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GEOSCIENTIFIC MODELLING OF A FEW REGIONAL TRANSECTS
ACROSS THE VINDHYAN BASIN: A PERSPECTIVE
Anil Kumar Kaul
Geoscience System Studies Division,
Basin Research Group, ONGC Ltd., K.D.M.I.P.E, Dehra Dun, 248195.
Email: kaul_ak1@ongc.co.in

ABSTRACT
Son Valley, of the Vindhyan basin has been one of the thrust areas of exploration, owing to the presence of large
structural features immediately to the north of the Son Narmada Lineament Zone.
An understanding is attempted in this paper of the subsurface along few regional transects in the Son valley area,
through the usage of seismo-stratigraphic techniques of evaluation, palaeotectonic analysis and through other
geoscientific techniques. The generated data is then modelled to build geological attributes for evaluating its
implication to the tectonostratigraphic evolution.

INTRODUCTION
The exploration for hydrocarbons in India has entered a new phase, under the New Exploration
Licensed Programme (NELP) exploration for hydrocarbons in the frontier areas is being brought under
renewed effort and Vindhyan basin is one such area of thrust. Therefore, there is a need to have a
better understanding of subsurface configuration of the Vindhyan basin in order that hydrocarbon
potential can be evaluated and exploration assisted.
Vindhyan Supergroup (Sastry, M.V.A and Moitra, A.K., 1984 ; Soni, M.K., et al 1987) constitutes
one of the most extensive and well preserved Meso-Neoproterozoic? sequence of rocks comprising
mainly sandstone, shale and limestones ; occupying one of the large basins in the world. It extends
from Dehri-on-Son to Hoshangabad and from Chittaurgarh to Agra, and has been named after the
Vindhyan range in central India. The basin has been studied in great detail mainly from the
perspective of geological mapping (Medlicott,H.B. 1859; Auden, J.B., 1933;) yet few attempts to
decifer the subsurface structure (Hari Narain and Kaila, K.L.,1982;; Jokhan Ram, et al., 1996 &
Mishra, D.C., et al., 1996) are also quite noteworthy.

PROLOGUE
Vindhyan Supergroup sequence of rocks is generally considered to be characterized by gentle
synclinal dips and simple outcrop pattern. In the western and southern margins against the Aravalli
and Chotanagpur orogenic / mobile belts, they are however highly sheared, brecciated and severely
folded (Naqvi, S.M and Rogers, J.J.W, 1987). However, for most of its part the internal architecture
of the basin is concealed owing to the overlying younger formations.
Son valley area of the Vindhyan basin has been the loci for hydrocarbon owing to the presence of
huge thicknesses of unmetamorphosed sediments and also due to the presence of large structural
features in the vicinity of the Son - Narmada Lineament Zone. Multi-channel seismic data has been
acquired in the basin in the previous many years to probe in to the subsurface and make an
assessment of the hydrocarbon prospects.
In early nineties the drilling of a maiden well (Well – A) on the flank of a dome near Jabera was
accomplished (Sen A.K., 1992) and on testing the basin showed considerable promise. The first
exploratory location showed the presence of hydrocarbon (non-commercial flared gas @ 2000
m3/day) in the subsurface at a depth of around 2000 mts. The well provided optimistic parameters
with the right petroleum system in place (TOC of 1-3.0%, type II and III kerogen, having matured to
post mature thermal maturity). The optimism led to the drilling of two more wells (Well-B and Well-C)
but with no addition towards a commercial success.

