Last night Dr. Frank Richards gave a very insightful view on his topic “Structural Maps, Quality Control & the Practical Application of Structural Geology”. His premise was that however good the expensive interpretation software you use is, if you don’t do some simple quality control on the results the results can lead to some very expensive mistakes. His focus was on the careful mapping of and interpretation of faults and how they interacted. His case study was a really interesting analysis of a license block with some very clear faults and some not so clear. Various teams, 8 of them, were then asked to interpret and map the structures in the block. The results comparing the eight teams were surprisingly different. Frank they explained the root causes of the variations, from human bias, experience etc. His analyses using the basics of a ruler and some fairly simple (?) mathematics can reduce the numbers of reasonable accurate interpretation options and remove from consideration the poor versions.
His overall message was that although some of the software packages are excellent an additional and complementary approach is to integrate structural analysis and quality control into the interpretation process.
Its quick, comparatively inexpensive and gets results.
Frank hopes to share some of his slides less his customers’ data for this website, soon.