Fault throw determination using 4 component VSP: Aigion fault (Greece) case study
Joachim Place, Charles Naville, Isabelle Moretti, 2016. "Fault throw determination using 4 component VSP: Aigion fault (Greece) case study", Seismic Diffraction, Kamil Klem-Musatov, Henning Hoeber, Michael Pelissier, Tijmen Jan Moser
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The present paper presents the results of a technique based on Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) to quantify the offset of a fault in a context where seismic reflection profiles do not image any reflectors. The case study is located in Greece, in the Aigion area, on the south border of the Corinth Gulf. The Aigion fault, oriented East-West, and dipping at 60°N, has been intersected by the scientific well Aig-10 at 760 m in depth, but some uncertainty remained concerning its exact offset since the depth of the pre-rift sequence is open to debate due to the lack of subsurface data. The pre-rift consists of a Mesozoic low-porosity series (carbonates and radiolarite), while the syn-rift consists of poorly compacted conglomerates and turbidites.
Seismic diffractions on fault edges are expected to be present along the fault surface. We find that a few diffracted events are effectively recorded in P and S wave mode by the 4 components of the VSP survey, and critically refracted arrivals along the Aigion fault plane. These singular events have been used in order to refine the fault geometry and to determine its throw. Additionally, results from a 2D finite difference elastic seismic model of a single fault step geometry have been closely examined in order to illustrate the generation of the singular seismic events observed on the field data, such as P-wave and S-wave refracted and diffracted events, and support their interpretation with higher confidence. As a result, the seismic arrival patterns from full waveform seismic modelling confirm the characterisation of the main fault geometry (mainly its throw: about 200 m) in the well vicinity derived from the actual analysis of the 4 Component Aigion VSP data.
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The use of diffraction imaging to complement the seismic reflection method is rapidly gaining momentum in the oil and gas industry. As the industry moves toward exploiting smaller and more complex conventional reservoirs and extensive new unconventional resource plays, the application of the seismic diffraction method to image sub-wavelength features such as small-scale faults, fractures and stratigraphic pinchouts is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. “Seismic Diffraction” covers seismic diffraction theory, modeling, observation, and imaging. Papers and discussion include an overview of seismic diffractions, including classic papers which introduced the potential of diffraction phenomena in seismic processing; papers on the forward modeling of seismic diffractions, with an emphasis on the theoretical principles; papers which describe techniques for diffraction mathematical modeling as well as laboratory experiments for the physical modeling of diffractions; key papers dealing with the observation of seismic diffractions, in near-surface-, reservoir-, as well as crustal studies; and key papers on diffraction imaging.