The purpose of this paper is to give the gravity meter credit as the main geophysical method in the discovery of the Reddell Oil Field in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana.
As in most cases, no one procedure or person is responsible for a discovery, but a culmination of several disciplines working in unison. There always must be the consideration of geology, including all known facts relative to hydrocarbon entrapment.
In late 1971, LL&E (INEXCO) asked me to model the salt structure at the Reddell Salt Dome from gravity data. The gravity data were obtained from Conoco, Inc., and tribute is given to Conoco for allowing this data to be used in this paper. I want to thank LL&E for allowing me to publish this paper and for assisting in the preparation of the maps. I also appreciate Tobin Research Inc. for letting me use its base map of the area.
The object of the study was to define the salt-dome structure so the truncation of three (3) prospective sands in the Wilcox, Lower Eocene, could be determined.
The Bouguer gravity map (Figure 1) shows the minimum anomaly from the Reddell Dome combined with the anomaly from the Pine Prairie Salt Dome. There is a distinct difference in the character of the gravity over the two domes because the Reddell Salt Dome, at the southern part of the anomaly, is 3658 m (12 000 ft) deep, and Pine Prairie Dome, at the northern part of the anomaly, is near ground surface.
The regional gravity and its removal from the Bouguer gravity are always an interpretive procedure. In more general cases, this can be approximated by using low-frequency
Figures & Tables
The idea for this book came from a perceived lack of recent, instructive examples of exploration-oriented interpretations of gravity and magnetic data. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists two volumes, Geophysical Case Histories, are probably closest in philosophy to this book. Published in 1948 and 1956, many of the examples in the Case Histories are relatively dated and specific to particular areas. We hope this new book provides an update that includes lessons about gravity and magnetic exploration that can be applied to many parts of the world. The Utility of Regional Gravity and Magnetic Anomaly Maps (SEG, 1985, W.J. Hinze, editor) contains some excellent papers dealing with tectonics that have clear bearing on hydrocarbon exploration, but no paper shows the relationships among hydrocarbon accumulations, exploration, gravity, and magnetics. Geophysical texts focusing on gravity and magnetics, including L.L. Nettleton's classics, include only a few (albeit often excellent) case histories, and many are dated.
Thus, this book's target audience is geologists and geophysicists in operations offices, actively involved in exploration at any level from basin analysis to prospect generation. Although most of the papers deal with hydrocarbon exploration, several papers relate to gravity and magnetic data in mining and environmental applications. A final section is included on new developments, the state of the art.
The book is not intended for gravity and magnetics specialists (although we hope they will find it interesting), or for geophysicists interested in theory, acquisition, and processing, unless those aspects are important to the geologic exploration problem and to the decisionmaking process.
We believe that the philosophical approach to interpretation is almost as important as some aspects of a technical interpretation itself. This book reveals the diversity of philosophies that gravity and magnetic interpreters embrace, as well as the common threads to which all interpreters aspire.
This book is not a textbook, although we have tried hard to highlight the exploration lessons inherent in each technical paper. Additional instructional aspects of the book are the glossary of gravity and magnetic terms, provided by Integrated Geophysics Corporation (with assistance from Richard Hansen of Pearson, DeRidder & Johnson) and an annotated bibliography, which has pointers to the rich literature of gravity and magnetics. Other short "lessons" can be found in stand-alone illustrations or short features throughout the book.
We thank Ray Thomasson for continual encouragement, suggestions, and prodding. Reviewers, whose efforts are appreciated greatly, include Dale Bird, Bill Pearson, Mark Odegard, and several anonymous reviewers. We appreciate the help of the AAPG, especially Ken Wolgemuth, in this, the first effort at serious book publication by the coeditors.