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Multiattribute Analysis to Assist Structural Interpretation of a Structurally Complex Field in the Sierra Madre Oriental Buried Front, Mexico.

Araceli S. Romero-Pelaez and Kurt J. Marfurt
ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Folds and thrusts belts give rise to some of the most prolific hydrocarbon provinces in the world, such as the tectonic front of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico (SMO). This case study focuses on an oil field in Veracruz Basin, southwestern Mexico. The principal structure is part of the frontal buried thrust belt of the SMO. One of the major challenges in the area is the compartmentalization caused by post-orogenic normal faults, some of which fall below seismic resolution that are not identified until the well is tested. We use multiattribute analysis of volumetric coherence and curvature extracted over data conditioned through a structural oriented filtering (SOF) to delineate structural patterns that are not evident on the amplitude data. We find that the shape index attribute, which quantifies the deformation morphology of seismic reflectors, can be successfully used to delineate compartments. Some curvature anomalies are fault-related when they are accompanied by low coherence patterns. Other curvature features that do not correlate with domes or ridges can be correlated with fractured zones or relay ramps. Multiattribute analysis coupled with an appropriate tectonic deformation model is a powerful methodology that accelerates identification of structural patterns in complex fractured areas. This methodology can be applied to assist structural interpretation in similar tectonic fronts that had been highly deformed.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90152©2012 AAPG Southwest Section Meeting, Fort Worth, Texas, 19-22 May 2012