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Abstract: Development of a 3-D Validated Structural Model Using an Integrated Data Set: A Case Study from PNG

A. Marsh, P. G. Buchanan, M. Insley

A complete data set incorporating surface geology and structural lineament maps from synthetic aperture radar (SAR), topography, field mapping, and cross-section data, including seismic profiles and well logs, has been integrated to produce a structural model through time from an exploration area in PNG. Although restoration and forward modeling techniques enabled the validation of individual cross sections, the use of along-strike projection, 3-D visualization, and surface control illuminated inconsistencies that provided additional constraints in validating the 3-D structural model. This geological model was further validated geophysically by ray-trace modeling. The ability to restore and forward model complex structures, as well as visualizing an entire 3-D data set, is now being m de possible through the development of new interactive computer technology.

Interpretation of SAR imagery combined with field mapping and seismic interpretation followed by 3-D restoration and balancing has enabled confidence to be placed on the temporal and spatial distribution of structural events and the likely geometries of potential traps during possible periods of hydrocarbon migration.

Such a process, which is relatively fast and accurate, significantly reduces the risk involved in exploring frontier regions, where structural complexity is one of the major factors in determining hydrocarbon prospectivity.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90982©1994 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 21-24, 1994