On Integrating Salt Motion in Basin Modeling: An Hybrid Approach for Goal-Oriented Salt Flow

In this paper, we describe techniques to calculate the internal flow from kinematic salt motions derived from palinspatic reconstructions. The calculated internal salt flow is integrated into the dynamic basin models. The internal salt flow is constrained by the imposed velocity field on the deforming boundaries, mass conservation and the incompressibility condition during the salt deformation, yielding an optimal, physically valid, kinematic motion that achieves the goals specified by the geologist. Stokes flow physics is used to calculate the internal flow of a salt body induced by the deformation of its surface. In the numerical solution of basin models, an Arbitrarian Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) numerical scheme is used to couple the motion field and compaction. This approach has the advantage of reproducing exactly the geologist's reconstruction of the salt evolution and the very complex salt shapes observed in the field can be simulated without the difficulties normally associated with the solution of dynamic viscous flow formulations. Therefore, this approach is an alternative to both the pure kinematic geometric reconstruction and the traditional dynamic approach.

By: Ulisses T. Mello, Sebastião C. A. Pereira, Jorge M. de Mendonça, José R. P. Rodrigues

Published in: RC23065 in 2004


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