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Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

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Journal of Structural Geology


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Interpretation validation on vertically exaggerated reection seismic sections


S.A. Stewart
Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 18 April 2011
Received in revised form
24 February 2012
Accepted 29 February 2012
Available online 21 March 2012

Reection seismic data is usually displayed with a vertical exaggeration factor in the range 2e6
irrespective of whether it is time or depth domain data. This vertical exaggeration gives certain
advantages to stratigraphic and structural interpretation, and is sometimes a prerequisite to view
long-wavelength structures. However, vertical exaggeration distorts geological structures, affecting
dip, curvature, line length, cross-sectional area, volume and angular relationships. Reection seismic can
be assigned a vertical exaggeration heterogeneity factor based on the extremes of seismic velocities. In
the absence of appreciable poorly-compacted units and bathymetry, and generally on depth domain data,
vertical exaggeration is relatively homogeneous. Analytical solutions are derived to quantify the
distortion of angular relationships, curvature and bed thickness under homogeneous vertical exaggeration. Modelled extensional and compressional geometries give acceptable area balance restorations
using vertical shear under homogeneous vertical exaggeration. These vertically exaggerated restorations
are neither admissible nor viable because the deformed and restored state sections are unrealistic. Given
low heterogeneity of vertical exaggeration, and relatively simple structure that typies many extensional
geometries and some thrust geometries, aspect ratios of 1:1 are not denitively required for section
validation by restoration.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Reection seismic
Vertical exaggeration
Validation
Restoration

1. Introduction

2. Reection seismic data

Vertical exaggeration (VE) is dened here as the vertical to


horizontal aspect ratio, measured in equal units of depth and
distance, of a cross section. Reection seismic cross sections are
commonly displayed with a degree of vertical exaggeration such
that the aspect ratio of the section is 2e6 or greater (Stewart, 2011).
Vertical exaggeration is not necessarily homogeneous in a given
line of section (Fig. 1). Section validation techniques were originally
developed to augment eld-based studies but for many years have
applied to structural interpretations based on reection seismic
data (Gibbs, 1983; Rowan and Kligeld, 1989). This paper
examines how geological structures are distorted by vertical
exaggeration and considers the impact on the process of structural
interpretation and validation. Given that, in certain circumstances,
vertical exaggeration may be a signicant issue, this paper
addressed the question are any validation methods robust to
vertical exaggeration?

2.1. Vertical exaggeration of reection seismic data

E-mail address: Simon.Stewart@pet.hw.ac.uk.


0191-8141/$ e see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2012.02.021

Reection seismic is a standard subsurface imaging tool in the


oil & gas industry, underpinning most mapping, drilling and
development projects. Reviews of published reection seismic
interpretations and interpretation processes indicate that individuals working with reection seismic rarely view the data with
true aspect ratio where the vertical depth scale is set equal to the
horizontal scale e some 38% of all published reection seismic is
displayed with vertical exaggeration in the range 2e6, and a further
37% is presented with even greater vertical exaggerations (Fig. 2;
Bacon et al., 2003; Stewart, 2011). Although vertical exaggeration is
used to enhance aspects of display and interpretation, the impact of
this distortion on structural aspects of interpretation and validation
is rarely considered.
This paper does not consider other sources of uncertainty in the
reection seismic method such as low signal to noise ratio (see
Feagin, 1981; Bond et al., 2007, 2012), lateral seismic image positioning errors (e.g. Gray et al., 2001; Pon and Lines, 2005), or
geometrical distortion arising from oblique intersection of
geological structures (see Groshong, 2006 p.137e141). The term
exaggeration is used synonymously here with stretch, depth

S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

39

Fig. 1. Vertical exaggeration (VE) of reection seismic cross sections. a) Sketch of a representative section with typical structural features of a rift basin setting. Cross section is
reproduced with progressively greater VE (aspect ratio), a homogeneous transformation. b) Equivalent section in time domain based on typical seismic velocities. This in itself is
a heterogeneous transformation from the depth domain true section of (a). Vertical units are two-way travel time (TWT) in seconds. Versions of this section with superimposed
homogeneous VE are shown e these represent the most widespread mode of published seismic data (see Fig. 2). Red box highlights an area of low heterogeneity of exaggeration
that is nonetheless affected by lateral velocity gradients at shallower levels. c) Example reection seismic lines (time domain data with low velocity-related VE heterogeneity)
displayed close to true aspect ratio (left) and at more commonly used VE (right).

