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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 276

Last Page: 276

Title: Expert System for Computer Interpretation of Beach and Nearshore Facies: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Katherine B. Krystinik, Edward Clifton

Article Type: Meeting abstract


A user-friendly, rule-based expert system has been designed for interpretation of lithofacies characteristics of beach and nearshore depositional environments. Recently, similar expert systems have been widely applied in medicine, business, and mineral exploration.

The expert system runs on a VAX 780 (trade name). By incorporating knowledge and understanding of an expert, the system can interact with a user the way an expert consultant would. Interaction consists of a series of questions about lithology, sedimentary structures, and bioturbation of the lithofacies observed in outcrop or core. Uncertain responses are allowed and incorporated into the reasoning. Dialogue varies in different consultations because questions asked by the system depend on users' responses to previous questions. The result is an evaluation of the likelihood that the deposit under consideration is actually a beach or nearshore deposit. Significant lithofacies characteristics, the reasoning used in reaching the conclusion, and pertinent references are provided.

Expert systems for other depositional environments are being designed. As their availability increases, geologists without easy access to experts on a particular depositional environment will have expert consultants as close as a computer terminal. Also the ability of the system to explain its reasoning and provide references lends the system to instructional uses.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists