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Chapter 12: Seismic Signatures of Carbonate Diagenesis

Paul D. Wagner
Paul D. Wagner
Amoco EPTG, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
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January 01, 1997


Our objective—to summarize the effects of carbonate diagenesis on seismic records—is directly linked to an industry goal of continually improving our capability of seismically imaging reservoir, seal, and hydrocarbon distributions. Carbonate diagenesis affects reservoir and seal distributions mainly through processes of differential leaching, compaction, and mineralogic replacement. The results of previous studies (both in-house and published) indicate that all processes of carbonate diagenesis are detectable by conventional seismic techniques if the combination of spatial scale and net rock property change is sufficient. The best results are seen when large changes in rock properties occur over large volumes of rock, such as in basinwide, depth-related mineralogic phase changes or in spatially extensive subsurface leaching. In many actual exploration cases, however, the seismic signatures of carbonate diagenesis are too subtle for easy detection, either because the rock-altering process acted over too small a volume or because the resultant changes in rock properties were too small. This seismic detection problem is modest at burial depths of 1000 m but is serious at burial depths ≥4000 m. Improved resolution of diagenetically altered carbonates must come through (1) increased use of higher resolution seismic techniques, such as crosswell tomography, and (2) more rigorous integration of rock, log, and seismic data in a data management environment that allows for iterative model testing, such as 3-D visualization software.

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Figures & Tables


Geophysical Developments Series

Carbonate Seismology

Ibrahim Palaz
Ibrahim Palaz
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Kurt J. Marfurt
Kurt J. Marfurt
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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Publication date:
January 01, 1997




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