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Seismic Sequence Stratigraphy

Competency Statement:

Upon completion of this module the learner will be able to define sequence stratigraphic units with seismic reflection data. Analyze systems tracts and determine depositional environments from the established sequence stratigraphy framework. Predict the basin-wide distribution of petroleum source, reservoir and seal rocks from seismic data.

Learning Objective:

  • Explain key concepts of seismic sequence stratigraphy and the techniques used to evaluate seismic data.
  • Use seismic data to interpret depositional sequences and bounding surfaces to establish a basic sequence stratigraphic framework.
  • Integrate available well, biostratigraphic and outcrop data into the framework.
  • Determine depositional environments and facies.
  • Predict petroleum reservoir occurrences using seismic data.

Assignment Instruction:

As a member of the New Ventures Exploration Team, your responsibility is to evaluate new petroleum exploration opportunities for Beta Exploration, Inc. As the Seismic Sequence Stratigrapher your role is to evaluate the seismic data to identify potential source, reservoir, and seal rocks in the strata of prospective basins and to locate favorable petroleum traps.

The study area is located to the northeast of the Australian Platform (Location map). The stratigraphic section ranges in age from Upper Triassic to Lower Cretaceous. This exercise is roughly based on a paper by Erskine and Vail (in Bally, A. W. (editor), Atlas of Seismic Stratigraphy, AAPG 1987).

Three seismic lines are available for the exercise.  In addition, two wells A and B support the stratigraphic interpretation of the area. See location map below.

Four unconformities, as well as their correlative surfaces, bound three third-order sequences identified from older to younger as I, II and III. Systems Tracts are labeled. The age of the unconformities were determined through paleontological data obtained from wells drilled in the area and from the global marine cycles chart. The sequence boundaries are named SB132, SB129, SB127 and SB126.

TD (Time Depth) plots were derived for both wells by means of synthetic seismograms calculated from sonic logs taken in the wells. The creation of synthetic seismograms allows well information in depth to be tied to seismic data in time.  Thus, we are able to evaluate the same lithological intervals in the well and on the seismic line.

As a final remark, a composite stratigraphic cross section, which integrates the seismic and the well data, is provided to show the result of this seismic stratigraphy exercise. (See Integrated stratigraphic section in Assignment 5 - Prediction of potential source, reservoir, and seal rocks)

Location map

Location Map