Since 1990 we have been working with Prof. Nick Kusznir (Liverpool University) on understanding and modelling the processes of continental extension. Together we have developed techniques and a suite of software products (Stretch, Flex-Decomp and HEAT) for the large-scale analysis of rift basins and continental margins. In a commercial context these are used mainly to assist frontier exploration projects.
FlexDecomp 2D is a reverse-modelling program which takes present-day cross-sections through a basin or margin and backstrips them through their geological history by progressively removing and decompacting the stratigraphy. It is very quick and easy to apply. Backstripping includes whole-lithosphere temperature calculations and 2D flexural-isostasy.
Post-rift backstripping with FlexDecomp 2D produces a sequence, back through time, of balanced palinspastic restorations, with the final restoration being the syn-rift/syn-breakup geometry of the basin or margin. If required, backstripping can proceed further back in time through the syn-rift and pre-rift history, revealing quantitative information about the complete subsidence history of the basin.
Model basin histories Model the subsidence history and stratigraphic development of rift basins and continental margins by producing a sequence of restored cross-sections through the full stratigraphy.
Predict palaeobathymetry and palaeotopography
Incorporating isostasy and quantified thermal subsidence into the calculations produces geologically-complete restorations which can be used to predict palaeobathymetry and palaeotopography through time. This allows sediment source areas and sediment depocentres to be identified, as input to future GDE modelling.
Constrain basin extension and beta-factor
A valid restoration sequence will be underpinned by an input profile of beta-(stretching)-factor, constraining the modelled thermal subsidence history. This allows constraints from subsidence history to be used to estimate the distribution of beta-factor across the basin or margin. These results can be carried forward as input to further thermal modelling of the basin (HEAT).
Isostatically-balanced cross-sections can help to validate and QC seismic interpretation, by highlighting restored geological features that are admissible and also those that aren't. Backstripping also helps you to understand the geodynamic processes which have impacted the development of your basin, thus reducing exploration uncertainty.
2D and 3D backstripping available from Badleys
FlexDecomp 2D is available for purchase. A 3D version, working with maps and grids, also exists but is used exclusively for Badleys' consultancy projects rather than being available externally. Please contact us for details of these services.