Systems.- Depositional Processes.- Fluvial Facies.- The Spectrum of Fluvial Depositional Systems.- Basin Analysis and Fluvial-System Evolution.- Ancient Fluvial Systems.- 5 Delta Systems.- Delta Process Framework.- Process Classification of Delta Systems.- Fluvial-Dominated Deltas.- Wave-Dominated Deltas.- Tide-Dominated Deltas.- Recognition and Interpretation of Ancient Delta Systems.- 6 Clastic Shore-Zone Systems.- Depositional Processes.- Shore-Zone Facies.- Shore-Zone Systems in Basin Analysis.- Shore-Zone Systems Through Geologic Time.- 7 Terrigenous Shelf Systems.- Processes on Shelves.- Shelf Facies.- The Spectrum of Shelf Systems.- 8 Terrigenous Slope and Basin Systems.- Slope Processes.- Gravity Mass Transport.- Deep-Ocean Tidal Currents.- Pelagic Sedimentation.- Major Types of Terrigenous Slope and Basin Systems.- Slope-Wedge Stratigraphy.- 9 Lacustrine Systems.- Lacustrine Processes.- Lacustrine Facies.- Geometry, Distinguishing Characteristics, and Evolutionary Patterns in Lake Systems.- 10 Eolian Systems.- Texture.- Eolian Bedforms and Structures.- Interdune Facies.- Scale and Associations of Eolian Systems.- 11 Depositional Systems and Basin Hydrology.- Fundamentals of Ground-Water Flow.- Properties of the Aquifer Matrix.- Basin Geohydrology.- The Meteoric Flow Regime.- Compactional and Thermobaric Systems.- Hydrology of Depositional Systems.- Conclusion: Paleohydrology.- 12 Coal.- Coal-Forming Environments.- Coalification.- Coal Type.- Tectonic Setting of Coal Basins.- Coal-Bearing Cycles and Paleoenvironments.- General Factors Affecting Coal Seam Distribution.- Coals in Relation to Delta Type.- Coal-Bearing Deltaic Facies.- Fluvial Coals.- Fluvio-Deltaic Progradational Succession.- Alluvial-Fan Coals.- Paleoenvironmental Control Over Mineral Matter in Coal.- Paleoenvironmental Control Over Roof Conditions in Mines.- Geometry and Evolution of Coal Basins.- Coal Resource Estimates.- 13 Sedimentary Uranium.- The Uranium Cycle and Its Products.- Syngenetic Quartz-Pebble Conglomerate Deposits.- Syndiagenetic Uraniferous Lacustrine and Swamp Deposits.- Epigenetic Sandstone Uranium Deposits.- Applications to Resource Evaluation, Exploration, and Development.- 14 Petroleum.- Distribution of Petroleum in Time and Space.- Depositional Systems and Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production.- Occurrence of Petroleum in Depositional Systems.- Example: Intracratonic Basic Depositional Systems and Hydrocarbon Occurrence.- Example: Frio Depositional Systems, Northern Gulf Coast Basin.- References.