3D seismic interpretation of the Messinian Unconformity in the Valencia Basin, Spain
Jose Frey Martinez, Joseph A. Cartwright, Peter M. Burgess, Jose Vicente Bravo, 2004. "3D seismic interpretation of the Messinian Unconformity in the Valencia Basin, Spain", 3D Seismic Technology: Application to the Exploration of Sedimentary Basins, Richard J. Davies, Joseph A. Cartwright, Simon A. Stewart, Mark Lappin, John R. Underhill
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This paper documents the complex three-dimensional geometry of the Messinian Unconformity in the Tarraco concession area on the Ebro Shelf, based on the Tortuga 3D seismic survey. A detailed map of the Messinian Unconformity Surface has been constructed in the survey area, and shows a dendritic drainage pattern with valleys that are around 1 km wide, and 6-7 km in length. The overall morphology of the surface is strongly reminiscent of badlands topography, from semi-arid zone erosion of sandstone-shale sequences. The depth of incision of the valleys into the pre-Messinian clastic sequences is around 400 m. The results obtained confirm previous models of sub-aerial exposure creating erosion of the pre-Messinian shelf and slope sequences that generated the spectacular Messinian Unconformity.
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A ‘new age’ of subsurface geological mapping that is just as far ranging in scope as the frontier source geological mapping campaigns of the past two centuries in emerging. It is the direct result of the advent of 2D, and subsequently 3D, seismic data paralleled by advances in seismic acquisition and processing over the past three decades. Subsurface mapping is fuelled by the economic drive to explore and recover hydrocarbons but inevitably it will lead to major conceptual advances in Earth sciences, across a broader range of disciplines than those made during the 2D seismic revolution of the 1970s. Now that 3D seismic data coverage has increased and the technology is widely available we are poised to mine the full intellectual and economic benefits. This book illustrates how 3D seismic technology is being used to understand depositional systems and stratigraphy, structural and igneous geology, in developing and producing from hydrocarbon reservoirs and also what recent technological advances have been made. This technological journey is a fast-moving one where the remaining scientific potential still far exceeds the scope of the advances made thus far. This book explores the breadth of the opportunities that lie ahead as well as the inevitable accompanying challeges.