Flexural Decompaction

Flexural Decompaction
Reverse modelling of post-rift sequences


Over the past decade, significant advances have been made in the understanding of sedimentary basin dynamics. Together with our research partners at the Earth Structure and Geodynamics Group, University of Liverpool, we have developed techniques and a suite of software products (Stretch, Flexural Decompaction and Heat) for the large-scale analysis of rift basins and passive margins which are used mainly as an exploration tool.

Flexural Decompaction comprises two reverse modelling tools (2D and 3D versions) that take present day cross-sections or 3D maps & grids across rifts or passive margins and backstrip them through their post-rift history by progressively removing and decompacting the post-rift stratigraphy. The 3D version of Flexural Decompaction modelling tool is available for consultancy services, but is not for direct sale.

Key Features:

Model complex histories:

Intelligent application of whole-lithosphere flexural model of basin dynamics to model complex histories either as consecutive rift phases or through punctuated periods of thermal subsidence. Model post-rift evolution of depocentres and quantify their depth and location through time. Place precise constraints on estimates of basin extension (beta factor) to enable heat flow in the basin to be defined.

Produce a sequence, back through time, of balanced isostatic cross-sections or 3D maps & grids illustrating the stratigraphic, fault and basin geometry during the post-rift evolution of a basin or passive margin, Produce fully decompacted isochore layers.

Key Benefits:

Improved interpretation:

Analysis of isostatically-balanced cross-sections (FlexDecomp 2D) or 3D palinspastic map restorations (FlexDecomp 3D) enables the seismic interpreter to assess whether the interpretation maintains a valid geometry as it is restored.

Quantify geological processes:

FlexDecomp reverse modelling tools help geoscientists understand the complex geological processes involved in basin formation, such as estimating palaeobathymetry in 3D, analysing patterns of sediment deposition or the structural controls on deposition and producing 3D maps of stretching factor (and hence heat flow).

Reduce exploration risk:

Together with the Stretch and Heat software tools, FlexDecomp 2D & 3D provides additional data for the explorationist that are not available simply from seismic interpretation and stratigraphic analysis, thereby reducing risks associated with exploration.


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