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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions Vol. 58 (2008), Pages 455-460

EXTENDED ABSTRACT: Illuminating Seismic Stratigraphic Features Using 3D Visualization

Huw James

Paradigm, 820 Gessner Rd., Ste. 400, Houston, Texas 77024


Interpreters use a variety of workflows when performing structural interpretation of seismic data and these workflows are fairly easy to turn into procedures that can be followed by other members of the team. Visualization of 3D seismic data enables interpreters to scan volumes and reveal stratigraphic features. Interpreters can choose to work with amplitude volumes, Previous HitattributeNext Hit volumes or mixtures of both. The volumes can be datumed relative to the current sea-level surface, historical surfaces, or flattened horizons. The interpreter can sculpt, varying opacity and lighting to deliver a huge number of potential results. The outcomes can be so numerous that it becomes difficult to know where to stop in this process. Examples from a data set from offshore Indonesia are below. The reader is referred to Yilmaz (2001) for additional information and views of this particular data set.

Amplitude Display and Combined Amplitude with Previous HitCoherencyNext Hit Display

Interpreters have traditionally used Previous HitcoherencyNext Hit displays to accentuate faults. These have frequently been combined with reflection amplitude displays to show bright spots bounded by faults, which indicate potential reservoirs. Previous HitCoherencyNext Hit can also emphasize stratigraphic features such as channel boundaries, which are also discontinuities in the reflection amplitude field. A typical stratigraphic workflow begins with the interpreter scanning the 3D seismic data set in section and plan view to look for stratigraphic features. Figure 1 shows a shallow time slice of reflection amplitude data with indications of channels. Figure 2 shows the same time slice with a blend of amplitude and coherence data. It is immediately evident that the channels are more clearly displayed in the combined Previous HitattributeTop display.

Flattened and Structural Voxel Displays

Once stratigraphic features have been spotted, the interpreter needs to discover their full extent in the data set. Features are unlikely to lie flat on a particular time or depth slice. Channels may have an almost flat expression at the time of deposition but will typically occupy a depth or time range. Other features such as dunes, reefs, or channel fan complexes were not flat at the time of deposition. Interpreters may examine a thick slab of seismic data by making some amplitude values transparent. Interpreters may also pick a structural horizon and then flatten the volume. A flattened slab can then be examined using transparency. Figure 3 shows a flattened slab where the positive

Figure 1. Time slice of amplitude data showing channels.


Figure 2. Time slice that is a blend of amplitude and coherence data showing channels.

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