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Outcrop Versus Seismic Architecture of Deep-Water Deposits: Use of LIDAR Along a Slope-to-Basin Transect of the Brushy Canyon Formation, West Texas

By
Mark Tomasso
Mark Tomasso
Bureau of Economic Geology John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 78713-8924
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Florence L. Bonnaffé
Florence L. Bonnaffé
Bureau of Economic Geology John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 78713-8924
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Renaud Bouroullec
Renaud Bouroullec
Bureau of Economic Geology John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 78713-8924
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David R. Pyles
David R. Pyles
Chevron Center of Research Excellence Department of Geology and Geological Engineering Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado 80401-1887
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David C. Jennette
David C. Jennette
Apache Corporation 2000 Post Oak Blvd. Houston, Texas 77056-4400
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Published:
December 01, 2006

Abstract

The stratigraphy of deep-water reservoirs is commonly interpreted using seismic data. Exploration-grade seismic data are typically acquired with peak frequencies varying from 30 to 60 Hz, resulting in an average vertical stratigraphic resolution of between ∼23 m (30 Hz) to 11 m (60 Hz) in siliciclastic sediments. Many stratigraphic bodies, such as architectural elements and beds, can not be resolved at these frequencies, however. Seismic forward modeling of deep-water outcrop analogs provides a method by which this uncertainty can be addressed. Such modeling allows us to produce seismic images constructed from outcrops, where architectural elements, bedding, and facies are known. One of the advantages of this technique is the ability to bridge the gap between stratigraphic concepts learned from outcrop analogs and observations from seismic data sets.

Seismic forward models of five exposures from the Brushy Canyon Formation of west Texas are presented here. The exposures span an upper slope to basin-floor transect through the depositional system. Each outcrop contains unique stratal architecture and facies related to its position on the slope-to-basin physiographic profile. The seismic forward models have been constructed using geologic interpretations from LIDAR (light detection and ranging) data, stratigraphic columns, photo-panels, and paleocurrent measurements. These models are generated at several peak frequencies (30, 60, and 125 Hz). The resulting seismic forward models can be compared directly with corresponding outcrop analogs, allowing a direct comparison between outcrop and seismic architecture. The outcrop and seismic architecture of each of the five models can be compared with one another to address changes in seismic architecture associated with their positions on the slope-to-basin physiographic profile.

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Contents

GCSSEPM

Reservoir Characterization: Integrating Technology and Business Practices

Roger M. Slatt
Roger M. Slatt
Houston, Texas
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Norman c. Rosen
Norman c. Rosen
Houston, Texas
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Michael Bowman
Michael Bowman
Houston, Texas
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John Castagna
John Castagna
Houston, Texas
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Timothy Good
Timothy Good
Houston, Texas
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Robert Loucks
Robert Loucks
Houston, Texas
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Rebecca Latimer
Rebecca Latimer
Houston, Texas
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Mark Scheihing
Mark Scheihing
Houston, Texas
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Hu Smith
Hu Smith
Houston, Texas
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
26
ISBN electronic:
978-0-9836096-4-3
Publication date:
December 01, 2006

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