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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 88, No. 2 (2004), P. 153-174.

Copyright copy2004. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

High-frequency sequence stratigraphy from seismic sedimentology: Applied to Miocene, Vermilion Block 50, Tiger Shoal area, offshore Louisiana

Hongliu Zeng,1 Tucker F. Hentz2

1Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, University Station, Box X, Austin, Texas 78713-8924; [email protected]
2Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, University Station, Box X, Austin, Texas 78713-8924; [email protected]

AUTHORS

Hongliu Zeng has been a research scientist for the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, since 1997. His research interests include seismic sedimentology, seismic stratigraphy, and special seismic processing, as applied to petroleum prospecting. He earned his B.S. (1982) and M.S (1985) degrees in geology from the Petroleum University of China and his Ph.D. (1994) in geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tucker F. Hentz is a research associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, which he joined in 1982. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree in geology from Franklin amp Marshall College in 1977 and received his M.S. degree in geology from the University of Kansas in 1982. His research interests include the regional sequence stratigraphy of gas-bearing successions in the Anadarko basin, Rio Grande Embayment, and Gulf Coast Basin.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge the significant research contributions to this study made by our colleagues: L. J. Wood, M. V. DeAngelo, L. F. Brown, Jr., A. C. Badescu, C. O. Kiliccedil, and Y. Hu. Reviews by L. J. Wood, S. P. Dutton, R. Loucks, and Bulletin reviewers M. M. Previous HitBackusTop, R. M. Mitchum, and J. A. Pacht have improved the presentation and are greatly appreciated. Figures were prepared by P. Beard under the direction of J. L. Lardon. L. Dieterich completed copyediting prior to submission of the draft.

This article was prepared with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), under Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC26-98FT40136. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein, however, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the DOE. As an industry partner, ChevronTexaco contributed the well-log, production, and 3-D seismic data. Landmark Graphics Corporation provided software for display of well-log correlations and interpretation of seismic data via the Landmark University Grant Program. Published with the permission of the director, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin.

ABSTRACT

We introduce a seismic-sedimentological approach for mapping high-frequency (fourth-order) sequences and systems tracts using well and three-dimensional seismic data. Key techniques include (1) conditioning seismic data to log lithology by 90deg phasing for better well-log integration and (2) imaging and interpreting the sequential, planoform geomorphology of the depositional systems. We recommend a new interpretation procedure that shifts the emphasis of high-frequency sequence-stratigraphic studies from interpreting vertical seismic sections to analyzing more horizontal, high-resolution, seismic-geomorphologic information.

This case study shows that stratal slicing in lithology-conditioned seismic data provides sequential seismic imagery of generally contemporaneous depositional systems. This imagery, in turn, serves as a basis for recognizing and mapping high-frequency systems tracts, sequence boundaries, and sequences in a geologic-time domain. In Miocene strata of offshore Louisiana, fourth-order sequences or sequence sets from well data can be seismically mapped at a resolution equivalent to 30 ft (10 m) in thickness from a 30-Hz dominant-frequency seismic data set. The resolution is sufficient for an accurate reconstruction of the high-frequency sequence-stratigraphic framework in the region of seismic coverage outside well control.

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