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Speaker: Hualing Zhang, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina,
Co-Author: Dale E. Bird, Dept of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences University of Houston and Bird Geophysical
High-resolution, high-precision airborne full tensor gradiometry (FTG) gravity data can act as a useful tool for hypogenic karst features interpretation that related to potential geohazards, because it helps to identify subtle density boundaries between karst voids and host rocks. We integrated FTG gravity data, regional structural interpretations, as well as stratigraphic and lithological variations based on well log interpretations in a geological reasonable 3D FTG model in the northeastern Delaware Basin. Both Gravity (Tz) and FTG (Tzz) density inversions were carried out on three shallow layers of the Ochoan-lower Permian strata. We made use of measured gradient components, Txz and Tyz, to map source edges as well as directions of density increase or decrease across the boundaries and relate the interpretations back to the geological settings within the study area. This simple approach is not often applied but can be more meaningful than traditional methods such as total horizontal gradient (THG) calculations; because 1) THG calculations produce gradient anomaly maxima over all source edges, thus removing the capability to infer increasing or decreasing density directions across boundaries, and 2) THG calculations increase noise levels relative to signal. The results allowed us to interpret new and existing faults, as well as probable locations of hypogenic karst features in the central and southwestern parts of the study area, that may be related to drilling geohazards. This interpretation method can be applied to detect possible fault systems and the approximate area and shape of low density source geobodies worldwide.
Speaker Biography: Hualing Zhang, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina,
Hualing Zhang is currently working as a postdoc research associate at the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED), PetroChina. She recently received her Ph.D. in geology at the University of Houston. Her research interests include gravity modeling, structural analysis and maturity modeling in the Permian Basin (west Texas) and the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, offshore Brazil.
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