Who Should Attend:

This course is designed for petroleum geologists, geophysicists, and engineers who have an introductory to basic knowledge of sedimentary geology but lack significant experience or have a desire for a refresher in its application. Depending upon audience background, the course can be taught at a Basic or Foundation level.

You Will Learn:

  • The use of facies and facies associations in the recognition and interpretation of depositional environments and systems
  • To construct facies models for important depositional systems based on a personal understanding of processes, setting, and controlling factors, not simply memorization of previously published material
  • To understand the relationship between accommodation development and sediment filling as related to changes in direction and rates of base level fluctuation
  • To recognize the role of auto- and allogenic forcing mechanisms in variability within and between (both vertically and laterally) models for adjacent depositional systems

About the Course:

Information gained from this course is directly applicable to the exploration, characterization, simulation, and development of petroleum reservoirs found in clastic stratigraphic successions. Sedimentology and stratigraphy are, essentially, studies of patterns. These patterns are represented by facies associations and control the passage of fluids within and between parts of a petroleum system. Understanding these patterns is essential for determining the extent, geometry, and quality of a petroleum reservoir and the manner in which individual components of a petroleum system are related to one another.

Though this course focuses on examples from outcrops and modern depositional settings, its concepts can be applied as analogs for subsurface correlation and mapping as interpreted from cores, logs, and seismic sections.

The course format consists of traditional lectures, in-depth dialogue between class members and instructor, and practical exercises based on modern and ancient case studies.

Course Content:

  • Recognizing facies and facies associations (architectural analysis, bounding surface hierarchy)
  • Understanding depositional environments and systems (fluid dynamics, fluid/sediment interactions)
  • Building individual facies models (alluvial fan, braided fluvial, meandering fluvial, anastomosed fluvial, transgressive shoreface, regressive shoreface, tidal, deltaic, shelf, deep water)
  • Understand variability within and gradation between facies models (systems tracts, stacking patterns)
  • Auto- vs. allogenic depositional controls (base level, eustasy, tectonics, compaction, climate)
  • Interpreting stratigraphic successions (accommodation production vs. sedimentation rates)
  • Cyclicity (introduction to sequence stratigraphy)
  • Depositional patterns (introduction to basin analysis)


  • Day 1: General principles and concepts of sedimentology and facies models
  • Day 2: Alluvial depositional systems
  • Day 3: Coastal depositional systems
  • Day 4: Shelf and deep water depositional systems
  • Day 5: Basin analysis and wrap up



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