University of Cambridge > > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > Reservoir architectures of flood basalt systems - a 3D Reservoir architectures of interlava systems - a 3D photogrammetric study of Eocene cliff sections, Faroe Islands

Reservoir architectures of flood basalt systems - a 3D Reservoir architectures of interlava systems - a 3D photogrammetric study of Eocene cliff sections, Faroe Islands

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A need for suitable intra-volcanic analogues to elucidate, for example, reservoir architectures has arisen following the Rosebank discovery in the Faroe-Shetland Basin, NE Atlantic. The Faroe Islands, situated 160-190 km NW of this discovery, are an exposed remnant of the Palaeogene lava field host and the near-vertical cliff sections afford the opportunity to map lateral variations over many kilometres and delineate potential reservoir architectures. This was achieved by acquiring high-resolution (21 megapixels) full frame (36×24 mm CMOS Sensor) photographs taken from a helicopter and then analysed using a 3D stereo-plotter coupled with stereo-mirror technology in a geographic information system (GIS). The study focussed on the interval spanning the ~6 m thick Argir Beds, a volcaniclastic overbank-fluvial sequence and stratigraphic marker unit within the Enni Formation. The formation is dominated by a mixture of simple and compound lava flows commonly separated by minor volcaniclastic units. The analysis of the cliff sections record important information for the estimation of reservoir geometry, connectivity and compartmentalisation of interlava reservoir systems. This includes, for example, the wedging out of lava flows over several kilometres and the merging of interlava units. The identification of major channels, up to 45 m deep and 180 m wide, filled with volcaniclastic conglomerates and/or lava flows has implications for the role of sedimentation across the lava field. The vertical connectivity and compartmentalisation of the interlava units is inferred by the presence of dykes, fractures, reverse faults and lava tubes. Furthermore, more than 70 km of mapped horizons are stored in a GIS database that can be used for 3D modelling using, for example, Petrel reservoir engineering software.

Suggested Reading

Dueholm, K.S. & Olsen, T. 1993. Reservoir analog studies using multimodel photogrammetry; a new tool for the petroleum industry. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 77, 2023-2031.

Ellis, D., Passey, S.R., Jolley, D.W. & Bell, B.R. 2009. Transfer zones: The application of new geological information from the Faroe Islands applied to the offshore exploration of intra basalt and sub-basalt exploration. In: Varming, T. & Ziska, H. (eds). Faroe Islands Exploration Conference: Proceedings of the 2nd Conference. Annales Societatis Scientiarum Færoensis, Tórshavn, 50, 205-226.

Passey, S. & Hitchen, K. 2011. Cenozoic (igneous). In: Ritchie, J.D., Ziska, H., Johnson, H. & Evans, D. (eds). Geology of the Faroe-Shetland Basin and adjacent areas. British Geological Survey & Jarðfeingi Research Report, RR/11/01, 209-228.

Passey, S.R. & Bell, B.R. 2007. Morphologies and emplacement mechanisms of the lava flows of the Faroe Islands Basalt Group, Faroe Islands, NE Atlantic Ocean. Bulletin of Volcanology, 70, 139-156.

Passey, S.R. & Jolley, D.W. 2009. A revised lithostratigraphic nomenclature for the Palaeogene Faroe Islands Basalt Group, NE Atlantic Ocean. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 99, 127-158.

Vosgerau, H., Guarnieri, P., Weibel, R., Larsen, M., Dennehy, C., Sørensen, E.V. & Knudsen, C. 2010. Study of a Palaeogene intrabasaltic sedimentary unit in southern East Greenland: from 3-D photogeology to micropetrography. In: Bennike, O., Garde, A.A. & Watt, W.S. (eds). Review of Survey activities 2009. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin, 20, 75-78.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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