error, mistie, transformation and directional scaling, and is


a positive real number that may be variable in a given cross section.
VE > 1 is stretched vertically, 0 < VE < 1 is squashed vertically.
Some authors separate horizontal exaggeration as component of

aspect ratio (e.g. Stone, 1991; Groshong, 2006) however this does
not appear to be popular in the published literature (Stewart, 2011).
Horizontal exaggeration is equivalent to vertical exaggeration
(as dened here) combined with uniform scaling so it is not

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S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

Fig. 2. Review of VE in published seismic data, after Stewart (2011). 1437 data.

required to describe the aspect ratio of a cross section and is not


considered further here.
There are two categories of reason that reection seismic images
are displayed with vertical exaggeration. Firstly, issues associated
with the seismic acquisition and processing method and secondly,
working practises of the individual interpreting the product. Processing steps that lead to nal datasets with the vertical dimension
in depth are increasingly common and remove a large element of
depth-dependent exaggeration (Gray et al., 2001), however depth
error can remain depending on the amount of well control available
to correct interpreted horizons to their actual depth as drilled. Data
presented in publications tend not to have any explicit label of
vertical exaggeration (Fig. 2).
2.2. Vertical exaggeration heterogeneity factor
Reection seismic is a time-based method and the simplest
forms of acquisition and processing lead to volumes and cross
sections where the vertical axis is in time. Due to the basic relationship between distance, velocity and time, reection seismic
displayed in time is also a direct representation of seismic velocities. And because seismic velocity generally increases with depth of
burial, due to compaction for instance (e.g. Audet and Fowler,
1992), reection seismic displayed in time usually has an
inherent depth-dependent vertical exaggeration (Fig. 1). A large
proportion of reection seismic data currently appearing in the
geoscience literature is displayed with the vertical axis in units of
time (Fig. 2). Reection seismic data displayed with a vertical
dimension of time are also prone to lateral velocity variations, for
instance caused by crossing a steep fault that separates units of
signicantly different seismic velocity (Fig. 1b). In any case, the
relation between time seismic and true depth in a single cross
section is likely, to some extent, to be a heterogeneous vertical
exaggeration. Heterogeneous vertical exaggeration does not
preserve key properties such as parallelism of lines or even colinearity of points, so heterogeneity of vertical exaggeration is
a potentially serious impediment to interpretation and validation.
It is worth considering this impact quantitatively in order to gauge
if and when validation techniques can be applied to time-based
data. Techniques exist to analyse and describe seismic velocity
heterogeneity (e.g. Mukerji et al., 1995; Gallardo and Meju, 2003),
the simplest description is a ratio of minimum to maximum seismic
velocities (that are relevant to the scale of observation). This ratio
quanties the variation in VE and could be termed VE heterogeneity factor. A graph of VE heterogeneity factor for typical basin
lithologies and seismic velocities (Fig. 3) shows heterogeneity

Fig. 3. Heterogeneity Factor dened as ratio of maximum to minimum seismic


velocities for common sedimentary basin materials. The lines on this graph are
heterogeneity factors in terms of the minimum predominant signicant velocity layer
in a given section (dened at x-axis intercept e black spots) and the maximum
predominant signicant velocity at the x-value of any other point on the line. For
example the yellow square shows a heterogeneity factor of 2 in a section dominated by
poorly-compacted siliciclastics (2250 ms1) and well-compacted carbonates
(4500 ms1).

factors ranging from 2 to 3 where a mix of slow (poorly-compacted)


