Exploration 3D seismic over the Gjallar Ridge, Mid-Norway: visualization of structures on the Norwegian volcanic margin from Moho to seafloor
S. M. Corfield, W. Wheeler, R. Karpuz, M. Wilson, R. Helland, 2004. "Exploration 3D seismic over the Gjallar Ridge, Mid-Norway: visualization of structures on the Norwegian volcanic margin from Moho to seafloor", 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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We present an analysis of a unique 3D survey that allows us to relate the deep structure of the crystalline crust to the shallow structure of the overlying, potentially hydrocarbon-rich sedimentary basins. The survey is located over the Gjallar Ridge, Mid-Norway, and extends from a Moho-level reflector at around 15 km depth to polygonal faulting and diapiric structures at or near the seabed. 3D visualization techniques using seismic workstations and the Cave immersive environment have been used to illustrate the geometries of these features. The deep reflector is correlated with the top of a deep, high-density, high-velocity body that is interpreted to indicate the presence of magmatic underplating and is intimately related to localized uplift of the Gjallar Ridge. Abundant high-amplitude reflectors in the deep Cretaceous sections of the survey are interpreted as sills emplaced during the Palaeocene magmatic event and are therefore interpreted to be coeval with the magmatic underplate. In contrast, the shallow parts of the survey have numerous gas-charged mud diapirs and an extensive network of polygonal faults extending to the seabed. Study of such very deep or very shallow features is not standard industry practice. However, the intention here is to demonstrate that, by utilizing the full volume of 3D seismic data, it is not only of scientific interest but also results in a greater understanding of the tectonic history of a hydrocarbon prospect.
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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.