Seismic interpretation pitfalls caused by interference effects, exemplified by seismic modeling of outcropping chalk successions

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Interference and inherent resolution limitations are well-recognized problems in reflection seismic data and have over time led to misinterpretations. Acquisition of seismic data containing a broad range of frequencies, including high frequencies, does not solve this problem but merely moves the problem to a finer scale. Forward seismic modeling of known geologic scenarios is a valuable tool for studying anticipated seismic responses of successions with a given set of geologic and/or rock physical characteristics and for predicting interpretational challenges. We perform finite-difference-based seismic forward modeling on a conceptual geologic model derived from outcropping chalk sections in southeast Denmark and evaluate possible pitfalls that may hamper interpretation of seismic data acquired from strata with similar characteristics. We demonstrate that interbedded strata with contrasting physical properties and variable thickness can result in interference effects resembling faults and fractures. The result has significance for characterization, e.g., geothermal sites, potential CO2 storage targets, groundwater reservoirs, and hydrocarbon exploration sites, in which the proper imaging of faults and fractures from seismic data is an essential task.

TidsskriftInterpretation (United Kingdom)
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)T441-T449
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre under the AWF-1 program. Tesseral Technologies Inc. is acknowledged for providing the academic license of Tesseral 2D used to generate all synthetic seismic sections. We thank I. Lecomte and two anonymous reviewers for reviewing the manuscript and providing valuable suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, SAGE Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.

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