From Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (
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AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Cancun, Mexico, October 24–27, 2004

Genetic Facies Analysis Using Seismic Geomorphology and Seismic Attributes in the Continental Shelf of Eastern Mexico

Khaled Fouad, Frank Brown, William Ambrose, Dallas Dunlap, Mario Aranda-García, and Ulises Hernandez-Romano


Methods for generating seismic facies mapping have developed significantly in the last decade. These methods include facies mapping based on seismic geomorphology and sequence attribute extractions. The results of these methods are used to define depositional systems, erosion, paleotopography and inferred lithology estimation. Seismic geomorphology technique is similar to back-stripping of a geologic sequence that represents a certain time-stratigraphic line. We analyze depositional features from timeslices and windowed attribute extractions in a flattened volume within a stratigraphic sequence. Facies can be inferred from the resulting interpreted maps, which basically confine the variation in seismic reflections. Such variation, caused by geology change within seismic sequences and systems tracts, is expressed by change of reflection pattern, amplitude and frequency (i.e., chaotic, hummocky, continuous). This technique produces quick and efficient results that capture the lateral changes in reflection pattern geometries. In this article, we demonstrate how we deployed seismic geomorphology and attribute extraction to build out the facies in a third order sequence. We show an example in the Laguna Madre area, a 3-D that extends over 2000 km2 to the southeast of the Tuxpan Platform. This research is part of a study done by the Bureau of Economic Geology to investigate Neogene hydrocarbon plays in the Tuxpan area.