and fast (well-cemented) materials are present, down to heterogeneity factors close to 1 where the strata are generally wellcompacted, irrespective of lithology. Awareness of this heterogeneity factor would be an important precursor to application of
section validation techniques. Condence that heterogeneities are
close to 1 in the area or volume of interest would pave the way for
application of validation techniques as described later. But care
needs to be taken to ensure that deep structures with low local VE
heterogeneity are unaffected by lateral velocity gradients at shallower structural levels (e.g. Fig. 1b).
2.3. Vertical exaggeration due to reection seismic acquisition
parameters
If a reection seismic cross section is displayed with no vertical
exaggeration, it can appear squashed or decimated, conveying an
impression of poorer data quality relative to an unsquashed, but
actually vertically exaggerated, smoother image (Fig. 4). The
acquisition setup of marine reection seismic surveys usually
involves a horizontal sampling interval of 25 m or 12.5 m, and
a vertical sampling interval of 4 ms, although vertical sampling of
2 ms is sometimes used in commercial high resolution seismic
and much ner sampling can be used in specialist marine situations
(Mosher and Simpkin, 1999). Sampling in land seismic acquisition
may vary signicantly from this depending on terrain and
commercial considerations (Cordsen et al., 2000) and ground
penetrating radar applications operate at much higher resolution
(Bristow and Jol, 2003).
Given typical seismic P-wave velocities in sedimentary basins,
4 ms vertical sampling interval converts to a depth equivalent in
the range 4e10 m. This can be combined with typical horizontal
sampling intervals to yield natural VE values for reection
seismic data e at which the seismic is displayed with approximately equal vertical and horizontal sample spacing in the depth
domain (Eq. (1)).

S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

41

Fig. 4. Spatial sampling of reection seismic data and possible predisposition to VE. a) Graph of vertical exaggerations resulting from display of seismic on a grid with equal sample
spacing on vertical and horizontal axes. HI: horizontal sampling interval. VI: vertical sampling interval. b) (i) representation of actual sampling of typical reection seismic data. (ii)
relatively even sampling can give a less stretched appearance of seismic data and may be preferred data display. c) Reection seismic example at (i) seismic sampling mapped on to
an even display grid (ii) a portion of the same line displayed at VE z 1. Seismic data originally appeared in Fig. 2 of Butler and Paton (2010).

VE equal spatial sampling on seismic

2000 HI
v VI

(1)

Where VE (equal spatial sampling on seismic) is vertical exaggeration based on equal spatial sampling in vertical and horizontal
directions, v is seismic velocity (ms1), VI is vertical sampling in
two-way travel time (ms) and HI is horizontal sampling (m). So
display of a reection seismic cross section with an approximately
equal vertical and horizontal spatial sampling has a vertical exaggeration of 2e3 in the case of 12.5 m horizontally sampled data, and
3e6 in the case of data sampled at 25 m horizontal spacing (Fig. 4).
The strength of this effect on practitioners is difcult to quantify but
it is easy to imagine an interpreter preferring the aesthetics of
unstretched seismic displayed with even vertical and horizontal
sampling.
2.4. Vertical exaggeration due to data management and
interpretation issues
The full seismic volume as acquired and processed is not
necessarily available to the interpreter e seismic may be decimated
on loading, for example a survey acquired with HI 12.5 m may be
loaded dropping every second trace, to save computer memory or
increase interpretational efciency, giving a 25 m spacing. The
sampling parameters discussed here apply to the seismic volume

that is available to the interpreter, i.e. as loaded to the interpretation system.


A related user-driven factor arises from the seismic interpretation workow often being horizontally-biased; the majority of
mapping in sedimentary basins follows sub-horizontal features such
as bedding planes, rather than steep structures. Again this results in
a tendency to increase vertical exaggeration, driven in this case by
a desire to ease the interpretation of a given reector, and increase
the lateral extent of the area of interest available on-screen at a given
time. This lateral squashing, also known as foreshortening (Feagin,
1981; Bertram and Milton, 1996), amplies low-angle stratigraphic
and structural relationships, again easing interpretation.
In contrast to the heterogeneous nature of vertical exaggeration
of seismic displayed with a time-based vertical axis, these userdriven forms of vertical exaggeration represent homogeneous
transforms in that a single directional scaling factor applies to the
whole cross section.
3. Impact of vertical exaggeration on structural criteria
3.1. Homogeneous vertical exaggeration
Homogeneous vertical exaggeration is an afne transformation,
so straight lines remain straight, parallel lines remain parallel and

