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An advanced photogrammetric method called multimodel stereo restitution is a potential new tool for the petroleum industry when outcrop investigations are necessary, such as in reservoir analog studies. The method is based on very simple field photography techniques, allowing the geologist to use his own standard small-frame camera (e.g., 24 × 36 or 60 × 60 mm formats). It can be applied to geological studies of virtually any scale, and outcrop mapping is significantly improved in detail, accuracy, and volume. The method is especially useful when investigating poorly accessible exposures on steep mountain faces and canyon walls.
The use of multimodel photogrammetry is illustrated by a study of Upper Cretaceous deltaic sediments from the Atane Formation of West Greenland. Detailed vertical cross sections of all outcrops in the area are measured, and in addition, horizontal maps of individual sand bodies are compiled. On this basis, data such as width/thickness ratios, sinuosity, and the shapes of sand bodies and paleochannels crucial in reservoir analog studies are quantified and collected.
Further potential applications of the method in petroleum explorations are discussed. True-scale mapping of lithologies in large continuous exposures can be used in understanding basin evolution and in seismic modeling. Close-range applications can be used when modeling fault geometries, and in studies of individual bed forms, clay laminae, cemented horizons, and diagenetic fronts.
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