ABSTRACT: An Object-Oriented Expert System for Sedimentary Basin Analysis with Applications in Petroleum Geology
Betty M. Miller
Some of the basic earth-science problems that span industry, academia, and the government, and are likely candidates for the application of knowledge-based expert systems, pertain to energy and mineral resource studies. Most of the world's energy resources and many of its metallic and mineral resources are derived from complex sources in sedimentary basins. A comprehensive basin analysis requires an understanding of data from many specialties, including sedimentology, stratigraphy geophysics, structural geology, and geochemistry. Such an integrated analysis is almost impossible without a computer.
Research efforts in the U.S. Geological Survey are currently being directed at exploring the feasibility of applying expert systems and knowledge acquisition techniques to the design and development of a global system of classification and geological analysis of sedimentary basins to assess their petroleum potential. The primary objective is the design of a prototype object-oriented expert system, interfaced with a geographic information system (GIS) that captures both the logic used to define the geologic concepts and the reasoning under uncertainty that enables geologists to understand and reconstruct the geologic history of a sedimentary basin
NEXPERT OBJECT, a hybrid expert system that has the ability to support both a reasoning system and an object-oriented representation, is currently being used as the design tool to provide high-level, expert-oriented features to create, edit, and build knowledge bases for the basin analysis program. This system provides these capabilities through documentation of major basin analysis components such as stratigraphy, structural geology, and sedimentology. It is designed to analyze the traditional concepts of source, reservoir, and trapping mechanism; to help in the diagnosis of geological conditions favorable for the occurrence of petroleum or other energy resources; and to assist in the assessment of these resources. The design and content of the expert system program is discussed for pplication to basin analysis studies.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990