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Dorn, Geoffrey A.1, Francis A. (Mick) Coady1, Gwen S. Pech1, Paul Weimer1, Raquel Cepeda1, David Lyle1, James Carlson1
(1) University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

ABSTRACT: Automated Interpretation of Faults and Channels in 3-D Seismic Data

Computer-aided structural interpretation has been embodied in interactive interpretation systems since the early 1980s in the form of horizon auto-tracking. These algorithms help increase the speed and consistency of horizon interpretation in 3-D seismic surveys. More recently, techniques have been developed to provide assistance to the geoscientist in the interpretation of faults. These tools, however, have fallen short of automatic fault interpretation.
Computer-aided stratigraphic interpretation has developed much more slowly. Horizon-slicing has provided a tool to better image depositional systems since the mid-to-late 1980s. Proportional-slicing or stratal-slicing (mid-1990s) provides even better imaging of depositional systems, and better discrimination between stacked channel systems in the seismic data because these surfaces typically are a better approximation of paleo-depositional surfaces than horizon slices or time slices. Geobody segmentation uses a set of attributes to help define a portion of the seismic volume to be segmented as a 3-D object.
Seismic attributes and algorithms integrating a-priori knowledge of three-dimensional morphology of faults and channel systems have been developed. Hueristics based on structural geology are incorporated into the fault imaging and extraction algorithms. Similarly, heuristics based on the morphology of channels in depositional systems have been incorporated into the attributes to image channels and the algorithms to extract the channel systems from the seismic volume.
The application of this technology, demonstrated on several 3-D surveys, will have an impact on the efficiency and consistency of 3-D interpretation similar to that provided by horizon auto-tracking.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.