Open File Report 2017-09

Open File Report 2017-09

OFR 2017-09

3D Provincial Geological Framework Model of Alberta, Version 1 - Methodology

This report describes the methodology used to develop the 3D Provincial Geological Framework Model of Alberta, Version 1 (3D PGF model). It introduces our current geomodelling workflow, used as best practice at the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS); defines the terminology of various model inputs and outputs; and provides model construction details that enable users to reconstruct this model using the digital datasets associated with this report.

The 3D PGF model covers 602 825 square kilometres of the province and excludes an area representing the approximate extent of Cordilleran deformation.

A total of 620 812 data points were used during an iterative modelling approach. The 3D PGF model represents a multi-layer, stratigraphically related, conceptual understanding of select intervals and/or groupings within the subsurface of Alberta.

The 3D PGF model contains 32 geological zones ranging in resolution from member, formation, or group level to mixed formation, group and/or period level. The modelled zones include: 
1) sediment above bedrock,
2) Paskapoo Formation,
3) Scollard Formation,
4) Battle Formation,
5) undifferentiated Horseshoe Canyon Formation / Wapiti Formation / St. Mary River Formation / Belly River Group / Bearpaw Formation equivalent interval,
6) upper Bearpaw interval,
7) Strathmore Member,
8) lower Bearpaw interval,
9) Dinosaur Park Formation,
10) Oldman Formation,
11) Foremost Formation,
12) undifferentiated Lea Park Formation / Colorado Group / Smoky Group / Fort St. John Group equivalent interval,
13) Pakowki Formation,
14) Milk River Formation to base of the Fish Scales Formation interval,
15) base of the Fish Scales Formation to Viking Formation / Bow Island Formation / Peace River Formation equivalent interval,
16) Viking Formation / Bow Island Formation / Peace River Formation equivalent interval to Mannville Group equivalent interval,
17) Mannville Group equivalent to sub-Cretaceous unconformity interval,
18) undifferentiated Jurassic / Triassic / Permian / Carboniferous to Banff Formation interval,
19) Banff Formation to Wabamun Group interval,
20) Wabamun Group,
21) Winterburn Group,
22) undifferentiated Woodbend Group shales above Leduc or Duvernay formations (WOOD A),
23) undifferentiated Woodbend Group shales with no Leduc or Duvernay formations below (WOOD B),
24) Duvernay Formation,
25) Leduc Formation,
26) Cooking Lake Formation,
27) Majeau Lake Formation,
28) Waterways Formation,
29) Swan Hills / Slave Point formations interval,
30) Fort Vermilion Formation,
31) Elk Point Group to Precambrian interval, and
32) Precambrian to 5000 m below sea level interval.

The model was created in Schlumberger’s Petrel 2015 (Petrel) and has been exported in nonproprietary formats for use in other software. A series of datasets from the 3D PGF model are available for download in the form of deconstructed model products and digital data.

The standard format of the deconstructed-model digital data available for download includes
1) a tab-delimited tabular dataset of stratigraphic picks and point data used to create the model,
2) a deconstructed-model dataset composed either of discrete and continuous model horizons as Esri format grids and zone model extent shapefiles, or as an Esri geodatabase, and
3) an iMOD model dataset package.

All of the standard format digital datasets can be viewed in iMOD, an open-source software, enabling users to visualize rotate, slice, explode, and toggle data on and off in 3D. The iMOD software provides end users with an interactive geospatial environment where they can manipulate 3D geological models and import their own geospatially referenced subsurface and surface data.

Branscombe, P., MacCormack, K.E. and Babakhani, M. (2018): 3D Provincial Geological Framework Model of Alberta, Version 1 - methodology; Alberta Energy Regulator, AER/AGS Open File Report 2017-09, 114 p.