Applications of 3D seismic attribute analysis in hydrocarbon prospect identification and evaluation: Verification and validation based on fluvial palaeochannel cross-sectional geometry and sinuosity, Ness County, Kansas, USA

A. E. Raef, T. N. Meek, M. W. Totten

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Due to their high resolution and established success rates, the analysis of geometrical and stratigraphic 3D seismic reflection data attributes have become one of the most important tools in many hydrocarbon exploration and development programs. In areas with high drilling risk as a result of the lack of spatial continuity and lithological variation of potential prospects, analysis of relevant seismic attributes is essential to successful placement of wells. This study of the York field, Ness County, Kansas, presents a corroborative finding, based on the analysis of a set of 3D seismic attributes, revealing a meandering fluvial channel system incised on the Mississippian stratigraphic unconformity north east of a previously interpreted Weirman field palaeoshoreline and submarine channels. The York field prospect identification and appraisal program targeted the Cherokee sands where reservoir properties are favorable and where it was thought that thick Cherokee sands correlate with structural Mississippian highs. We produce evidence that Cherokee sand-prone fluvial facies is mappable based on synergistic analysis of seismic arrival time, amplitude, spectral decomposition, acoustic impedance, and waveform attributes. Seismic amplitude highs and relative acoustic impedance lows showed moderate conformance with Mississippian-horizon time lows. Controls exerted by channel post-confluence water and sediments supply provide corroborating hydraulic geometry aspects for the interpreted fluvial system.Time-structural maps, in addition to time and horizon slices of several 3D seismic attributes including amplitude, spectral decomposition components, and relative acoustic impedance all seem to indicate that five previously drilled dry wells within the study area were outside the boundary of a meandering, Cherokee fluvial system of potential reservoir quality. Additionally, comparisons of the results of this research to previous studies conducted in the south west of Ness County have provided an opportunity to support and contribute to, interpreted paleodepositional setting established by Raef et al, 2015 where a palaeoshorline was interpreted. The results of this study support a broadly NE-SW trending meandering channel system with SE flow direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016



  • Hydrocarbon
  • Lithofacies
  • Palaeoriver
  • River-channel
  • Sand facies
  • Seismic attributes
  • Seismic interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economic Geology
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Stratigraphy
  • Oceanography

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