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Hodge, Dan1, Mike Ohlers2, Stuart Bland1, Delphine Roques1 
(1) Midland Valley Exploration Ltd, Glasgow, United Kingdom 
(2) NPA Group, Edenbridge, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT: Model Building and Structural Modeling using Remotely Sensed Data

Satellite interpretation is becoming increasingly important in onshore exploration and production in inaccessible regions. Until now the benefits have been restricted to basic surface mapping and 2D spatial analysis. By combining the digital elevation model (DEM) with satellite imagery within a 3D model-building environment, a much greater range of analysis techniques is revealed to the geologist. These include: data projection to depth, geometric attribute analysis, dip extraction and reconstruction of eroded strata. Combining data and interpretation in such an environment not only provides a useful communication tool, but also creates a powerful workable 3D database. 
ASTER DEM (digital elevation model) data and Landsat ETM data acquired from Africa and the Middle East illustrate the techniques that aid interpretation and demonstrate model building workflows that were used to construct fully restorable structural models. 
Model building is an extremely valuable and much overlooked process. The simple acts of projecting and linking fault traces provided the opportunity to check fundamental geological concepts and ideas applied to the area. Model building has allowed us to gain a better understanding of the structural geology enabling us to not only evaluate prospects, but to focus on key areas of interest or uncertainty when planning field work and seismic surveys. Furthermore, a subsurface model provides valuable input when processing seismic data. 
Models created from remotely sensed data can be interrogated and validated using structural modeling and restoration techniques to lower risk. Further analysis such as strain mapping and hydrocarbon systems modeling can also be applied to both the exploration and production stage.

 

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