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S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

ratios of distance along a straight line remain constant. However,


line length, area, volume, bed thickness, curvature and angular
relationships such as cutoff angles, fold interlimb angles and dips
are all affected (Table 1, Fig. 5). VE ranges and values shown in Fig. 5
span the most commonly used VE (Fig. 2).
The relationship between unexaggerated and exaggerated dip
(Table 1; Fig. 5a) is Eq. (6.3) of Groshong (2006), the other relationships have been derived in this study. Lines are stretched as
a function of their initial dip or plunge, and VE (Table 1; Fig. 5b), the
effect becoming progressively greater with increasing unexaggerated dip until, for vertical lines, the amount of lengthening is
a factor equal to VE. Bed thickness (minimum distance between
two parallel lines) increases by a factor of VE for horizontal layering
but the effect decays relatively quickly with increasing unexaggerated dip (Table 1; Fig. 5c). Intersection angles such as cutoffs,
fold interlimb angles and stratigraphic pinchouts are affected by VE
as a function of the unexaggerated intersection angle (a) and the
orientation of the intersecting lines with respect to the direction of
stretch, dened here as d (Table 1; Fig. 5d and inset). The intersection angle relationship reduces to the dip relationship shown in
Fig. 5a for d 0. The curvature relationship shown in Fig. 5e refers
to the curvature of any line at a given point in a cross section so is
not necessarily a principal curvature. Curvature can be described by
differential geometry techniques (e.g. Pearce et al., 2006) that could
be modied to take account of VE. A simpler approach is taken here,
based on the idea that curvature can be described in terms of the
radius of the osculating circle through the point in question (Lisle
and Robinson, 1995). The function shown in Table 1 and graphed
in Fig. 5e is a power law relationship between exaggerated and
unexaggerated curvature based on stretching the osculating circle
into an ellipse of ellipticity VE.
The lateral continuity of horizons is unaffected by homogeneous
VE, as is the relative lateral position of piercing point data such as
tip lines, branch lines and cutoffs. Seismically-resolvable fault
population characteristics (other than fault criteria that include
a vertical component, such as displacement) are preserved.
3.2. Heterogeneous vertical exaggeration
All of the criteria affected by homogeneous VE are affected in
heterogeneous VE. Azimuthal data (dip & curvature directions) are
also changed; lines may rotate through horizontal. Scale and
context is also important, for instance the seismic velocity structure

may be locally homogeneous but be overlain by velocity heterogeneities and therefore distorted (e.g. Fig. 1).
4. Section restoration procedures
4.1. Section restoration terminology
The idea that interpretations of deformed structures could be
restored to the undeformed state to provide a validation of the
initial interpretation was described by Dahlstrom (1969), and has
been adopted widely (e.g. Hossack, 1979, 1995; Cooper, 1983;
Elliott, 1983; Gibbs, 1983; Woodward et al., 1986; De Paor, 1988;
Mitra and Namson, 1989). The concepts of viability and admissibility were introduced by Elliott (1983) and reviewed by
Marshak and Woodward (1988, p309e310). A deformed-state
section is admissible if it contains realistic structures, i.e. things
that can be directly observed at outcrop. A deformed-state section
is viable if it can be restored to an unstrained state such that line
lengths and/or areas are conserved, line lengths are consistent with
one another, and the unstrained section is admissible. A balanced
section is a deformed-state section that is both viable and admissible. The workow descriptors validation and restoration are
broadly equivalent to balancing and work described in these
terms usually includes explicit reference to balancing (e.g.
Flttmann and James, 1997; Wickham and Moeckel, 1997; Foss
et al., 2008; Durand-Riard et al., 2010). Key restoration methods
are line length, area and volume balance and a range of deformation mechanisms are modelled.
4.2. Section restoration uncertainties
Putting aside issues arising from heterogeneity of vertical
exaggeration, there are a number of signicant sources of uncertainty that impact restorations. Section admissibility is arguably
restricted to some basic principles such as inability of in-situ
sedimentary beds to cross cut each other. Apart from such
geometrical primitives, realism based on outcrop analogy depends
to some extent on an individuals experience. Furthermore, the vast
majority of rocks on Earth do not crop out and it could be argued
that many unrealistic geometries actually exist in the subsurface.
The original denition of viability is also open to challenge.
Penetrative strain (specically layer parallel strain or lateral
compaction) has long been recognised as an issue in the restoration

Table 1
Inuence of homogeneous and heterogeneous vertical exaggeration on structural components and measurements. d is dip in the line of a 2D section at a given point.
Affected by homogeneous VE?
Line length (of straight line L)

Angular relationships (a)

