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Olariu, Mariana Iulia1, Xueming Xu1, Carlos L. V. Aiken1 
(1) University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX

ABSTRACT: Development of Analysis Techniques of Close-in 3-D Photorealistic Mapping: Deepwater Turbidite Deposits at Big Rock Quarry, Arkansas

Understanding the geological details and 3-D geometry in a highly heterogeneous outcrop such as the exposure at Big Rock Quarry has been a continuous challenge due to the fact that at this specific location the steepness of the cliff faces makes access to most of the rocks difficult for direct geological observations and sampling. In this study, a unique 3-D photorealistic model of the outcrop with assigned lithologies effectively helped in reconstruction of submarine channel architecture. Using a combination of RTK-GPS and laser scanners we were able to capture 3-D terrain data in global coordinates within centimeter accuracy. Oblique close-in photography acquired from the ground was integrated with terrain data and converted into a 3-D digital photorealistic model of the outcrop. Examination of the 3-D virtual model of the outcrop allowed extraction of qualitative (lithology, contacts), as well as, quantitative (bed width and thickness) 3-D accurate geometric information. The 3-D geometry of the quarry allowed for bed correlation between facing walls despite the lateral discontinuity of the strata. The 3-D model of sedimentary bodies allowed capturing the three dimensional spatial distribution of lithological units, which is fundamentally important for understanding the internal architecture of erosional and depositional features, in this case channelized features. Compared to previous attempts of reconstruction our 3-D virtual model is more realistic and because the model has accurate real dimensions it can be used to calibrate simulation of processes in deep-water environments.


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