Abstract

We have studied seismically resolved damaged zone of normal faults in siliciclastic rocks of the Norwegian continental shelf. The workflow we have developed reveals structural details of the fault damaged zone and in particular, the subsidiary synthetic faults, horsetail at the main lateral fault tips at different depths and fault bend. These subsidiary or small fault segments form an area that can be clearly followed laterally and vertically. We call this area fault damaged zone. The studied damaged zone on seismic data comprises the fault core and the fault damage zone, as defined in outcrop studies. Spectral decomposition (short-time Fourier transform for time-frequency resolution and continuous wavelet transform) was performed on the data centered around faulted intervals. The magnitude of higher frequencies was used to generate coherence attribute volumes. Coherence attributes were filtered to enhance fault images. This integrated workflow improves fault images on reflection seismic data. Our approach reveals details of damaged zone geometry and morphology, which are comparable with the outcrop studies of similar examples conducted by previous researchers or us. We have extracted the fault geometry data including the segment length, displacement, and damaged zone width at different depths. Our results show that subsidiary faults, fault bends, linkage of fault segments, and branching in the fault tip (horsetail structure or process zone) all affect the width of the damaged zone and the distribution of displacement. We have seen a distinct increase in the fault damaged zone width near the fault bend locations. The fault segment length decreases with depth toward the lower fault tip, which is below the base Cretaceous unconformity. In addition, the displacement increases below the unconformity. In general, there is a positive correlation between fault displacement and the corresponding damaged zone width measured in this study, which is in agreement with previous studies.

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