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Seismic stratigraphy

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Basic concepts Interpretation Subject is difficult

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**Marking up a seismic section
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Determine horizontal and vertical scales Identify multiples and other noise Divide data into discrete natural stratigraphic packages by marking reflection terminations Identify seismic surfaces Perform above steps on next line

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Reflection terminations

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Lapout: lateral termination of a reflector at its depositional limit Truncation: reflector cut by a geological feature Baselap: lapout of reflections against an underlying seismic surface Downlap: underlying surface dip < overlying strata – Onlap: underlying surface dip > overlying strata Toplap: termination of inclined reflectors against an overlying lower angle surface

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UPPER BOUNDARY

Tr unc a t i on Topl a p Appa r e nt t r unc a t i on Onl a p (c oa s t a l )

Fa ul t t r unc a t i on Downl a p Onl a p (ma r i ne ) Downl a p

LOWER BOUNDARY

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Downlap

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Normally seen at the base of prograding clinoforms Usually represents the progradation of a basin-margin slope system into deep water A change from slope deposition to condensation or non-deposition Very difficult to generate downlap in a nonmarine environment

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Condensed section

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Characterized by extremely low rates of deposition and the development of condensed facies such as glauconitic, organic rich and/or phospatic shales, or pelgaic carbonates

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Onlap

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Marine Represents a change from marine deposition to marine non-deposition or condensation – Reflects a change from high deposition rates to lower – Cannot be used to study relative sea-level changes Coastal

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Represents a change from a zone of deposition to basin-margin erosion and nondeposition Landward progression -> rising relative sealevel Basinward progression -> falling relative sealevel BACK TO COURSE

UPPER BOUNDARY

Tr unc a t i on Topl a p Appa r e nt t r unc a t i on Onl a p (c oa s t a l )

Fa ul t t r unc a t i on Downl a p Onl a p (ma r i ne ) Downl a p

LOWER BOUNDARY

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Toplap

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Marginal marine setting Represents a change from slope deposition to non-marine or shallow marine bypass or erosion – Toplap surface is an unconformity Deep marine setting

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Represents, most likely, a marine erosion surface This surface is localized and rarely flat over large areas

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Truncations

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Erosional truncation Apparent truncation Fault truncation

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Erosional truncation

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Termination of strata against an overlying erosional surface More extreme than toplap Implies the development of erosional relief or an angular unconformity

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UPPER BOUNDARY

Tr unc a t i on Topl a p Appa r e nt t r unc a t i on Onl a p (c oa s t a l )

Fa ul t t r unc a t i on Downl a p Onl a p (ma r i ne ) Downl a p

LOWER BOUNDARY

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Apparent truncation

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Termination of relatively low angle seismic reflections beneath a dipping seismic surface, where the surface represents marine condensation Represents a distal depositional limit or thinning below seismic resolution Many reflection terminations in marine strata are apparent due to the limits of seismic resolution

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Fault truncation

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Represents the termination of reflections against a syn- or post-depositional fault, slump, glide or intrusion plane Termination against a relict fault scarp in not truncation, but onlap

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**Examples of onlap, toplap and downlap
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Onl a p Tr unc a t i on

Topl a p

Onl a p

Downl a p

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**Seismic facies mapping
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Reflection geometry Continuity Amplitude Frequency Interval velocity 3D association of reflection groups

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Coa s t a l onl a p Tops e t s

Se a -l e ve l Of f l a p br e a k Cl i nof or ms

Bot t oms e t

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**Topset-clinoform structure
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Criteria to identify Clear offlap break – Topset reflections are concordant and parallel Some sedimentary units may have a similar geometry, but will not meet the above criteria

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Clinoform geometry is the only seismic facies that gives a clear link directly to depositional system Normally need to calibrate with well control

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Topset-clinoform package

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**Topset geometry may indicate
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Alluvial plain Coastal plain Paralic (lagoon or littoral) environment Shelf

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**Flat-lying reflections may indicate
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Deep-marine shales Coastal-plain topsets Alluvial plain Lacustrine facies

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Amplitude mapping

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May help where well-control is lacking Can plot amplitude For a given time horizon – For a given stratigraphic horizon Examples from Enachescu (1993)

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Stratigraphic surfaces

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**Sequence boundaries Transgressive surfaces Maximum flooding surfaces Marine onlap/downlap surfaces
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**Separates the lowstand systems tract into
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Lowstand edge Lowstand fan

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Sequence boundaries

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Recognized in two ways 1) Development of a high relief truncation surface – 2) Downward shift in coastal onlap across the boundary Example of (1) in figure 3.7

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**30 ms relief -> topography = v/2t = 30 m if v=2000 m/s Example of (2) in figure 3.7
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**100 ms relief -> 100 m change in sea level
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High relief truncation surface

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Coastal onlap across a boundary

Of f l a p br e a k

Lowe s t t ops e t

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Transgressive surfaces

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**Mark End of lowstand progradation – Onset of transgression Need not be associated with any reflection terminations
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**Will mark the boundary
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Topset- clinoform interval / only topsets

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**Maximum flooding surfaces
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Recognized by Clinoforms downlap on to underlying topsets – May display backstepping and apparent truncation Not every downlap surface is a maximum flooding surface

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**Marine downlap surfaces
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Important surface is the top lowstand fan Occurs at the base of the clinoforms of the lowstand prograding wedge Facies below this downlap surface are basinal deposits

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**Marine onlap surfaces
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Should be able to correlate marine onlap surfaces landward, into a basin-margin setting and identify them as one of: Sequence boundary – Transgressive surface – Maximum flooding surface – Top lowstand fan surface Not always possible to correlate, particularly in retrogradational settings

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**Lowstand systems tract
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Bounded below by a sequence boundary Bounded above by a transgressive surface

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Lowstand example

Transgres sive surface ?

Sequence boundary

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**Another lowstand example
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Clinoform unit Transgressive surface Sequen ce bounda ry

Fan unit

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**Transgressive systems tracts
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Bounded below by a transgressive surface Bounded above by a maximum flooding surface Consist of retrograde topset parasequences Often very thin and may contain only a single reflection

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**Transgressive systems tract example
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**Mainly topsets in the tract Internal retrograde structure
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Maximum flooding surface surface Downla Coa p l Transgressive unit

Transgressive surface

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Coa l

**Highstand systems tract
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Bounded below by a maximum flooding surface Bounded above by a sequence boundary Have progradational geometries

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**Highstand systems tract example
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**Consists of prograding topsets and clinoforms Apparent truncation at maximum flooding surface surface
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Sequence boundary Highstand unit

**Maximum flooding surface surface
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Downla p

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Interpretation pitfalls

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Seismic data have relatively low resolution compared to outcrop and core data Systems tracts may be missing along some seismic lines Lowstand fans All seismic surfaces identified by reflection termination may not be sequence boundaries

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**Interpretation pitfalls (continued)
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Confusion of marine with coastal onlap Coastal onlap confined to topset reflections – Topsets are parallel and lie landward of offlap break Confusion of fluvial incision and marine canyons

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**Fluvial incision -> a sequence boundary Determination of the downlap surface in a clinoform succession
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BACK TO COURSE

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- Sequence Stratigraphy Methodology and Nomenclature
- Basics of Seismic Interpretation
- Geological Interpretation of Reflection Seismic Data
- Seismic Interpretation Badly
- PETRA Quick Start Manual
- Reservoir Characterization Using Seismic Inversion Data
- Seismic Attributes
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