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Solving Specific Problems with 3-D Outcrop Data: Examples in Reservoir Characterization, Training, and Research

John B. Thurmond, Paul Gillespie, David Hunt, Ole Martinsen, and Tore Løseth
Hydro Oil & Energy Research Center, Bergen, Norway

“Outcrop Capture” methods for collecting 3D data from outcrop have strongly increased our ability to quantify outcrop data for a variety of purposes, including pure and applied research as well as training. In order to achieve maximum effectiveness from 3D outcrop data, techniques are required for seamlessly moving across a wide range of scales (from regional to photomicrograph), and for integration of diverse data into a common framework for interpretation. We illustrate how these techniques can be can be used to solve specific problems, including the accurate determination of spatial relationships in a wide variety of outcrop environments. Examples will be shown from outcrops of deepwater clastic facies (deterministic vs. stochastic model construction), faulted and karsted carbonates (fault/fold relationships, 3D karst mapping, dolomitization), and landscape evolution (multiscale interpretation for paleo-drainage mapping). Each of these examples reinforces the lessons learned from years of data collection, processing, and interpretation of 3D outcrop data and shows the inestimable value of outcrop capture techniques.