Mapping of seismic and lithological facies is a very complex process, especially in regions with low seismic resolution caused by extensive salt layers, even when only an exploratory view of the distribution of the reservoir facies is required. The aim of this study was to apply multi-attribute analysis using an unsupervised classification algorithm to map the carbonate facies of an exploratory presalt area located in the Outer high region of the Santos Basin. The interval of interest is the Barra Velha Formation, deposited during the Aptian, which represents an intercalation of travertines, stromatolites, grainstones and spherulitic packstones, mudstones, and authigenic shales, which were deposited under hypersaline lacustrine conditions during the sag phase. A set of seismic attributes, calculated from a poststack seismic amplitude volume, was used to characterize geological and structural features of the study area. We applied k-means clustering in an approach for unsupervised seismic facies classification. Our results show that at least three seismic facies can be differentiated, representing associations of buildup lithologies, aggradational or progradational carbonate platforms, and debris facies. We quantitatively evaluated the seismic facies against petrophysical properties (porosity and permeability) from available well logs. Seismic patterns associated with the lithologies helped identify new exploration targets.

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