Skip to Main Content

Combining multiple quantitative structural analysis techniques to create robust structural interpretations

Nathan W. Eichelberger, Amanda N. Hughes and Alan G. Nunns
Combining multiple quantitative structural analysis techniques to create robust structural interpretations (in Balancing, restoration, and palinspastic reconstruction, Oskar Vidal-Royo (prefacer), Thomas E. Hearon (prefacer), Christopher D. Connors (prefacer), Stuart Bland (prefacer), Frauke Schaefer (prefacer), Oriol Ferrer (prefacer), Andres Mora (prefacer), Jose de Vera (prefacer), Chris A. Guzofski (prefacer), Fernando Rodriguez (prefacer), Eric Jean-Philippe Blanc (prefacer) and Alan Vaughan (prefacer))
Interpretation (Tulsa) (November 2015) 3 (4): SAA89-SAA104


Carefully selected 2D transects contain an abundance of structural information that can constrain 3D analyses of petroleum systems. Realizing the full value of the information in a 2D transect requires combining multiple, independent structural analysis techniques using fully interactive tools. Our approach uses quantitative structural geologic software that instantaneously displays structural computations and analyses, eliminating time-intensive manual measurements and calculations. By quickly testing multiple hypotheses, we converged on an optimal solution that is consistent with available data. We have combined area-depth-strain (ADS) analysis, structural restoration, and forward modeling of a structural interpretation of a fault-propagation fold in the Niger Delta. These methods confirmed the original interpretation and furthermore quantified displacement, strain, detachment depth, and kinematic history. ADS analysis validated the interpreted detachment depth and revealed significant layer-parallel strain (LPS) that varied systematically with stratigraphic depth. The stratigraphic distribution of the LPS was diagnostic of structural style and, in this example, discriminated against fixed-axis and constant-thickness fault-propagation folding. A quantitative forward model incorporating backlimb shear and trishear fault-propagation folding accurately reproduced folding and faulting in the pregrowth section and folding in the growth section. The model-predicted strain distributions were consistent with those from ADS analysis. The highest local strains on the back limb of the structure were spatially coincident with two backthrusts, which accommodated these strains. Animations of a more complete model including the backthrusts revealed that the backthrusts formed sequentially as rock passed through the main fault bend.

ISSN: 2324-8858
EISSN: 2324-8866
Serial Title: Interpretation (Tulsa)
Serial Volume: 3
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Combining multiple quantitative structural analysis techniques to create robust structural interpretations
Title: Balancing, restoration, and palinspastic reconstruction
Author(s): Eichelberger, Nathan W.Hughes, Amanda N.Nunns, Alan G.
Author(s): Vidal-Royo, Oskarprefacer
Author(s): Hearon, Thomas E., IVprefacer
Author(s): Connors, Christopher D.prefacer
Author(s): Bland, Stuartprefacer
Author(s): Schaefer, Fraukeprefacer
Author(s): Ferrer, Oriolprefacer
Author(s): Mora, Andresprefacer
Author(s): de Vera, Joseprefacer
Author(s): Guzofski, Chris A.prefacer
Author(s): Rodriguez, Fernandoprefacer
Author(s): Blanc, Eric Jean-Philippeprefacer
Author(s): Vaughan, Alanprefacer
Affiliation: StructureSolver, Danville, CA, United States
Affiliation: Midland Valley Exploration, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Pages: SAA89-SAA104
Published: 201511
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2016-007511
Categories: Structural geologyApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., sketch map
N04°15'00" - N05°00'00", E05°00'00" - E07°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: ConocoPhillips, USA, United StatesWashington and Lee University, USA, United StatesCairn Energy, GBR, United KingdomWintershall, DEU, GermanyUniversitat de Barcelona, ESP, SpainInstituto Columbiano de del Petroleo, COL, ColombiaShell, USA, United StatesChevron, USA, United StatesBHP Billiton, USA, United StatesStatoil, NOR, NorwayChevron Energy Technology Company, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201604
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal