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3-D Visualization Utilizing the Arcscene Modeling Environment

Cokinos, James S.1
1 James Sophocles Cokinos, Fugro Gravity & Magnetic Services Inc., Houston, TX.

The ability to visualize, organize, integrate and compare large amounts of spatial data is at the core of any Geographic Information System. Petroleum geologists utilize GIS to evaluate the exploration potential of undeveloped or underdeveloped areas (UDA). Visualization applications such as ESRI’s ArcScene extends these exploration opportunities within a 3D analysis framework.

Utilization of the ArcScene program offers geologist the ability to display GIS formatted data and perform subsurface correlations. The integration of 3D visualization allows for a better common earth model that integrates both basement and tectonic features with the location of reservoirs or producing oil fields. The 3D framework in ArcScene also serves as quality control for testing the validity of an interpretation.

A regional study of the West Africa Basin of Gabon will be used to illustrate the increased effectiveness of combining 2D GIS mapping with 3D visualization of large data sets. Tectonic elements such as faults, volcanics and the location of the continental oceanic boundary are draped on top of the basement surface and show the interrelationship between the different structural data sets. In addition to the 3D GIS visualization a new methodology is introduced that employs enhanced 256 color shaded rasters and advanced contours coupled with profile rendering within the ArcScene view. This study will present how 2D and 3D GIS applications can be utilized for rapid reconnaissance and create a better decision making tool for evaluating hydrocarbon potential in these prospective areas.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009