Techniques for Modeling Compaction Applied to the Pinnacle Reef/Carbonate/Evaporite Environment
David E. Hamilton, William G. Riehl, 1992. "Techniques for Modeling Compaction Applied to the Pinnacle Reef/Carbonate/Evaporite Environment", Computer Modeling of Geologic Surfaces and Volumes, David E. Hamilton, Thomas A. Jones
Download citation file:
Evaporites and carbonates deposited above pinnacle reefs in the northern trend of the Michigan basin demonstrate surface geometries commonly associated with compaction. This is due primarily to postdepositional sediment loading and dewatering of the carbonates. Geometries seen in densely drilled areas include: (1) dips away from reef flanks into thicker, more compacted areas, (2) structural highs over reefs where thinner portions of a unit have compacted less than thicker portions, and (3) mimicking of the surface upon which a compacted unit was deposited by the structural top of that compacted unit.
Computer-generated surface models in areas of sparse data do not demonstrate these geometries when standard modeling techniques are used, but compaction features can be incorporated into computer-generated surface models. The technique for doing this is a series of steps which apply an estimate of percent compaction to a unit. The steps involve restoring the compacted unit tops to their precompacted positions, building the surface models, and then compacting those models to create the present-day structures. The procedure also allows for propagating the compaction to intervals above the compacted unit (i.e. distributing the compaction through time).
The compaction procedure described here was applied to carbonates above and adjacent to pinnacle reefs in the Michigan basin. The compaction effects were also incorporated into surface models of evaporites immediately above the compacted units. The procedure improved surface models in dense-data areas and produced reasonable compacted surface forms in sparse-data areas. The geometries in areas of sparse data were similar to those in dense-data areas.