Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Sexton, John


In June 2009, a 2.2 square mile 3-D high resolution seismic reflection survey was shot in southeastern Illinois in the Phillipstown Consolidated oilfield. A well was drilled in the 3-D survey area to tie the seismic to the geological data with a synthetic seismogram from the sonic log. The objectives of the 3-D seismic survey were three-fold: 1.) To image and interpret faulting of the Herald-Phillipstown Fault using drillhole-based geological and seismic cross-sections and structural contour maps created from the drillhole data and seismic reflection data, 2.) To test the effectiveness of imaging the faults by selected seismic attributes, and 3.) To compare spectral decomposition amplitude maps with an isochron map and an isopach map of a selected geologic interval (VTG interval). Drillhole and seismic reflection data show that various formation offsets increase near the main Herald-Phillipstown fault, and that the fault and its large offset subsidiary faults penetrate the Precambrian crystalline basement. A broad, northeast-trending 10,000 feet wide graben is consistently observed in the drillhole data. Both shallow and deep formations in the geological cross-sections reveal small horst and graben features within the broad graben created possibly in response to fault reactivations. The HPF faults have been interpreted as originally Precambrian age high-angle, normal faults reactivated with various amounts and types of offset. Evidence for strike-slip movement is also clear on several faults. Changes in the seismic attribute values in the selected interval and along various time slices throughout the whole dataset correlate with the Herald-Phillipstown faults. Overall, seismic attributes could provide a means of mapping large offset faults in areas with limited or absent drillhole data. Results of the spectral decomposition suggest that if the interval velocity is known for a particular formation or interval, high-resolution 3-D seismic reflection surveys could utilize these amplitudes as an alternative seismic interpretation method for estimating formation thicknesses. A VTG isopach map was compared with an isochron map and a spectral decomposition amplitude map. The results reveal that the isochron map strongly correlates with the isopach map as well as the spectral decomposition map. It was also found that thicker areas in the isopach correlated with higher amplitude values in the spectral decomposition amplitude map. Offsets along the faults appear sharper in these amplitudes and isochron maps than in the isopach map, possibly as a result of increased spatial sampling.




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