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Methods for generating seismic facies maps have developed significantly in the last decade. These methods include facies mapping based on seismic geomorphology and sequence attribute extractions (Posamentier and Kolla, 2003). The results of these methods are used to define depositional systems, erosion, paleotopography, and inferred lithology estimation.

The seismic geomorphology technique is similar to back-stripping of a geologic sequence that represents a certain time-stratigraphic surface. We analyze depositional features from timeslices and windowed attribute extractions in a flattened volume within a stratigraphic sequence. Facies can be inferred from the resulting interpreted maps, which basically confine the variation in seismic reflections. Such variation, caused by geology change within seismic sequences and systems tracts, is expressed by change in reflection pattern, amplitude, and frequency (i.e., chaotic, hummocky, continuous). This technique produces quick and efficient results that capture the lateral changes in reflection pattern geometries.

In this article, we demonstrate how we deployed seismic geomorphology and attribute extraction to build out the facies in a third-order sequence. We show an example in the Laguna Madre area, a 3-D cube that extends over 2000 km2 southeast of the Tuxpan Platform. This research is part of a study done by the Bureau of Economic Geology to investigate Neogene hydrocarbon plays in the Tuxpan area.

Reprinted from Extended Abstracts of the AAPG International Conference, October 24 –27, 2004, Cancun, Mexico.

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