Characterization of Fault-Related Dolomite Bodies in Carbonate Reservoirs Using Lidar Scanning
Juliette Lamarche, Jean Borgomano, Bruno Caline, Franck Gisquet, Sylvain Rigaud, Stefan Schröder, Sophie Viseur, 2011. "Characterization of Fault-Related Dolomite Bodies in Carbonate Reservoirs Using Lidar Scanning", Outcrops Revitalized: Tools, Techniques and Applications, Ole J. Martinsen, Andrew J. Pulham, Peter D.W. Haughton, Morgan D. Sullivan
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Fault-related dolomite subsurface reservoirs are formed from fluid circulation that results in significant transformation of the reservoir properties. The geometry and internal organization of such dolomitic reservoirs remain difficult to image with seismics alone. A multi-scale approach is essential to understand and predict the diagenetic processes that control the exact 3D morphology of the dolomite with spatial precision and true dimensions, and consequently the reservoir properties. In this context, we propose an analytical workflow including field work, LIDAR scanning and numerical geology applied to dolomite outcrops in Mesozoic carbonates (SE France). The exposed dolomite-limestone contact exhibits sinuous, irregular and convolute shapes, which are either fault-parallel, bedding-parallel or chaotic. To characterize this complex distribution, we performed LIDAR scanning on 500 m x 150 m cliffs and road cuts with 4.5 cm to 1–1.5 cm average point spacing. The cloud is composed of 22 millions points comprising X, Y, Z, intensity, red, green, and blue attributes. Digitization of the limestone-dolomite boundary was performed in RiscanPro and GOCAD environments, for extracting the true 3D geometry of the dolomite body for further geostatistical and 3D facies modelling. This approach captures the large-scale geometry of the dolomite bodies. However, single RGB or intensity properties do not unequivocally reproduce small-scale (below ∼ 1 m) heterogeneities of the late diagenetic dolomite. Color changes induced by weathering or climatic conditions are of the same size range as the small-scale heterogeneities, thus they are not unique to allow automated tracking on the point set. As a result, the workflow remains time-consuming, and further work is needed to allow calibration of the LIDAR data points with mineralogy.
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Outcrops are fundamental to everything we hope to achieve in geological understanding. They are gateways to geological processes, earth history and they help ground-truth remote sensing applications. With increasing resolution of subsurface tools and techniques, one could be forgiven in believing that outcrops have had their day and their utility is less than in the past great eras of field mapping and the development of facies models. This premise is far from the truth and this new SEPM volume illustrates how new analytical techniques are revitalizing outcrops and in the process creating a wealth of new data and fresh geological understandings. In this book you will find a compilation of the growing arsenal of outcrop tools and techniques and a consideration of future developments. This collection of papers, delivered at a SEPM Research Conference on the West coast of Ireland in the summer of 2008, is a smorgasbord of case studies, workflows, modeling, and applications which spans clastic and carbonate settings. Whatever your interest in outcrop geology and its application there is something in this volume for you. If you are seeking guidance for using new outcrop tools, looking for efficiencies in data collection or desiring new insights for old and favorite outcrops, this volume is a must have. This volume also makes an excellent reference or textbook for any group of professionals or students working or studying the new technologies that have allowed new insights from outcrops. We also consider this a superbly timed publication because many new outcrop tools are now becoming mainstream via reduced purchase and operating costs. Once you read this volume, and there are reduced prices for SEPM members and students, please share your new experiences with the authors and editors and help continue the revitalization of our shared and continually surprising outcrop library of the earth.