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3D characterization of fracture systems using Terrestrial Laser Scanning : an example from the Lewisian basement of NW Scotland.

Pless, J.C. and McCaffrey, K.J.W. and Jones, R.R. and Holdsworth, R.E. and Conway, A. and Krabbendam, M. (2015) '3D characterization of fracture systems using Terrestrial Laser Scanning : an example from the Lewisian basement of NW Scotland.', in Industrial structural geology : principles, techniques and integration. London: Geological Society of London, pp. 125-141. Geological Society special publication. (421).


Fractured gneiss lithologies form a basement-cored high, the Rona Ridge in the Faroe–Shetland Basin. Basement structures are known to play an important role in the petroleum system for the overlying giant Clair Field. An onshore analogue exposure in the Lewisian Gneiss Complex at Kinlochbervie in NW Scotland provides an example of a hanging-wall damage zone of a large basement-hosted normal fault. In this study, we used remote sensing (2D), outcrop line sample methods (1D) and a virtual outcrop created by terrestrial laser scanning methods (3D) to characterize spatial variations of the fracture systems. Spacing distributions from 1D line samples collected from exposures and pseudo-wells constructed through the virtual outcrop show power-law distributions. The virtual outcrop data enable us to extend the scale-invariant description from 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. We developed a novel box-counting workflow to provide an assessment of 2- and 3D variations in the fracture properties. Fracture density and fractal dimension are elevated whereas the number of intersections is decreased within a 220 m-wide volume adjacent to the fault. We discuss how the methods and results from this study can aid the development of analogue for basement reservoirs in the offshore UK continental shelf.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 421, 125–141. First published online August 5, 2015, © 2015 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London
Date accepted:29 May 2015
Date deposited:15 July 2015
Date of first online publication:August 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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