Line continuity
Lateral position of piercing points
Fault population truncation
Azimuth
Dip (d)
Dip sign (pos/neg)
Curvature magnitude (k)

N
N
N
N
Y
N
Y

Curvature direction
Cross section area
Bed thickness (of parallel bedded interval thickness T)

N
Y
Y

Volume

Change under homogeneous VE


q
L0
L2 1  sin2 d1  VE2 
tan a0

tana  d tan d
1
 VE tana  dtan d
VE

0
tan d VE tan d


3=2
sin2 d
k0 k VE cos2 d
2
VE
area0 VE area
v
u 2
uT 1  cos2 d1  VE2 
T0 u


u
1=VE  VE 2
t
1
tan d cot d
volume0 VE volume

Affected by heterogeneous VE?


Y
Y

N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y

S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

43

Fig. 5. Graphs showing effects of single, homogeneous VE on various structural criteria. Functions are shown in Table 1 and results are discussed in text.

of highly-deformed or metamorphic sections (e.g. Woodward et al.,


1986; McNaught and Mitra, 1996; Flttmann and James, 1997; Sans
et al., 2003). This issue has been more recently recognised in the
restoration of compressed sedimentary strata, where lateral
compaction as opposed to discrete faulting can represent horizontal
shortening in the order of 25% (Koyi et al., 2004; Butler and Paton,
2010). This may be an unknown quantity in subsurface strata.
These are potentially true volume losses through time, represented
by pore water escaping from the basin. Salt dissolution also leads to
volume loss through time (Hossack, 1995; Warren, 1997).
Transformations between undeformed and nal states tend to
be non-afne anyway due to local shear and bending strains so it is

usually difcult to conserve all line lengths and area (Wickham and
Moeckel, 1997; Koyi and Maillot, 2007). Materials that are prone to
ow in 3D such as salt contravene the plane strain assumption of
2D balancing (Rowan, 1993; Hossack, 1995). Removal of vertical
compaction is another element that may introduce uncertainty
(e.g. Bishop et al., 1995; Foss et al., 2008). Finally, there are also
uncertainties associated with major geometrical assumptions such
as depth to detachment, stratigraphic template and position of
unseen cutoffs (Judge and Allmendinger, 2011).
Despite these issues, section restoration is a relatively quick way
of checking the robustness of a structural model before more
substantial investment (e.g. drilling) is made.

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S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

5. Implications of vertical exaggeration for seismic


interpretation and validation
5.1. Seismic interpretation
The general aim of seismic interpretation is to extract as accurate and comprehensive a description as possible of the subsurface
geometry of geological structures and architectures. In practise this
effort is usually focussed on a specic area of interest within
a dataset, guided by commercial or academic priorities, and there
may be tight deadlines, so workow efciency is important. The
primary geological elements to be mapped are key Formation
boundaries and faults, and the challenge in seismic interpretation is
to establish correlation of Formations across the area of interest,
particularly across faults, especially in areas of relatively weak
geophysical signal.
5.2. Interpretation validation
When faced with validation of interpretations based on reection seismic data, particularly time-domain sections, workows
should ideally include depth conversion. However, the impact of
vertical exaggeration on restoration procedures is worth considering for a number of reasons. Identication of procedures that are
robust to vertical exaggeration enables depth conversion to
potentially be omitted in cases where, for example, project timeline

is very short, or depth conversion is uncertain due to absence of


time/depth constraint.
The classic denition of balanced sections breaks down for
vertically exaggerated sections. Vertically exaggerated structures
and stratigraphic architectures are likely to be inadmissible in the
deformed and undeformed states for a host of reasons e faults
being steeper than mechanically feasible, beds changing thickness
as a function of dip and so on (Figs. 1and 5). In terms of the criteria
that underpin section viability, line lengths are unreliable because
they are affected as a function of dip (Fig. 5b).
To investigate the effect of vertical exaggeration on section
restoration, a simple experiment was run consisting of a known
deformation that was vertically stretched, and restored while in
a vertically exaggerated state, and nally unstretched back to a 1:1
aspect ratio (Fig. 6). Two deformation mechanisms were compared
e vertical shear and fault parallel ow, common choices for
extensional and thrust structures respectively (Egan et al., 1999). As
expected, line lengths are generally unstable and only restore to
original lengths where both forward and reverse modelling
consists entirely of vertical shear. On the other hand, areas are
stable under various combinations of deformation mechanism in
forward and reverse modelling phases, in all cases restoring to
equal the original area. Despite satisfying area balance, a variety of
restored geometries were generated as a function of restoration
deformation mechanism. Use of fault parallel ow for restoration of
vertically exaggerated structure produced signicant artifacts

