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Subsurface Mapping Introduction. Objectives of subsurface mapping Methods Before you start.

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Presentation on theme: "Subsurface Mapping Introduction. Objectives of subsurface mapping Methods Before you start."— Presentation transcript:

1 Subsurface Mapping Introduction

2 Objectives of subsurface mapping Methods Before you start

3 Objectives Most of the Earth’s structure and stratigraphy are hidden Structure/stratigraphy may host features of economic or academic importance Need to be able to map/interpret the subsurface

4 Objectives Petroleum industry Explore for and develop oil and natural gas reserves Mining Explore for and develop minerals and other economic deposits Groundwater Explore for and develop groundwater

5 Objectives Waste disposal Find suitable repositories for waste Environmental remediation Geotechnical engineering Locate and map the distribution of layers with specific properties Academic studies Structure, stratigraphy Etc.

6 Objectives This course: focus on petroleum Why? Methods applicable to other fields Best datasets

7 Objectives Develop the most reasonable subsurface interpretation(s) for the area being studied, even in areas where the data are sparse or absent Integration of different types of data Interpretations used to direct future exploration & development

8 Methods Wireline logs Core, cuttings (“samples”) Seismic data (2-D, 3-D) Potential field data (gravity, aeromag) Ground-penetrating radar Engineering data (fluids, pressures, etc.) Previous reports Etc.





13 Geophysical logs used in groundwater studies

14 Geotechnical borehole logs



17 Air Guns StreamerTail buoy Marine seismic vessels typically tow arrays of air guns and streamers containing hydrophones a few meters below the surface of the water.

18 Messinian Salt – Mediterranean Sea Courtesy TGS-Nopec Salt

19 Vibroseis Operations - Algeria Courtesy François Gauthier

20 Dip panels Waiting on 84wy314 Courtesy Anadarko Mapping Faults Using Dip Panels in Thrust Regimes

21 Seismic Cube Slicing and Dicing to Extract Geologic Information Timeslices

22 Methods Previous reports Paper copies of data (analog) Digital data: computer-based interpretations



25 Methods Caveat: Without understanding what you’re doing, you’ll get a wrong answer. Working with computers, you’ll get a wrong answer at light speed (but it may be good-looking!).

26 Methods Interpretations (maps, etc.) are working hypotheses, never “final” May need to update, revise as new data become available Easier with digital data Applies to ANY branch of (Earth) Science!!!

27 Collect Data Interpret Data Drill Collect Data Interpret Data Drill


29 Before you start… Need clear definition of objectives Structure? Stratigraphy? Exploration? Development? Etc. Without knowing where you’re going, you’re unlikely to get there…

30 Before you start… Need good understanding of structural geology, stratigraphy and other related fields The more geology one knows, the more reasonable the resulting interpretation Need good understanding of physical basis for any geophysical methods being used


32 Prestack Depth Migration Example Subsalt – Offshore GOM


34 Before you start… Use correct mapping techniques and methods Prepare reasonable subsurface maps and cross-sections “Maps and cross-sections are the primary vehicles used to organize, interpret and present available subsurface information” Digital products (e.g., volumes) becoming more common



37 Geocellular model: Each cube is assigned initial properties (porosity, permeability, fluid saturation etc.)

38 3D display of georeferenced scanned images of collar locations, geological cross-sections, integrated with drillholes displaying assay concentrations, and magnetic and gravity modeled bodies.

39 Before you start… Need to define fault behaviour in 3-D Faults may have important affects on location, movement of fluids Show location of faults on maps, but also map fault surfaces May need to do structural reconstruction to validate accuracy of fault interpretations

40 A 2-D expression of a fault

41 Twiss and Moores, 1992 Faults are 3-D features

42 Fault visualization (Hart et al., 2001)

43 Fault visualization (Sagan and Hart, in press)

44 Courtesy Midland Valley

45 Before you start… All subsurface data need to be used to develop a reasonable and accurate subsurface interpretation Geologic (including paleontologic), geophysical, engineering Attention to resolution, accuracy of each type Integration of different types of data results in more robust interpretation

46 Before you start… Need to document the work done. Lots of data likely to be collected and/or generated – document in a format that may be referenced, used, revised People working on project may change, may want to “revisit” work many years after it is done Electronic media (PowerPoint files, hypertext documents, etc.) good vehicles – especially when working with digital data

47 Really great stuff Fred, but how did you generate it? Ummm….

48 Summary Subsurface mapping of important economic & fundamental importance Push towards digital, computer-based interpretation Need to understand fundamentals – geology, geophysics Integration of different types of data results in more robust interpretation

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