Abstract

Recently, there has been a growing interest in automatic and semiautomatic seismic interpretation, and we have developed methods for extraction of 3D unconformities and faults from seismic data as alternatives to conventional and time-consuming manual interpretation. Our methods can be used separately or together, and they are time efficient and based on easily available 2D and 3D image-processing algorithms, such as morphological operations and image region property operations. The method for extraction of unconformities defines seismic sequences, based on their stratigraphic stacking patterns and seismic amplitudes, and extracts the boundaries between these sequences. The fault-extraction method extracts connected components from a coherence-based fault-likelihood cube where interfering objects are addressed prior to the extraction. We have used industry-based data acquired in a complex geological area and implemented our methods with a case study on the Polhem Subplatform, located in the southwestern Barents Sea north of Norway. For this case study, our methods result in the extraction of two unconformities and twenty-five faults. The unconformities are assumed to be the Base Pleistocene, which separates preglacial and postglacial Cenozoic sediments, and the Base Cretaceous, which separates the severely faulted Mesozoic strata from prograding Paleocene deposits. The faults are assumed to be mainly Jurassic normal faults, and they follow the trends of the eastern and southwestern boundaries of the Polhem Subplatform; the north–south-trending Jason Fault complex; and the northwest–southeast-trending Ringvassøy-Loppa Fault complex.

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