Modelling fault geometry and displacement for very large networks
Dustin L. Lister, 2004. "Modelling fault geometry and displacement for very large networks", 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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Traditional methods for building fault models are time-consuming when applied to a complex fault network or where many faults exist since the workflows typically rely on manual intervention at several stages. Structural detail is often simplified to reduce cycle times and consequently, the workflow favours large-scale and simplistic fault systems. There is generally no integrated assessment of kinematic information that would be useful in guiding fault interpretation. A new methodology for constructing a complex fault network with small offset is presented. The method recognizes that interpretation of large numbers of interconnected low displacement faults, is most efficiently done using map based interpretations. A novel semi-automated skeletonization algorithm is used to extract fault traces from horizon maps providing a polyline data set for subsequent use in 3D surface creation. Displacement information is derived automatically during or after the skeletonization providing kinematic information for guiding further interpretation. The new method is validated against manual interpretations of fault geometry and displacement before application to a region of the Central North Sea exposing polygonal faults. The new technique allows for the first time, a rapid and accurate appraisal of complex near-seismic scale fault geometry and displacement from interpretations of 3D seismic data across a large survey area.
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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.