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Mapping Sub-Surface Geology From Previous HitMagneticNext Hit Data in the Hides Area, Western Papuan Fold Belt, Papua New Guinea


Integration of seismic data with potential field data is valuable in the exploration for hydrocarbons in volcanic provinces, like the Papuan Fold Belt. Use of Previous HitmagneticNext Hit data in this area is challenging due the very rugged terrain, presence of thick volcanic cover, nearby volcanoes, weak Previous HitmagneticNext Hit susceptibility contrasts within the sedimentary layers and very complex thrust geology. By applying Energy Spectral Analysis (ESA) and Automatic Curve Matching (ACM) methods to high resolution aero-Previous HitmagneticNext Hit data, we test the possibility of mapping sedimentary horizons and faults in this region where there are no surface volcanics. An initial project area of 114km2 in the vicinity of Hides, was chosen, as it was without volcanic cover and had a relatively simple anticline structure. The horizon mapping technique, developed from ESA, was used to detect Previous HitmagneticNext Hit susceptibility contrasts that were laterally merged to form Previous HitmagneticNext Hit interfaces corresponding to geological horizons derived from seismic and well data. The ACM technique was used to delineate structures such as major faults. The Previous HitmagneticNext Hit data was used to successfully detect and map generally shallow-dipping Previous HitmagneticNext Hit horizons in the Hides anticline structure and to define steep-dipping Previous HitmagneticNext Hit discontinuities in 3D interpreted as major faults, along with smaller associated structures. The combination of folded shallow horizons and steep faults was used to suggest an interpretation of the very complex overthrust structure, intersected at the Karius 1 well. The Previous HitmagneticNext Hit horizons could broadly be correlated to sedimentary interfaces, including Previous HitmagneticNext Hit markers (volcanic layers) within the weakly Previous HitmagneticNext Hit Darai Limestone. The base of the Darai Limestone/Top of the Ieru Formation correlated well with one Previous HitmagneticNext Hit horizon, the morphology of which was consistent with structures mapped from seismic and well data. Other horizons loosely correlated to the Top of Toro Formation, which contains Previous HitmagneticNext Hit sediments, and five deeper sedimentary interfaces within the Imburu formation or below. Using very limited geological information and constraints with Previous HitmagneticTop data, we built a 3D structural model of the Hides anticline, that is overthrust to the southwest. This project has been a successful proof of concept and we propose, therefore that a similar approach may be applied with some confidence to more complex geology underlying thick volcanic cover, however, attenuating the influence of volcanics requires great care.