top of Kajrahat Limestone (R2). One extra seismic sequence below seismic sequence A is present in some of the profiles . First.1). Nevertheless.B 1994). second the favourable trap structural. top of Mohana Fawn Limestone.WELL TIE (Fig.well tie. 2) All the studied seismic sections are oriented in the form of blocks to create an isometric view. Broadly these features can be mapped but delineation of these at micro level is beyond the scope of this study. One striking feature of the profile is that the surface expression of synclinal is no longer relevant in the subsurface. GEOSCIENTIFIC MODELLING Hydrocarbon exploration is a very tough task and it requires adequate and detailed image of the subsurface to be able to comment on the three important facets of their occurrence. SEISMIC . The above horizons were projected and tracked down on all the seismic lines from the drilled wells on Jabera Dome and Damoh structure. top of Basuhari Glauconite and top of Rohtas Limestone are consistent and persist in whole of Son valley area. In pursuance to the above. amidst debates of high expectancy and lack of success in the basin. In order to be able to comprehend the relationships of worked out subsurface / surface architecture of the study area to the gravity – magnetic data it was essential to visualize all the data (generated as well as compiled) along all the 19 (nineteen) profiles in a three . Four seismic horizons corresponding to close to the Base of Vindhyans (R1).1: Seismo .OBJECTIVE Exploratory drilling is a costly business and no company can afford to take the risk of investing millions of rupees in such a frontier area where the probability of striking a commercial discovery is presently perceived to be less promising. The location of these lines is restricted to the area between 79 0 00’ 00’’ to 82 0 00’ 00’’ E and 23 0 00’ 00’’ to 25 0 00’ 00’’ N and falls mostly in the Son valley area of the Vindhyan basin (Fig.dimensional frame to improve the resolution of interpretation and explore the likely locales of hydrocarbon entrapment. 1) The seismic section JJ’ passes through the exploratory wells on Jabera Dome and Damoh structure and enables to establish the correlation between observed seismic reflection and formation boundaries obtained from the well data.V. ISOMETRIC BLOCK DIAGRAM-I (N-S profiles) (Fig. except in areas close to the northern and southern margin of the basin where it is also poor at some places especially in the areas of extensive faulting and fracturing.S. The seismic reflections in Upper Vindhyan are in general horizontal. stratigraphic or combination type. SEISMIC DATA QUALITY The seismic data quality in general is fair to good. the study of multi channel 2-D seismic data was taken up and the study is primarily based on the subsurface interpretation of selected 13 (Thirteen) dip and 6 (Six) strike seismic profiles projected on the compiled geological map of the basin (Sarma. The area has been mapped for structural interpretation and contouring has been done at 50 ms interval. Fig. top of Chakaria Olive Shale(R4). top of Jardepahar Porcellanite(R3). while in Lower Vindhyan the seismic reflections are at higher angles. a compelling need is felt to decode the 2D multi channel seismic data in detail probe the subsurface and recreate a detailed understanding of the configuration of the Vindhyan basin in order that hydrocarbon potential can be evaluated and exploration assisted. This subcrop correlation has been extended laterally in a closed loop through most of the seismic lines of the Son valley. Stratigraphic features are also observed in some of the seismic lines. a favourable basin form.stratigraphic sequence profile along JJ’ showing seismic . third and the foremost is a good quality of the source rocks adjacent to the reservoirs.

The main structural elements.and is designated as seismic sequence E and is placed below the Vindhyan base. corresponding to Kajarahat Limestone. Isometric block diagram of N-S profiles. which are present at the base of the Vindhyan. corresponding to Jardepahar Porcellanite level is a strong reflector broken at number of places. . In general it is a disturbed fractured level with major and minor faults. In the vicinity of the Narmada-Son lineament zone. 2. Fig. is also a continuous reflector on all most all the seismic reflectors. and its geometry is controlled by major oblique faults. PALAEOSURFACES Reflector R1. corresponding to close to the base of Vindhyan. It is a major unconformity level where many reflectors are truncating against this reflector at some places and so it is considered a major unconformity between Bijawar and Vindhyans. The main structural features at this level are broader with respect to their nature at older level. The mapping at the base of Vindhyan has established a number of basement highs and lows. are also found to continue at this level except the paleohighs which are submerged by the deposition of Kajrahat limestone. Reflector R3. All the other sequences are generally flat and they dip and gradually thicken due southwest. is the deepest reflector mapped to study the base of the Son valley. the sequences suffer flexure owing to compression of an advancing and inverted front. Reflector R2. The general trend of the contours show that the lows are towards south and to some extent on the northeastern margin of the basin. The major fault trends are also found to be more or less similar to those mapped at the lower levels. The time contour corresponding to reflector R1 shows that the palaeosurface on which Vindhyans were deposited gradually slopes towards south and the deepest part lies close to Son-Narmada lineament.

