Geostatistical analysis of an experimental stratigraphy

Ye Zhang, Mark Person, Chris Paola, Carl W. Gable, Xian Huan Wen, J. Matthew Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


[1] A high-resolution stratigraphic image of a flume-generated deposit was scaled up to sedimentary basin dimensions where a natural log hydraulic conductivity (ln(K)) was assigned to each pixel on the basis of gray scale and conductivity end-members. The synthetic ln(K) map has mean, variance, and frequency distributions that are comparable to a natural alluvial fan deposit. A geostatistical analysis was conducted on selected regions of this map containing fluvial, fluvial/floodplain, shoreline, turbidite, and deepwater sedimentary facies. Experimental ln(K) variograms were computed along the major and minor statistical axes and horizontal and vertical coordinate axes. Exponential and power law variogram models were fit to obtain an integral scale and Hausdorff measure, respectively. We conclude that the shape of the experimental variogram depends on the problem size in relation to the size of the local-scale heterogeneity. At a given problem scale, multilevel correlation structure is a result of constructing variogram with data pairs of mixed facies types. In multiscale sedimentary systems, stationary correlation structure may occur at separate scales, each corresponding to a particular hierarchy; the integral scale fitted thus becomes dependent on the problem size. The Hausdorff measure obtained has a range comparable to natural geological deposits. It increases from nonstratified to stratified deposits with an approximate cutoff of 0.15. It also increases as the number of facies incorporated in a problem increases. This implies that fractal characteristic of sedimentary rocks is both depositional process-dependent and problem-scale-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberW11416
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


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