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Abstract: Multiscale Organization of Joints and Faults in a Fractured Reservoir Revealed by Geostatistical, Multifractal and Wavelet Techniques

Christian Castaing, Albert Genter, Guy Ouillon, Didier Sornette

Datasets of the geometry of fracture systems were analysed at various scales in the western Arabian sedimentary platform by means of geostatistical, multifractal, and anisotropic-wavelet techniques. The investigations covered a wide range of scales, from regional to outcrops in a well-exposed area, and were based on field mapping of fractures, and the interpretation and digitizing of fracture patterns on aerial photographs and satellite images.

As a first step, fracture data sets were used to examine the direction, size, spacing and density systematics, and the variability in these quantities with space and scale. Secondly, a multifractal analysis was carried out, which consists in estimating the moments of the spatial distribution of fractures at different resolutions. This global multifractal method was complemented by a local wavelet analysis, using a new anisotropic technique tailored to linear structures. For a map with a given scale of detail, this procedure permits to define integrated fracture patterns and their associated directions at a more regional scale.

The main result of this combined approach is that fracturing is not a self-similar process from the centimeter scale up to the one-million-kilometer scale. Spatial distribution of faults appears as being highly controlled by the thickness of the different rheological layers that constitute the crust. A proceeding for upscaling fracture systems in sedimentary reservoirs can be proposed, based on (i) a power law for joint-length distribution, (ii) characteristic joint spacing depending on the critical sedimentary units, and (iii) fractal fault geometry for faults larger than the whole thickness of the sedimentary basin.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France