Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Sexton, John


Two mud-mounds have been reported in the Ullin limestone near, but not in, the Aden oil field in Hamilton County, Illinois. One mud-mound is in the Broughton oil field of Hamilton County 25 miles to the south of Aden. The second mud-mound is in the Johnsonville oil field in Wayne County 20 miles to the north of Aden. Seismic reflection profiles were shot in 2012 adjacent to the Aden oil field to evaluate the oil prospects and to investigate the possibility of detecting Mississippian mud-mounds near the Aden field. A feature on one of the seismic profiles was interpreted to be a mud-mound or carbonate buildup. A well drilled at the location of this interpreted structure provided digital geophysical logs and geological logs used to refine the interpretation of the seismic profiles. Geological data from the new well at Aden, in the form of drill cuttings, have been used to essentially confirm the existence of a mud-mound in the Ullin limestone at a depth of 4300 feet. Geophysical well logs from the new well near Aden were used to create 1-D computer models and synthetic seismograms for comparison to the seismic data. The reflection seismic method is widely used to aid interpreting subsurface geology. Processing seismic data is an important step in the method as a properly processed seismic section can give a better image of the subsurface geology whereas a poorly processed section could mislead the interpretation. Seismic reflections will be more accurately depicted with careful determination of seismic velocities and by carefully choosing the processing steps and parameters. Various data processing steps have been applied and parameters refined to produce improved stacked seismic records. The resulting seismic records from the Aden field area indicate a seismic response similar to what is expected from a carbonate mud-mound. One-dimensional synthetic seismograms were created using the available sonic and density logs from the well drilled near the Aden seismic lines. The 1-D synthetics were used by Cory Cantrell of Royal Drilling and Producing Company to identify various reflections on the seismic records. Seismic data was compared with the modeled synthetic seismograms to identify what appears to be a carbonate mud-mound within the Aden study area. No mud-mounds have been previously found in the Aden oil field. Average and interval velocities obtained from the geophysical logs from the wells drilled in the Aden area was compared with the same type of well velocities from the Broughton known mud-mound area to observe the significance of velocity variation related to the un-known mud-mound in the Aden study area. The results of the velocity study shows a similar trends in the wells from both areas and are higher at the bottom of the wells. Another approach was used to observe the variation of root mean square velocities calculated from the sonic log from the well velocity from the Aden area and the stacking velocities obtained from the seismic data adjacent to the well.




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