Use of microcomputer in mapping depth of stratigraphic horizons in National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska

Open-File Report 82-1054




REGIONAL MAPPER is a menu-driven system in the BASIC language for computing and plotting (1) time, depth, and average velocity to geologic horizons, (2) interval time, thickness, and interval velocity of stratigraphic intervals, and (3) subcropping and onlapping intervals at unconformities. The system consists of three programs: FILER, TRAVERSER, and PLOTTER. A control point is a shot point with velocity analysis or a shot point at or near a well with velocity check-shot survey. Reflection time to and code number of seismic horizons are filed by digitizing tablet from record sections. TRAVERSER starts at a point of geologic control and, in traversing to another, parallels seismic events, records loss of horizons by onlap and truncation, and stores reflection time for geologic horizons at traversed shot points. TRAVERSER is basically a phantoming procedure. Permafrost thickness and velocity variations, buried canyons with low-velocity fill, and error in seismically derived velocity cause velocity anomalies that complicate depth mapping. Two depths to the top of the pebble is based shale are computed for each control point. One depth, designated Zs on seismically derived velocity. The other (Zw) is based on interval velocity interpolated linearly between wells and multiplied by interval time (isochron) to give interval thickness. Z w is computed for all geologic horizons by downward summation of interval thickness. Unknown true depth (Z) to the pebble shale may be expressed as Z = Zs + es and Z = Zw + ew where the e terms represent error. Equating the two expressions gives the depth difference D = Zs + Zw = ew + es A plot of D for the top of the pebble shale is readily contourable but smoothing is required to produce a reasonably simple surface. Seismically derived velocity used in computing Zs includes the effect of velocity anomalies but is subject to some large randomly distributed errors resulting in depth errors (es). Well-derived velocity used in computing Zw does not include the effect of velocity anomalies, but the error (ew) should reflect these anomalies and should be contourable (non-random). The D surface as contoured with smoothing is assumed to represent ew, that is, the depth effect of variations in permafrost thickness and velocity and buried canyon depth. Estimated depth (Zest) to each geologic horizon is the sum of Z w for that horizon and a constant e w as contoured for the pebble shale, which is the first highly continuous seismic horizon below the zone of anomalous velocity. Results of this 'depthing' procedure are compared with those of Tetra Tech, Inc., the subcontractor responsible for geologic and geophysical interpretation and mapping.

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Use of microcomputer in mapping depth of stratigraphic horizons in National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
ii, 42 p. ill. ;28 cm.