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An effective inverse scheme that can be applied to complex 3-D hydrodynamic forward models has so far proved elusive. In this paper we investigate an interactive inverse methodology that may offer a possible way forward. The scheme builds on previous work in linking expert review of alternate output to rapid modification of input variables. This was tested using the SEDSIM 3-D stratigraphie forward-modelling program, varying nine input variables in a synthetic example. Ten SEDSIM simulations were generated, with subtle differences in input, and five dip sections (fences) were displayed for each simulation. A geoscientist ranked the lithological distribution in order of similarity to the true sections (the true input values were not disclosed during the experiment). The two or three highest ranked simulations then acted as seed for the next round of ten simulations, which were compared in turn. After 90 simulations a satisfactory match between the target and the model was found and the experiment was terminated. Subsequent analysis showed that the estimated input values were ‘close’ to the true values.

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