Seismic Interpretation in Fold-and-Thrust Belts: Field Trip to the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountain Foreland

20-26 July 2014
Alberta, Canada


Who Should Attend
This course is intended to assist geologists and geophysicists involved in the interpretation of seismic reflection data for trap delineation and reservoir characterization in both orogenic and passive margin fold-and-thrust belts. The course should also be a useful for supervisors who evaluate structural interpretations to assign and reduce drilling risks.

Upon completion of this field seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize common types of structures in fold-and-thrust belts based on their expressions in outcrop and seismic data.
  • Apply fault-related folding concepts to interpret these structures, characterizing fault and fold geometries and fault displacements.
  • Identify petroleum traps and their major structural risk elements.
  • Recognize similarities between styles of trap and reservoir-scale deformation.
Course Content

This structural field course in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies focuses on relating outcrop to seismic expressions of compressive structural styles that are common in fold-and-thrust belts and deepwater passive margins (toe thrust belts) worldwide. Course topics include seismic interpretation of thrust and reverse faults, detachment surfaces, fault-bend folds, fault-propagation folds, detachment folds, growth structures, wedge structures, and imbricate structures. The course offers an extensive "atlas-style" guidebook with seismic examples from petroleum basin throughout the world, as well as instructional materials and exercises on quantitative structural interpretation of seismic data. Each day will be spent visiting three to five field locations, where new concepts will be introduced and applied in seismic interpretation projects.

Participants stay at the University of Calgary Kananaskis Field Station, in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada, about an hour drive from Banff and two hours’ drive from Calgary. The geology is extraordinary, and the scenery and wildlife are tremendous.

All participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Calgary (you will be provided with arrival and departure details at least 30 days prior to the start of the trip).

Field Seminar Location
Begins and ends in Calgary, AB, Canada.
Transportation To/From Calgary
Please note that July 20th is an arrival day and July 26th a departure day for the field course. The first course event on July 20th is dinner at 6 pm followed by a brief orientation session, and transit time from the airport to the Kananaskis Field Station field station is about 90 minutes. Thus, the last shuttle from the airport to the field station will leave no later than 4:15pm. Please make your plans accordingly. Please notify Bridget Mastandrea <> of your Calgary arrival and departure information. Based on your schedules, we will notify you of departure times for our shuttles on July 20th and return transportation on the morning of July 26th. For all those arriving on July 20th at Calgary International Airport, please look for the Harvard University sign just outside the baggage claim area for Terminal C. If you are arriving on an international flight and passing through customs and immigration in Calgary, this will be you terminal – the other terminals are located a short distance along the walkway. For those arriving before July 20th that need pick-up at hotels near the airport, please provide your hotel information to Bridget and she will notify you of your pick-up time. For those who live in or near Calgary, you are welcome to meet us at the airport for shuttle service, or to drive directly to the Field Station ( Please advise us of your preference.
We are staying at the University of Calgary's Kananaskis Barrier Lake Field Station ( for the entire course. The Field Station is located at the base of Mount Baldy, and will serve as a convenient point of departure for the daily trips. The Field Station provides rustic accommodations, with double occupancy rooms and meal services. Please advise Bridget if you have a preference for a roommate, and inform her of any dietary restrictions.
Contact Information

Please contact Bridget and John Shaw with all questions you may have regarding preparations for the trip. The Field Station has wireless access but limited cell phone service. During most of the days we will be in the field beyond email or cell phone contact. However, on each day we will, at some point, be within a cell phone service area.

If someone needs to contact the field station while you are onsite, they can use the following contact information: (403) 673-3662; (403) 220-5355; Adrienne Cunnings

Emergency services in the Kananaskis region are provided by:

Kananaskis Emergency Services
1 Boundary Road, Kananaskis, Alberta
Mailing address: Box 70 Kananaskis Village, Alberta, T0L 2H0
Phone: (403)591-7755 (administration)
9-1-1 (emergencies)
Fax: (403) 591-7123

What To Bring
  • Hiking Boots VERY IMPORTANT
  • Day Pack or backpack (for carrying lunch and 11 x 17 field guide, etc.)
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm coat
  • Raincoat
Trip Conclusion

The formal, instructional portion of the field course ends on Friday, July 25th at around noontime. In the afternoon, we provide transportation for various geotourism activities, including trips to Lake Louise, the Columbia Icefields, rafting, and other options. These options will be discussed during the field course, and arrangements made based on your preferences. You may also plan to catch a shuttle on July 25th from Banff back to Calgary (depending on interest, we may be able to drive you to Calgary).

Shuttle service from the field station to Calgary will be provided for all course participants on Saturday, July 26th. Shuttles will depart between 4am and 10am, arriving in Calgary from 6am to 12 noon.

(3/20) Day 0: Course Introduction
  • Arrival in Kananaskis
  • 6 pm Dinner and orientation session
(3/21) Day 1: Interpreting thrust faults
  • stop 1-1 Exshaw Thrust at Mount Lorette
  • stop 1-2 The McConnell Thrust at Barrier Lake
  • stop 1-3 The McConnell Thrust at Mt. Yamnuska (hike)
  • stop 1-4 Sulfur Mountain (gondola)
  • Dinner in Banff
(3/22) Day 2: Fault-related folds
  • stop 2-1 The Wedge and Limestone Mtn.
  • stop 2-2 Opal Mountain (hike)
  • stop 2-3 Bourgeau Thrust at Lake Kananaskis
  • Group dinner in Kananaskis
(3/23) Day 3: Detachment folding and Reservoir scale structure
  • stop 3-1 The Lewis Thrust at Highwood Pass
  • stop 3-2 Plateau Mountain (hike)
  • stop 3-3 Crowsnest Pass
  • Group Dinner in Longview
(3/24) Day 4: Fault-propagation folding
  • stop 4-1 The Lewis Thrust at Mt. Kidd
  • stop 4-2 Fault-propagation folding at Grotto Mountain (hike)
  • stop 4-3 Lake Minnewanka Transect (boat)
  • Group dinner (Cookout)
(3/25) Day 5: Balanced cross section exercise
  • stop 5-1: Thrust sheets of the front ranges from Mt. Norquay
  • Course ends at about noon. Vans will be available for geotourism activities.
(3/26) Day 6: Return to Calgary
  • Return transportation to Calgary will be provided.
Expires on
21 June, 2014
Early Tuition
Expires on
26 July, 2014
Regular Tuition
20 people

Includes lodging in a field station (double occupancy), most meals (exception of 2 dinners), local transportation, boat and gondola fees, guidebooks, and supplies.
No refunds for cancellations after 22 June 2014.


Frank Frank Bilotti Chevron Nigeria/mid-Africa Deepwater, Nigeria
John H. John H. Shaw Harvard University
Vicky Kroh Registrar +1 918 560-2650
Debbi Debbi Boonstra Education Coordinator +1 918 560-2630

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