Sparsity of data remains a significant challenge to the effective modelling of subsurface reservoirs. Measurements of the reservoir are limited to wells, which provide high quality 1D data but are typically spaced hundreds to thousands of metres apart and seismic data, which provide 3D coverage but the resolution is typically below the scale of individual architectural elements that control fluid flow. Outcrops that are analogous to the depositional systems within an oil field provide one means of collecting geological data that can be used to populate geologically realistic reservoir models. There is a long history of study within this area however two challenges exist: 1) the acquisition of sufficient, quantitative data that are suitable for use in reservoir modelling and, 2) matching appropriate analogues to specific subsurface problems. These problems are being addresses through recent advances in outcrop data acquisition, processing, storage and application are revolutionizing the use of analogues in the oil industry.


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