Fig. 6. Modelled deformation, exaggeration and restoration to investigate the effects of restoring vertically exaggerated sections. Reference frame vertical eld is depth and aspect
ratio V H. Allochthon line lengths (L0 ) and areas (A0 ) are referenced to the initial models on the left hand side. Models run in 2DMove by Midland Valley.

S.A. Stewart / Journal of Structural Geology 41 (2012) 38e46

whereas vertical shear gave reasonable restorations including


cases where the initial deformation consisted of fault parallel ow,
and where the initial reference frame is rotated (simulating
regional dip).
These models suggest that validation of vertically exaggerated
sections can be done assuming simple deformation mechanism
(vertical shear) and relatively simple structure. It must be
acknowledged that this can only ever be a quicklook approach to
validation, rather than precision work that demands VE 1 and
detailed consideration of deformation mechanisms (e.g. Rowan and
Kligeld, 1989; Bulnes and McClay, 1999). As structure becomes
more complex e involving cross cutting faults and so on e it is
progressively less likely that a useful restoration using vertical
shear in VE < 1 circumstances will be possible. For example, thrust
structures in Tierra del Fuego that include backthrusting and out of
sequence thrusting, were forward modelled to reproduce Fig. 12 of
Torres Carbonell et al. (2008) then reverse modelled with VE 3
but the results were geologically unrealistic (not shown).
6. Conclusions
Reection seismic data is the source of much of the subsurface
mapping that supports oil & gas exploration and production
worldwide yet it is usually displayed with a vertical exaggeration
factor in the range 2e6 that leads to distortion of many geometrical
criteria. Although these distortions are not directly visible on maps,
the distortions affect cross sections upon which maps are based.
The simplest distortions result from homogeneous vertical
stretch; if the velocity eld and resulting vertical exaggeration is
heterogeneous the distortion of structure will be complex and
extremely difcult to restore. Heterogeneity can be categorised in
terms of the range of predominant seismic velocities in a given
area of interest e mixtures of high velocity lithologies such as
well-compacted siliciclastics, carbonates and evaporites tend to
have relatively low vertical exaggeration heterogeneity. Heterogeneous vertical exaggeration applies particularly to time-migrated
seismic data; heterogeneity is largely accounted for in depth
migration processing.
Analytical solutions for distortion of criteria such as dip, line
length, bed thickness and angular relationships under homogeneous vertical exaggeration are derived and quantify the effects of
VE. Restoration of vertically-exaggerated interpretations is neither
admissible nor viable in the classic sense of dealing with realistic
geological structure. However, if it is accepted that vertically
exaggerated structures are a simple transform of admissible
structures, it is possible to contemplate section balancing. Forward
models incorporating vertical exaggeration of known deformation
suggest that area balance via vertical shear can produce accurate
restorations and is therefore an option if there are reasons why an
accurate depth conversion is not possible. Reasons why depth
conversion may not be possible include project time deadlines and
uncertainty on seismic velocities. Use of this approach introduces
imprecision by imposition of vertical shear as the reverse modelling
deformation mechanism regardless of the actual deformation
mechanisms. However this issue may be compensated by the
advantage of facilitating work within a tight deadline or uncertain
seismic velocities. Plus, as reviewed here, the goal of precise and
accurate restorations is fraught with uncertainties associated with
volume loss, deformation mechanism and so on.
In commercial scenarios, relatively straightforward issues such
as uncertainty regarding the presence or position of a given fault
can have signicant impact for example requiring an additional
well to achieve a target. The results shown here in terms of
heterogeneity of VE, quantication of the effects of VE on
geometrical criteria, and restorations under VE, provide a simple

45

toolkit to support restorations and validation if VE is not equal to 1


or is uncertain.
Acknowledgements
Restorations in this study used 2DMove from Midland Valley,
provided through their Academic Software Initiative. Fugro are
acknowledged for providing reection seismic data. The paper
beneted from reviews by M. Rowan and C. Bond.
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