Sequence Stratigraphy

Program Objectives


This course introduces depositional systems and sequence-stratigraphic concepts, principles and methods of study for application to oil and gas exploration and development projects. An important emphasis in the course is the integration of seismic, well, and available engineering data to establish a sequence stratigraphic framework and map depositional facies. In so doing the sequence stratigraphy interpretation approach provides a powerful tool for predicting reservoir, source and sealing lithologies in the context of shelf to basin depositional environments. The sequence stratigraphy approach applies to regional, prospect, and field levels of scale and can play a key role in reservoir characterization and predicting reservoir size, geometry, and heterogeneity. The course presents techniques for the definition, age dating and correlation of rock units and the recognition of depositional system responses to changes in relative sea level as reflected in the stratigraphic record. Lithostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy are practiced through exercises and the advantages and disadvantages of their application are discussed. Data analysis techniques will demonstrate seismic sequence correlation, seismic facies analysis, and mapping calibrated to well log responses and biostratigraphic indicators to identify depositional patterns and sedimentary facies relationships. Both siliclastic and carbonate environments are considered. Participants will understand depositional system classifications and sedimentary facies environments, gain insights on temporal and spatial scales of resolution from data integration for age calibration and correlation, develop a sequence stratigraphic framework based on lithostratigraphic and chronostratigraphic principles, relate relative sea level changes and eustasy to sequence cyclicity and facies patterns, define key stratigraphic surfaces from seismic, well log, and biostratigraphic data, and interpret seismic reflection geometries and construct seismic facies maps. Students will also learn how to identify depositional system tracts in a sequence stratigraphic framework, relate sequence stratigraphic correlations and mapping to basin architecture and depositional environments, predict reservoir, source, and seal lithologies from stacking patterns and depositional facies mapping, recognize lateral facies relationships and reservoir heterogeneity.
Course Outline
Day 1
  • Depositional Systems and Sequence Stratigraphy
    • Introduction: Depositional Systems and Sedimentary Facies 
      • Overview of linked systems 
      • Variables affecting stratigraphy 
      • Non-marine to fluvial depositional systems 
      • Marginal marine estuarine and deltaic systems 
      • Outer shelf and deep water depositional systems 
      • Carbonate depositional environments 
      • Examples 
    • Sequence stratigraphy concepts
      • Sequence stratigraphic model
      • Terminology 
      • Chronostratigraphy vs lithostratigraphy 
      • Eustasy and relative sea level changes 
      • Cycle hierarchy and sequence correlation 
      • System tracts and stratal geometries 
      • Stacking patterns and facies relationships 
      • Margin types and structural controls 
      • Uses and abuses of sequence stratigraphy 
Day 2
  • Interpretation Methodology 
    • Seismic, well log and biostratigraphic data 
    • Spatial and temporal controls and resolution 
    • Seismic time-depth relationships and synthetic seismogram ties 
    • Utilizing Seismic facies and attributes 
    • Seismic processing and modelling 
    • Well log response and sequence definition 
    • Data integration approaches and displays 
    • Data quality issues and interpretation pitfalls


Day 3
  • Sequence Framework and Calibration 
    • Stratal terminations, sequence boundaries and maximum flooding surfaces 
    • Exercise: Seismic sequence lapout recognition 
    • Well log unconformities and condensed sections 
    • Exercise: Well log sequence interpretation 
    • Biostratigraphic criteria in sequence correlation 
    • Calibration to global sea level cycle chart 
      • Exercise: Integrated sequence interpretation 
Day 4
  • Facies Mapping and Depositional Interpretation
    • System tracts and stratigraphic relationships 
    • Seismic facies identification and mapping 
    • Exercise: Seismic facies mapping and well tie 
    • Highstand / Lowstand system tract expression 
    • Exercise: Deep water lowstand fan mapping 
    • Exercise: Carbonate facies recognition and sequence stratigraphic mapping 
Day 5
  • Prediction of Reservoir, Source, and Seal
    • Petroleum system elements 
    • Sequence application to regional evaluation 
    • Sequence application to prospect evaluation 
    • Stratigraphic traps and risks 
    • Reservoir facies prediction and model building 
    • Exploration and development applications 
    • Final exam