Characterization of a Coalesced, Collapsed Paleocave Reservoir Analog Using GPR and Well-Core Data




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Society of Exploration Geophysicists


The three-dimensional architecture, spatial complexity, and pore-type distribution are mapped in a near-surface analog of a coalesced, collapsed paleocave system in the Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group near the city of Marble Falls in central Texas. The surface area of the site has dimensions of about 350 × 1000 m. The data collected include about 12 km of 50-MHz ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data arranged in a grid of orthogonal lines, 29 cores of about 15-m length, and detailed facies maps of an adjacent quarry face. Electrical property measurements along with detailed core descriptions were the basis of integrated interpretation of the GPR data. Three main GPR facies are defined on the basis of degree of brecciation in the corresponding cores: undisturbed host rock, disturbed host rock, and paleocave breccia. This GPR facies division defined the major paleocave trends and the distribution of porosity types, which correlate with reservoir quality. Highly brecciated zones are separated by disturbed and undisturbed host rock. The breccia bodies that outline the trend of collapsed cave passages are up to 300 m wide: the intervening intact areas between breccias are up to 200 m wide. Understanding the breccia distribution in a reservoir analog will help in defining strategies for efficient development of coalesced, collapsed paleocave reservoirs.



Correlation (Statistics), Geology—Maps, Hydrocarbon reservoirs, Porosity, Geophysics, Structural failures, Ground penetrating radar, United States—Texas

The project was administered through the Gas Research Institute under Contract 5097-210-3889.


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