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Quiacito™ Multiphysics: A case study in seismic and potential fields integration

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Event Date

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Event Location

Event Address

The Kelvin Club 14-30 Melbourne Place Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Event Details

You are invited to join us for a talk by Mr Tom McNamara (post-graduate Earth Science student, University of Melbourne) on Tuesday 25 October from 6pm at The Kelvin Club.

Quiacito™ Multiphysics: A case study in seismic and potential fields integration

Tom McNamara*, Jarrod Dunne and James Parsons

Integration is often discussed in loose terms, more as an idea than a practice – but as exploration turns to more deeply buried resources, exploration strategies have become more complex and more complete data is needed. Model confidence has become more important and harder to achieve than ever. In simple systems, one form of data may be enough, but with complexity and noise, the non-uniqueness of geophysical modelling becomes a liability. Integrated modelling is becoming a necessity to manage exploration risks. It’s standard that where multiple forms of data are available, they should be cross-checked to see if they agree. Multiphysical modelling takes the next step and facilitates truth-checking across multiple forms of data for the same model, in the same workspace.

Integrated modelling for geophysical data operates on the principal that there is only one ground truth. Whatever property is surveyed, if the rock properties are properly measured and the geology is properly modelled, the data will agree across forms of data, and if it doesn’t, the whole story isn’t being told. Where one form of data is limited, another can complement its ambiguities. The lateral ambiguity inherent to seismic methods can be constrained by the lateral resolution of potential fields data, and likewise seismic can resolve the vertical ambiguity of potential fields. By modelling geophysical datasets simultaneously, the probability space for models that fit the data is reduced to only the intersection of solutions for each dataset.

Modelling in Quiacito is constrained by rock physics, leveraging knowledge from the mature science of seismic amplitude interpretation (AvO) in petroleum exploration. Lithological, petrophysics-driven compaction models inform velocity and density, which inform seismic and gravitational response. The software acts as a real time profile ‘whiteboarding’ tool to quickly create geological models and simulate their geophysical responses. Seismic data can be modelled to calculate a gravity profile, or a gravity-based model can be adjusted to match the seismic response using synthetic seismograms. As well as geological modelling, Quiacito has applications in generating geomechanical models that simulate overburden stress, and in iteratively improving velocity models for seismic imaging. Further multiphysics integrations are in development including magnetic and resistivity methods.

The talk explores the rationale behind data integration, from the operational level to the data modelling and interpretation, as well as the process of developing Quiacito and its place as a home-grown tool. Lessons from its development and consideration of its benefits and limitations give a view to the current state of data integration in exploration, and the role that integration needs to fill in the changing exploration landscape.

*Speaker bio: Tom McNamara is a Master of Earth Science student at the University of Melbourne, specialising in exploration geophysics. Tom’s research uses gravity and magnetic data to model profiles of the basalt megaclasts protruding from the basement of the Stawell Corridor. The research project is supported by a 2021 ASEG Foundation Grant, and Tom was awarded the ASEG’s 2022 Richard Lane Scholarship. Tom joined QIntegral in late 2021 to assist in the research and development for adding multiphysics functionality to Quiacito.

Co-author bio: Dr Jarrod Dunne is a geophysicist with 25 years of experience in petroleum exploration and production, and is also the company director of QIntegral, which is geophysical service startup company based in Melbourne. Jarrod is an expert in seismic amplitude (AvO) interpretation, depth conversion, reservoir characterization, seismic processing, seismic acquisition, and geophysical integration, with full lifecycle E&P experience in Australia, Brazil, and many other countries where oil and gas are found.

Co-author bio: Dr James Parsons is a geophysicist and software engineer with 28 years’ experience in both the petroleum and mineral sectors. James is the lead developer of Quiacito™ and also the technical director of Quantiseal™, a leading provider of fault seal evaluation services.

Note: light refreshments will be served at this event. Admission to this event is generously free for all members.

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