Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Imaging Subsurface Channels within the Tertiary Niger Delta Basin using Spectral Decomposition Methods

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  • Abstract


    Channels are hydrocarbon prospective areas which are often below the resolution of seismic data. This study was therefore conducted with the aim of using spectral decomposition methods for imaging of buried channels and associated structures in a 3D Post-Stack Depth Migrated (PSDM) volume acquired from a field in the Niger Delta Basin. Two commonly used spectral decomposition methods were used to enhance the resolution of seismic data for interpretation. The methods utilized included Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT). Petrel and Opendtect were the interpretational software tools utilized for the study. The seismic data was conditioned using structural smoothing, and a zone of interest was selected around -1000 to -3000ms. Three dominant frequencies were selected from the sub-volume generated around the zone of interest. The frequencies were 10Hz, 25Hz and 32Hz respectively. These frequencies were extracted from the seismic data using FFT and CWT decomposition methods. The results were colored using Red, Green and Blue (Red for 10Hz, Green for 25Hz and Blue for 32Hz). These frequencies were then blended together in a process called RGB blending. The resultant output was a mix of only these three dominant frequencies. Analysis of these results revealed the presence of several channels, crevasse splay deposits, flood-plains and faults on two time-slices obtained at -2020ms and -1800ms. The channels were meandering channels of low sinuosity, some of which were fault controlled. The crevasse splay deposits were significantly large and increased in number at the shallow time-slice. Some of the crevasse splay deposits were found bifurcating fault lines and being deposited on floodplains, indicating that they were younger than the faults. Channel flow direction was from East to West, while channel migration was from South to North of the study area. The increase in the number of channels from the base to the top of the seismic data suggested a multistory stacked channel system. It was established that channels and crevasse splays were best enhanced using the FFT decomposition method while major and minor faults were best enhanced using CWT method. Hence, this study has proven that the spectral decomposition method is very effective in imaging subsurface buried channels, thus delineating prospects and can be used for reservoir characterization.


    Keywords: Spectral decomposition, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT), Channels, Crevasse splays, Faults, Reservoir Characterization.