Abstract

Timing and distribution of fractures related to folding is a crucial topic for migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons in structural traps. We performed sandbox analogue models to investigate the fracture patterns evolution in fault-related anticlines, e.g. fault-propagation and fault-bend fold. Analogue models allow us to: (i) reproduce geometry and kinematics of different kinds of folds, and (ii) describe and quantify fractures through time in all deformation stages. Three-dimensional digital model reconstructions facilitate the comparison of different steps in the evolution of fault-related anticlines and to highlight similarities and differences in fractures development. Quantitative parameters of fractures as orientation, number and average length have been acquired in each step of deformation using an automated procedure. The fault-related anticline models show that fractures development evolves with a cyclic and non-linear trend, depending on the geometry and kinematic of anticlines. We validate our approach by comparing experimental results with natural cases. Our methodology combined with other studies such as seismic surveys, field analyses and boreholes data may contribute to understanding the nature of fracture networks in real fault-related anticlines, identifying uncertainties and helping to reduce risks during exploration and drilling activities.

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