1999 Conference Abstracts

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1999 Abstract: Young et al.

3-D Ground-Penetrating Radar Imaging of Turbidite Outcrop Analogs

Roger Adams Young, Benjamin E. Peterson
School of Geology and Geophysics
University of Oklahoma
100 E. Boyd St.
Norman, OK 73019-0628

R. M. Slatt
Colorado School of Mines
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Golden, CO 80401-1887


High-resolution outcrop stratigraphic analysis is becoming increasingly utilized to build detailed, quantitative reservoir architectural models. With suitably long outcrops, preferably in three dimensions, this analysis can provide the best method of developing reservoir models that include hard data on continuity and connectivity of different bed types. The addition of geophysical logs and cores taken immediately behind outcrop faces provides a valuable means for geological correlation in the plane of the outcrop.

Such outcrop studies, however, do not image the interior structure of a volume. Even if an extensive distribution of boreholes has been drilled to define sedimentary units at an outcrop, the scale of significant sedimentary and structural features may still be smaller than can be captured. This type and scale of information is important because features smaller than the limit of seismic resolution may be extremely significant in determining production.

In this paper, ground-penetrating radar signatures of two very different turbidite analogs are presented. In the first case, Pennsylvanian-age, amalgamated channel sandstones, which are characterized by silica-cementation, show exceptional depth of radar penetration, and displacement of interbedded sandstones and shales extends a fault mapped in outcrop. In the second case, Cretaceous-age, channelized turbidite sandstones clearly show internal complexity within the channel fill and define the nature of the relationship between sandy fill and the adjacent thin beds.