Mapping Subsurface Structures - MSS

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This course covers the techniques required to confidently map sub-surface structures in 3 dimensions from well data. Not just a collection of rules of thumb, this class presents the fundamental techniques used to reconstruct structures accurately and effectively in 3-D so that you will get the most out of your data. Techniques are taught in easy-to-learn forms for manual use with tracing paper, graphs, and a calculator, but the corresponding computer-mapping strategies are presented and illustrated throughout. Participants will be prepared to develop more accurate structural models of reservoirs, find new traps in old fields, extract the maximum information from exploration wells, and validate or recognize errors in existing interpretations. Experience and confidence is developed by applying the techniques in numerous practical exercises. Dr. Groshong's book, 3-D Structural Geology, is included with the course materials.

Development geologists and those exploring mature areas; early-career geologists and technologists who make structure maps; those who need to judge the validity of maps and cross sections.

You will Learn:

Participants will learn how to:

  • Apply quantitative contouring techniques
  • Recognize common contouring pitfalls
  • Find thickness in deviated wells
  • Use thickness maps to interpret structure
  • Construct predictive cross sections
  • Apply the best techniques for projecting data
  • Map faults and integrate them into horizon maps
  • Build a complete 3-D interpretation
  • Recognize valid and invalid fault surfaces
  • Interpret folds and faults from dipmeters
  • Construct juxtaposition (Allan) diagrams for fault trap and seal analysis
  • Map structures with multiple overlapping faults

Course Content:

  • Contouring techniques
  • Triangulation
  • Using dip in mapping
  • Different measures of thickness
  • Thickness in deviated wells
  • Isopach and isocore maps
  • Dip-domain cross sections
  • Data projection
  • Trend and plunge of folds on tangent diagrams
  • Composite-surface maps
  • Fault shapes and displacement distributions
  • Heave and throw from stratigraphic separation
  • Stratigraphic separation from structure contour map
  • Constructing fault-plane maps
  • Faults on isopach maps
  • Combining fault and horizon maps
  • Contouring across faults
  • Structural quality-control techniques
  • Multiple-surface map compatibility
  • Map validation using implied fault contours
  • Finding faults and fault orientations with SCAT analysis of dipmeters
  • Juxtaposition diagrams for trap and seal analysis
  • Fault-cutoff lines in computer mapping
  • Soft linked and hard linked faults
  • Relay and branching fault patterns
  • Mapping sequential cross-cutting faults

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