Sediment-Body Geometry and Heterogeneity: Analogue Studies for Modelling the Subsurface
Over the past 20 years there has been a major growth in efforts to quantify the geometry and dimensions of sediment bodies from analogues to provide quantitative input to geological models. The aim of this volume is to examine the current state of the art, from both an industry and an academic perspective. Contributions discuss the challenges of extracting relevant data from different types of sedimentary analogue (outcrop, process models, seismic) and the application and significance of such information for improving predictions from subsurface static and dynamic models. Special attention is given to modelling reservoir properties and gridding issues for predicting subsurface fluid flow. As such, the volume is expected to be of interest to both the geoscience community concerned with the fundamentals of sedimentary architecture as well as geological modellers and engineers interested in how these characteristics are modelled and influence subsurface predictions.
Helicopter-based laser scanning: a method for quantitative analysis of large-scale sedimentary architecture
Published:January 01, 2014
Andreas Rittersbacher, Simon J. Buckley, John A. Howell, Gary J. Hampson, Julien Vallet, 2014. "Helicopter-based laser scanning: a method for quantitative analysis of large-scale sedimentary architecture", Sediment-Body Geometry and Heterogeneity: Analogue Studies for Modelling the Subsurface, A. W. Martinius, J. A. Howell, T. R. Good
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Studies of large-scale sedimentary architecture are mainly based on the interpretation of two-dimensional photomosaics. This method cannot account for the natural rugosity of outcrop exposures, introducing errors in the measurement of geobody sizes and orientations. In the past, three-dimensional outcrop studies have relied on time-intensive fieldwork, with irregular sampling and low geometric accuracy. More recently, terrestrial laser scanning, or LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), has been widely applied to small-scale outcrops, but range and accessibility preclude its usage on larger-scale outcrops. Oblique helicopter-based laser scanning, however, allows the collection of tens of kilometres of outcrop sections in a relatively short time frame. In this paper, a procedure for collecting and processing such virtual outcrop data is outlined, and the application of the technique for extracting dimensions of fluvial geobodies from two large and otherwise inaccessible outcrops from Utah is presented. The results are compared to interpretations from more conventional photomosaicking of the same outcrops. Results show that the use of helicopter-based laser scanning enables geoscientists to rapidly acquire georeferenced data that can then be used for sedimentological interpretation and analysis on reservoir scales. It is concluded that helicopter-based laser scanning promotes sedimentological research and is well suited to capturing quantitative geometrical data from large outcrops.