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8. Carbonates, Alpine foreland (Viseur et al.)

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posted on 14.01.2020 by K.J.W. McCaffrey, D. Hodgetts, J. Howell, D. Hunt, J. Imber, R.R. Jones, M. Tomasso, J. Thurmond, S. Viseur
Carbonate architectures can be complex, reflecting spatial and temporal changes and the interaction between biological, physical and sedimentary processes. In such cases, it can be difficult to characterize the 3D geometry of sedimentary or diagenetic bodies at a range of different scales. Laser scanning technology offers a new approach to determine these geometries from outcrops. We present a case study located near Marseilles (France) and corresponding to the 'La Marcouline' formation. These deposits are particularly interesting to model as: (1) they are located in the transition zone between the northern Provence platform and the South Provence Trough; (2) the passage between the carbonate platform deposits (north to south prograding) and the clastic deposits ranging from marginal to deeper marine sediments can be easily followed thanks to continuous outcrops. This study shows how it has been possible to combine classical field data with digital outcrop data in order to construct a high-resolution model of carbonate architectures. The workflow involved (1) data acquisition and building and construction of a VO model; (2) the integration of logs and maps; and (3) the use of automated pattern extraction for the picking of geological strata. The virtual fieldtrip shows the application of the automated tools for the detection of geological information from the VO. Finally, the 3D model of the 'la Marcouline' carbonate architecture, built from the outcrop interpretations and our evolutionary 4D model displaying the carbonate bodies in chronological order, is shown.