The goal of the Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis (GBDS) project is to produce a detailed, comprehensive and integrated synthesis of the post-Cretaceous history of the entire Gulf basin. Critical to this synthesis is the abundance of deep-water well data that has only been released in recent years. This project has created an extensive digital database that is dynamic and easily updated. The project continues to add new well data and to update maps and interpretations to reflect the new information. The end products if each two-year research phase include a series of regional unit top, growth structures, isopach, sand thickness, depositional features, and interpretive depositional systems maps for each of 18 regionally correlative Cenozoic genetic sequences. The gulf-wide sequence and depositional framework, in turn, provides participants a foundation for regional play definition, deep slope and basin reservoir prediction, and lease evaluation. Regional mapping of sequences from their fluvial/deltaic systems updip to their basinal equivalents, as interpreted on abyssal plain seismic lines, delineates sandy sediment transport axes from shelf to basin floor as a guide to reservoir prediction beyond and below existing well penetrations.
Education and Training
A number of graduate and undergraduate students work as research assistants on the project. They are gaining valuable knowledge and experience using the tools for compiling and interpreting the data. We are using the geographic information system ArcGIS to manage our database and Landmark interpretation software to work with the digital seismic data. The experience will help the student’s marketability as they complete the educational experience and move into the employment world.
GBDS is an industry-supported project. The project is currently in its ninth phase and seventeenth year.