We introduce a seismic-sedimentological approach for mapping high-frequency (fourth-order) sequences and systems tracts using well and three-dimensional seismic data. Key techniques include (1) conditioning seismic data to log lithology by 90° phasing for better well-log integration and (2) imaging and interpreting the sequential, planoform geomorphology of the depositional systems. We recommend a new interpretation procedure that shifts the emphasis of high-frequency sequence-stratigraphic studies from interpreting vertical seismic sections to analyzing more horizontal, high-resolution, seismic-geomorphologic information.

This case study shows that stratal slicing in lithology-conditioned seismic data provides sequential seismic imagery of generally contemporaneous depositional systems. This imagery, in turn, serves as a basis for recognizing and mapping high-frequency systems tracts, sequence boundaries, and sequences in a geologic-time domain. In Miocene strata of offshore Louisiana, fourth-order sequences or sequence sets from well data can be seismically mapped at a resolution equivalent to 30 ft (10 m) in thickness from a 30-Hz dominant-frequency seismic data set. The resolution is sufficient for an accurate reconstruction of the high-frequency sequence-stratigraphic framework in the region of seismic coverage outside well control.

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