Contact Information

David Ferrill, Ph.D.
(210) 522-6082
dferrill@swri.org

Structural Geology

Image: Geologic cross section based on seismic and dip meter data forms the basis for restoration.

Geologic cross section based on seismic and dip meter data forms the basis for restoration.


Image: Field photograph illustrating 3D fault exposures in limestone

Field photograph illustrating 3D fault exposures in limestone


Image: Dilational fault zone segment along southwest-dipping normal fault in West Texas

Dilational fault zone segment along southwest-dipping normal fault in West Texas


Image: Dilation tendency analysis of synthetic fractures cutting through a simulated borehole. Pink, purple, and dark blue indicate fractures that are likely to dilate (open) in the current stress state.

Dilation tendency analysis of synthetic fractures cutting through a simulated borehole. Pink, purple, and dark blue indicate fractures that are likely to dilate (open) in the current stress state.

Structural geology services offered at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) include:

  • Field investigations of faulting in carbonate and clastic sedimentary strata:
    • Fault system evolution
    • Fault zone deformation
    • Scaling relationships
    • Permeability architecture
  • Two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) geometric and kinematic modeling, balancing, and restoration along with seismic interpretation
  • Stress analysis using 3DStress®, a SwRI-developed program that calculates:
    • Slip tendency and direction
    • Dilation tendency
    • Leakage potential of faults and fractures
  • Prediction of effective reservoir properties based on subseismic-scale fault and fracture analyses
  • State-of-the-art facility for physical analog modeling of geologic structures, including application of dynamic structured light facility for digital terrain analysis of developing models:
    • Extensional structures
    • Contractional structures
    • Strike-slip structures
    • Salt-related structures
    • Field courses and short courses in extensional, strike slip, and contractional tectonic regimes, highlighted in a Technology Today article.

image of sequence of restored geologic cross sections shows the evolution of the fold-thrust 
						structures that are the structural framework for the petroleum system

Sequence of restored geologic cross sections shows the evolution of the fold-thrust structures that are the structural framework for the petroleum system.


image of Slip tendency analysis (3DStress) of Bare Mountain and Yucca Mountain faults, southern Nevada.

Slip tendency analysis (3DStress) of Bare Mountain and Yucca Mountain faults, southern Nevada. Hot colors indicate areas of likely fault slip.


Related Terminology

fault system evolution  •  geochemistry  •  fluid flow  •  geomechanics  •  reservoir engineering  •  structural geology  •  stress analysis  •  fault zone deformation  •  permeability  •  architecture  •  subsurface geometry  •  field investigations  •  reservoir properties  •  geometric modeling  •  kinematic modeling

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.

04/15/14