Analog Database to Expand

Oil Companies Also See the Potential Value

Oil companies also see the potential value of a technique for producing 3-D outcrop analogs. Several major oil companies are supporting the Bureau of Economic Geology's research.

The BEG team plans to expand its outcrop analog database over the next several years to include important outcrops of both clastic and carbonate systems. This summer David Jennette and his team will be in Ireland.

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Oil companies also see the potential value of a technique for producing 3-D outcrop analogs. Several major oil companies are supporting the Bureau of Economic Geology's research.

The BEG team plans to expand its outcrop analog database over the next several years to include important outcrops of both clastic and carbonate systems. This summer David Jennette and his team will be in Ireland.

"One of the areas we would like to advance to is very large rock outcrop systems like the Brushy Canyon of West Texas or Karoo in South Africa," he said. "We can cover tens of square kilometers in an afternoon with aerial LIDAR tools and implant ground based, high-resolution surveys into that data."

He views this as an opportunity to bring together big aerial surveys and highly focused ground based surveys to build the basis for a much more accurate geologic characterization of the subsurface.

"Once this data is captured it is captured for good," he said. "It isn't a document gathering dust on somebody's bookshelf. It is something that can constantly be made evergreen through new analyses and new types of applications, and new company Web-based learning tools.

"Given the cost associated with studying these far afield places, once the images are captured there is a continuing return on the investment."

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