From intuition to statistics in building subsurface structural models ///

Elements of fault propagation folds (such as toe-thrusts and detachment folds) are often incompletely imaged in seismic surveys. Steeply dipping to overturned bedding and the areas adjacent to faults are particularly problematic, and are often associated with data wipeout zones. In this article, forward models of fault propagation folds using the trishear algorithm are used to generate and statistically analyze such families of results. The methodology is applied to examples of incompletely imaged structures related to deepwater hydrocarbon reservoirs, and results are compared to prior manual palinspastic restorations and borehole data. In addition to extrapolating existing data into seismic data gaps, this methodology is useful for extending structural interpretations into other areas of limited resolution, such as subsalt. This technique can be used for rapid reservoir appraisal, and may have other applications for seismic processing, well planning and borehole stability analysis.

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