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Industrial Structural Geology: Principles, Techniques and Integration

Product Code: SP421
Series: GSL Special Publications - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by F.L. Richards, N.J. Richardson, S.J. Rippington, R.W. Wilson and C.E. Bond
Publication Date: 22 October 2015
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Special Publication 421

The practical application of structural geology in industry is varied and diverse; it is relevant at all scales, from plate-wide screening of new exploration areas down to fluid-flow behaviour along individual fractures. From an industry perspective, good structural practice is essential since it feeds into the quantification and recovery of reserves and ultimately underpins commercial investment choices. Many of the fundamental structural principles and techniques used by industry can be traced back to the academic community, and this volume aims to provide insights into how structural theory translates into industry practice.

Papers in this publication describe case studies and workflows that demonstrate applied structural geology, covering a spread of topics including trap definition, fault seal, fold-and-thrust belts, fractured reservoirs, fluid flow and geomechanics. Against a background of evolving ideas, new data types and advancing computational tools, the volume highlights the need for structural geologists to constantly re-evaluate the role they play in solving industrial challenges. 

Published online 06/10/2015. Print copies available from 22/10/2015.


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Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN: 1-86239-730-9
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-730-9
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 267
Weight: 0.83 kg




Richardson, N. J., Richards, F. L., Rippington, S. J., Bond, C. E. & Wilson, R. W. Industrial structural geology: principles, techniques and integration: an introduction


Richards, F. L., Richardson, N. J., Bond, C. E. & Cowgill, M. Interpretational variability of structural traps: implications for exploration risk and volume uncertainty

Yielding, G. Trapping of buoyant fluids in fault-bound structures

Cosgrove, J. W. The association of folds and fractures and the link between folding, fracturing and fluid flow during the evolution of a fold–thrust belt: a brief review

Mackay, P. A. The role of fluid pressure in contractional systems: examples from the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains


Bond, C. E., Johnson, G. & Ellis, J. F. Structural model creation: the impact of data type and creative space on geological reasoning and interpretation

Blenkinsop, T., Doyle, M. & Nugus, M. A unified approach to measuring structures in orientated drill core

Murray, A. A method for characterizing basement rocks from borehole images

Pless, J. C., McCaffrey, K. J. W., Jones, R. R., Holdsworth, R. E., Conway, A. & Krabbendam, M. 3D characterization of fracture systems using Terrestrial Laser Scanning: an example from the Lewisian basement of NW Scotland

Integration and case studies

Morley, C. K. Five anomalous structural aspects of rift basins in Thailand and their impact on petroleum systems

Rippington, S., Mazur, S. & Warner, J. The crustal architecture of the Faroe–Shetland Basin: insights from a newly merged gravity and magnetic dataset

Ogilvie, S., Barr, D., Roylance, P. & Dorling, M. Structural geology and well planning in the Clair Field

Wood, A. M., Paton, D. A. & Collier, R. E. Ll. The missing complexity in seismically imaged normal faults: what are the implications for geometry and production response?

Freeman, B., Quinn, D. J., Dillon, C. G., Arnhild, M.& Jaarsma, B. Predicting subseismic fracture density and orientation in the Gorm Field, Danish North Sea

Bergbauer, S. & Maerten, L. Unlocking stranded resources in naturally fractured reservoirs using a novel approach to structural reconstructions and palaeostress field modelling: an example from the Hoton field, southern North Sea, UKCS



Mark Griffin

Featured in Geoscientist vol 27 May 2017

With contributions from workers within academic institutions, consultancies and industry, this Special Publication provides a comprehensive synthesis of the current trends and predicted future direction of structural geology as applied to natural resource/industrial contexts.

Introduced with an overview paper from the editors, the volume presents 16 papers organised into three fully-indexed thematic sections: industrial structural principles, industry techniques and workflows and structural integration and case studies from industry. Diverse topics covered include trap definition, fault seal, fold-and-thrust belts, fractured reservoirs, fluid flow and geomechanics.

In summary, the volume demonstrates the current and continuing significance of the techniques of structural geology to the resource industries (particularly within hydrocarbon exploration and production), and the applicability of these techniques at all scales and ‘lifetime’ stages of a resource. The volume additionally provides substantive insights into how structural geological ‘theory’ translates appropriately into industrial ‘practice’.

Providing an excellent overview of the ‘state of the art’ pure and applied developments within this important and evolving field, the expected audience is anticipated from both academic and industrial sector geoscientists. The contributions are well-written and edited, complemented with appropriate figures, photographs and data-tables, features that one has come to expect from the GSL Special Publication series. The editors and contributors are to be congratulated. A recommend read.

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