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Visualization of geologic stress perturbations using Mohr diagrams

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5 Author(s)
Crossno, P. ; Sandia Nat. Lab., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; Rogers, D.H. ; Brannon, R.M. ; Coblentz, D.
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Huge salt formations, trapping large untapped oil and gas reservoirs, lie in the deepwater region of the Gulf of Mexico. Drilling in this region is high-risk and drilling failures have led to well abandonments, with each costing tens of millions of dollars. Salt tectonics plays a central role in these failures. To explore the geomechanical interactions between salt and the surrounding sand and shale formations, scientists have simulated the stresses in and around salt diapirs in the Gulf of Mexico using nonlinear finite element geomechanical modeling. In this paper, we describe novel techniques developed to visualize the simulated subsurface stress field. We present an adaptation of the Mohr diagram, a traditional paper-and-pencil graphical method long used by the material mechanics community for estimating coordinate transformations for stress tensors, as a new tensor glyph for dynamically exploring tensor variables within three-dimensional finite element models. This interactive glyph can be used as either a probe or a filter through brushing and linking.

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Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 5 )