Abstract

The first deployment of the P-Cable™ high-resolution 3D (HR3D) seismic acquisition system in the Gulf of Mexico has provided unprecedented resolution of depositional, architectural, and structural features related to relative sea-level change recorded in the Quaternary stratigraphy. These details are typically beyond conventional 3D seismic resolution and/or excluded from commercial surveys, which are generally optimized for deeper targets. Such HR3D data are valuable for detailed studies of reservoir analogs, sediment delivery systems, fluid-migration systems, and geotechnical hazard assessment (i.e., drilling and infrastructure). The HR3D survey (31.5  km2) collected on the inner shelf (<15  m water depth) offshore San Luis Pass, Texas, imaged the upper 500 m of stratigraphy using peak frequency of 150 Hz and 6.25  m2 bin size. These data provided an exceptionally well-imaged example of shallow subsurface depositional system and stratigraphic architecture development during a lowstand period. The system evolved from a meandering channel with isolated point-bar deposits to a transgressive estuary characterized by dendritic erosional features that were eventually flooded. In addition, HR3D data have identified a previously unidentified seismically discontinuous zone interpreted to be a gas chimney system emanating from a tested (drilled) nonproductive, three-way structure in the lower Miocene (1.5 km depth). Within the shallowest intervals (<100  m) and at the top of the chimney zone, seismic attribute analysis revealed several high-amplitude anomalies up to 0.5  km2. The anomalies were interpreted as reaccumulated thermogenic gas, and their distribution conforms to the stratigraphy and structure of the Quaternary interval, in that they occupy local fault-bounded footwall highs within remnant coarser-grained interfluvial zones, which are overlain by finer grained, transgressive deposits.

You do not currently have access to this article.