3D Subsurface Mapping: Visualizing Diverse Geological Data

Detailed view of subsurface geology.

For a successful hydrocarbon exploitation project, a deeper understanding of the subsurface is very crucial. Detailed knowledge of subsurface geology allows asset teams to efficiently characterize the reservoir, locate a hydrocarbon reserve, and make informed decisions for well planning. This can be done through the integration and mapping of a wide array of diverse geological data.

The analysis and opens in a new windowcorrelation of geological data and models are made easier with software that has the ability to integrate data of different formats in a single environment and visualize them with three-dimensional modeling. Users such as reservoir and drilling engineers and geoscientists can analyze the model for detailed subsurface information essential in developing cost-effective solutions.

Subsurface Mapping with Geological Data

Effective 3D subsurface mapping acts as a tool for teams to make a comprehensive subsurface interpretation. The challenge with mapping, however, is the necessity to integrate multi-component data with diverse formats.
The opens in a new windowtemporal and spatial data required for subsurface mapping is often derived from various geoscientific and petrophysical methods. The data may include core data, sidewall core data, drill cuttings data, and open hole data from the wells, which is essential in the determination of subsurface composition, density, porosity, permeability, conductivity, and saturation. Integration of these data with existing surface maps, satellite imagery, seismic data, and production data allows comprehensive analysis and interpretation of subsurface characteristics. Mapping of these data allows engineers or geoscientists to further visualize the presence of faults and hydrocarbon traps.
Traditionally, these data are interpreted across numerous 2D subsurface maps. Conveying the economic potential through several 2D interpretations can prove to be challenging to decision-makers. 2D analysis can also misrepresent subsurface relations due to the complex 3D interaction of the geological attributes. Accurate 3D subsurface mapping can address these issues and allow reservoir engineers to obtain a deeper, multi-dimensional understanding of the subsurface properties. 

Analyzing Diverse Datasets Through 3D Visualization

Because the data for developing a subsurface model comes from disparate sources, asset teams can have a challenging task of understanding and conveying economic potential to decision-makers. An integration and visualization platform such as opens in a new windowCoViz 4D can integrate these diverse data into a single platform for comprehensive 3D subsurface mapping. This allows reservoir engineers to:

  • opens in a new windowIntegrate subsurface data from well logs with seismic interpretation to characterize the reservoir and locate strata and faults.
  • Develop accurate correlation between subsurface geology and production data to analyze the economic potential.
  • Generate isochore, isochron contour maps, and cross-sections for efficient horizon and fault interpretation. 
  • Discern incorrect data and interpretation of subsurface characteristics resulting from limitations of two-dimensional mapping.
  • Simplify the process of complex data interpretation.

3D Subsurface Mapping and Visualization with CoViz 4D and EarthVision

Dynamic Graphics, Inc.’s opens in a new windowEarthVision and CoViz 4D are ideal platforms to enhance the understanding of a complex subsurface exploration or development project. These platforms facilitate 3D subsurface mapping by opens in a new windoweasily integrating subsurface data and presenting them in a simplified format. CoViz 4D, specifically, efficiently combines a large amount of temporal and geospatial subsurface data and allows powerful visualization in one environment. The statistical and volumetric analysis capabilities within both of these platforms allow efficient analysis of data and models. Comprehensive visualization of diverse geological data allows asset teams to interpret the subsurface properties, locate and access the potential reserve and pay zone and make an informed decision on the potential development of the project while minimizing the associated economic risk.

EarthVision and CoViz 4D, from Dynamic Graphics Inc., are tools that offer analysis, modeling, and visualization of geological data. Powerful analytic and visualization capabilities facilitate detailed 3D subsurface mapping, enabling asset teams to make accurate subsurface relationship interpretation and make cost-efficient development and production decisions. To learn more about EarthVision or CoViz 4D contact our team.


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