at this level also the major structural features and fault trends are same as those mapped on older stratigraphic levels. This is an indication of the rejuvenation of the high owing to its proximity to the progressive front. 5. It is a NW-SE profile The location of the profiles have again been given showing slight thickening due southwest.Reflector R4. At the same place. 3. the section is monotonously flat.A Perspective View. However. 4) At the time of deposition of time sequence B.4: Palaeotectonic analysis of seismostratigraphic sequence profile AA’. meter 610 Surface Relief mGal 75 -46 -68 Composite Bouguer Anomaly gamma 130 Composite Total Magnetic intensity Anomaly -475 msec 280 680 Pseudo surface along Reflector 4 msec 360 msec Pseudo surface along Reflector 3 1320 msec 840 Pseudo surface along Reflector 2 Subsurface Representation 960 560 1800 Pseudo surface along Reflector 1 Fig. The structural high seems to be a latter/post depositional high as any of the time thicknesses of the sequences do not show thinning towards this high. In general. SEISMO . . corresponding to top of Chakaria Olive shale is also a strong reflector and broken at some places. Fig. A palaeohigh is seen towards the south of this profile which on subsequent deposition flattens out.Stratigraphic Sequence Profile A representative profile within the basin frame and the brief description is as under. the palaeosurface corresponding to Reflector R1 (Base of Vindhyan)show a nearly flat disposition except for the steep gradient close to the Bundelkhand massif. Seismo-stratigraphic sequence profile AA PALAEOTECTONIC ANALYSIS Profile (AA’) (Fig. Fig. 3-D modeling of the data set along the seismogeological profile (N-S) along AA’ (with a buffer of 10 km on either side of the line profile) . a corresponding low during the deposition of time sequence B. The southwestern part of the section is a structural high. this unit shows weak reflections. Here. point towards a selective extension and or transpression.

The structural high seems to be a latter/ post depositional high and thus a scarp gets manifested at the surface also. One extra seismic sequence below seismic sequence A is present in some of the profiles and is designated as seismic sequence E and is placed below the Vindhyan base. The southwestern tip of the section is a magnetic/ gravity and structural high. 5. B. In the vicinity of the Narmada-Son lineament zone. SUMMARY 1. The structural high which was developed at the time of the deposition of time sequence B (Jardepahar Porcellanite) retains its configuration and gets more pronounced so as to shift the depositional axis towards the centre of the profile. A Gravity low expression of the order of -68 mGal in the southwestern portion of the section is expressed as a structural low. C and D. B. It points towards a post Semri tectonics and associated rejuvenation. 3-D PERSPECTIVE VIEW The data generated through the seismic reflection studies of the profiles. The present day palaeosurfaces show moderately high angle dips. On sequence stratigraphic analysis the NW-SE profile AA’ shows slight thickening due southwest.Towards the top of flattened reflector R4. Any of the time thicknesses of the sequences do not show thinning towards this high. This is an indication of the rejuvenation of the high owing to its proximity to the progressive front. A remarkable difference is visualized in the present day disposition of palaeosurfaces vis-à-vis the flattened palaeosurfaces corresponding to the tops of sequence A. Palaeotectonic analysis of the point towards a selective transpression. The data along the profile AA’ has been modelled to bring out the perspective views in terms of relief. 5) It is a NW-SE profile showing deepening due southwest. The trend of the gravitymagnetic anomalies is more or less parallel to the scarp except for the magnetic anomalies which show a NW-SE orientation. The southwestern tip of the section is a magnetic/ gravity and structural high. 9. the sequences suffer flexure owing to compression of an advancing and inverted front. Profile (AA’) (Fig. 6. 8. C and D. 3. A remarkable difference is visualized in the present day disposition of palaeosurfaces vis-àvis the flattened palaeosurfaces corresponding to the tops of sequence A. The profile AA’ shows deepening due southwest. This has enhanced the resolution of the data and helps in evaluating the relationship of subsurface architecture to the GM and topographic data set. A Gravity low expression corresponds to a structural low. namely the time structure maps. . One striking feature of the profile is that the surface expression of synclinal is no longer relevant in the subsurface. 4. 7. 2. gravity magnetic data along with the DEM (digital elevation model) of the study area has been modeled to bring out the perspective views in terms of relief. All the other sequences are generally flat and they dip and gradually thicken due southwest. The structural high towards the south-western part of the profile seems to be a latter/ post depositional high and thus a scarp gets manifested at the surface also. the deposition of time sequence D (corresponding to Chakaria Shale) shows gradual thickening towards south. The present day palaeosurfaces show moderately high angle dips. The southwestern part of the section is a structural high.

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