This study seeks to identify spatial patterns in structural deformation and stratigraphic undulations that are important to hydrocarbon exploration. Using techniques from Fourier analysis, expanded into two dimensions we identify characteristic scales of structural deformation in structurally controlled basins. Within basins with little to no structural deformation we apply the same techniques from Fourier analysis to identify the characteristic scales of stratigraphic patterns.
Previous applications of these methods in geosciences include identifying the characteristic length scales in hillslopes with a high potential for landslides and mapping high hazard potential, along with determining the characteristic scales in topography and strain rate fields related to active deformation in the western United States. The identified scales of active deformation were successfully mapped showing regions where the deformation signals are most prominent.
In this study we use a mapped surface from petroleum basins with structurally controlled hydrocarbon accumulations and stratigraphic horizons from a petroleum basin controlled by stratigraphic traps as the input datasets for the Fourier analysis. Using the techniques from Fourier analysis, power spectra are created for each of the scenarios. The power spectra indicate the most prominent spatial scales of structures and stratigraphic undulation in their respective basins. After the characteristic scales are identified, we map their prominence across each basin. The maps of the most prominent structural and stratigraphic scales indicate the dominant control on structural and stratigraphic organization and provide information on underdeveloped or bypassed hydrocarbon accumulations.
This new and original re-tooling of established methods from signal processing is a promising tool to complement the exploration for hydrocarbon resources away from current production. These methods have the added benefit of easy automation and the ability to act as an objective spatial analysis.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90323 ©2018 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 20-23, 2018