Quantitative Modeling and Three-Dimensional Visualization of the Petroleum Hydrogeology of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins, Australia
Mark Person, Paul Morin, Denah Toupin, and Peter Eadington
Mathematical modeling and three-dimensional scientific visualization techniques are used in this study to reconstruct the petroleum hydrogeology of the well-studied Cooper and Eromanga Basins: Australia's most productive on shore petroleum provinces. Our analysis focuses on the development of topography- and compaction-driven groundwater flow systems and their role on petroleum generation and migration within these basins. Finite-element models which represent groundwater flow, heat transfer, oil generation and migration were constructed along NW-SE and NE-SW cross-sectional transects which more or less follow the present-day groundwater flow patterns through these basins. The analysis provides a quantitative reconstruction of transient fluid migration in response to tect nic processes during the past 276 million years of basin evolution. In order to compress numerical output from both cross-sectional models into a single image, quantitative results are presented in the form of evolving, three-dimensional geologic fence diagrams. Computer animation of numerical model results permit analysis of transient hydrodynamic behavior within the basin that would have been difficult or impossible to detect otherwise. Analysis of video output indicates that two episodes of regional, topography-driven groundwater flow had a pronounced effect on the thermal history of the sediments and may have important implications for petroleum generation and migration.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California