Basin modeling can be divided into two main areas: maturity modeling and migration modeling. Studies that focus entirely or primarily on maturity questions are usually carried out using 1D software. Regional 1D studies can easily be carried out by modeling multiple locations that can include calibration wells, non-calibration wells, and pseudowells.
Migration-modeling studies, in contrast, normally utilize 2D or 3D software designed specifically for the purpose of modeling fluid flow. Migration-modeling software can in turn be divided into the traditional Darcy-flow software, which treats basins with technology similar to that used in reservoir simulations, as well as a variety of alternatives, including invasion percolation (IP) and ray tracing.
2D and 3D modeling studies normally begin with the construction of 1D models. Most of the development of geologic concepts and calibration of the models is carried out in 1D, even when the ultimate goal is a 2D or 3D model. There is generally no need to carry out 2D or 3D modeling or use 2D or 3D software unless the end goal is to model migration.