Fracture and Karst Features Affecting Reservoir Performance in a Mississippian Reservoir, Cheyenne County, Colorado

Kansas Geological Survey

KGS Open-file 2006-14

Seismic Volumetric Curvature Interpretation


Curvature describes how bent a surface is at a particular point and is closely related to the second derivative of the curve defining the surface. The more bent a surface is, the larger the value of the curvature attribute. Positive curvature refers to an antiform feature, negative curvature refers to a synform feature, and zero curvature refers to a planar feature.


Various curvature attributes reveal useful information relating to folds, faults, and lineaments contained within the surface (Roberts, 2001). Most published work of curvature analysis applied to 3-D seismic data has been limited to calculations based on gridded interpreted horizons (e.g., Hart et al., 2002; Masaferro et al., 2003; Sigismondi and Soldo, 2003). However, recently, a suite of volumetric curvature attributes has been developed, where reflector curvature is calculated directly from the seismic data volume, with no prior interpretation required (Al-Dossary and Marfurt, 2006).


Of the numerous volumetric curvatures calculated, the most positive and most negative curvatures, which measure the maximum positive and negative bending of the surface at a given point, are the most useful in delineating faults, fractures, flexures, and folds (Al-Dossary and Marfurt, 2006; Blumentritt et al., 2005; Nissen et al., 2005; Sullivan et al., 2005).

Most positive and most negative curvature extractions along the BMS/KYS and Kinderhook horizons. Tighter curvature is shown in black and dark gray. Orientations of interpreted negative curvature (blue) and positive curvature (green) lineaments have been analyzed using length-azimuth rose diagrams (red).

Last Modified May 2006