Seismic detection of paleocave system and its influence on carbonate reservoir compartmentalization Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary: A complex paleocave system in the San Andres Formation, Permian basin, Texas is characterized through detailed seismic analysis, integrating core, log and seismic inversion. The karst controlled paleocave system intensively occluded by anhydrite is a dominant factor controlling carbonate reservoir compartmentalization of the studied field, verified by operator-interpreted tracer and pressure data. The paleocave system represents karstcontrolled collapsed features of different sizes and patterns. In the area of high volume production, the collapsed paleocave system is characterized by irregularly developed crackle and fracture breccias, mosaic breccias and cave fillings in the upper 100 feet of San Andres Formation. Along the transition from the platform to basin, it is marked by a linear collapse with the occurrences of sags and small vertical faults that are observable in seismic data. The complexity of the paleocave system can be explained using an outcrop analogy to modern hydrological environments. Our method may be useful to interpret occurrence of similar subsurface paleocave systems in other areas.

published proceedings

  • SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts

author list (cited authors)

  • Dou, Q., Sun, Y., & Sullivan, C

complete list of authors

  • Dou, Q||Sun, Y||Sullivan, C

publication date

  • December 2009