Structural model creation: the impact of data type and creative space on geological reasoning and interpretation
Published:January 01, 2015
C. E. Bond, G. Johnson, J. F. Ellis, 2015. "Structural model creation: the impact of data type and creative space on geological reasoning and interpretation", Industrial Structural Geology: Principles, Techniques and Integration, F. L. Richards, N. J. Richardson, S. J. Rippington, R. W. Wilson, C. E. Bond
Download citation file:
Interpretation of sparse or incomplete datasets is a fundamental part of geology, particularly when building models of the subsurface. Available geological data are often remotely sensed (seismic data) or very limited in spatial extent (borehole data). Understanding how different datasets are interpreted and what makes an interpreter effective is critical if accurate geological models are to be created. A comparison of the interpretation outcome and techniques used by two cohorts interpreting different geological datasets of the same model, an inversion structure, was made. The first cohort consists of interpreters of the synthetic seismic image data in Bond et al. (‘What do you think this is?: “Conceptual uncertainty” in geoscience interpretation’, GSA Today, 2007, 17, 4–10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/GSAT01711A.1); the second cohort is new and interpreted borehole data. The outcomes of the borehole interpretation dataset support earlier findings that technique use, specifically evidence of geological evolution thought processes, results in more effective interpretation. The results also show that the borehole interpreters were more effective at arriving at the correct interpretation. Analysis of their final interpretations in the context of psychological and medical image analysis research suggests that the clarity of the original dataset, the amount of noise and white space may play a role in interpretation outcome, through enforced geological reasoning during data interpretation.
Figures & Tables
Industrial Structural Geology: Principles, Techniques and Integration
The practical application of structural geology in industry is varied and diverse; it is relevant at all scales, from plate-wide screening of new exploration areas down to fluid-flow behaviour along individual fractures. From an industry perspective, good structural practice is essential since it feeds into the quantification and recovery of reserves and ultimately underpins commercial investment choices. Many of the fundamental structural principles and techniques used by industry can be traced back to the academic community, and this volume aims to provide insights into how structural theory translates into industry practice.
Papers in this publication describe case studies and workflows that demonstrate applied structural geology, covering a spread of topics including trap definition, fault seal, fold-and-thrust belts, fractured reservoirs, fluid flow and geomechanics. Against a background of evolving ideas, new data types and advancing computational tools, the volume highlights the need for structural geologists to constantly re-evaluate the role they play in solving industrial challenges.