17 September, 2016 Great Falls Montana United States

Fractures, Folds, and Faults in Thrusted Terrains: Sawtooth Range, Montana

12-17 September 2016
Great Falls, Montana, United States


Who Should Attend
Exploration and development geologists, geophysicists, log analysts, engineers, and managers working in structural geology and/or fractures who want a thorough understanding of the geology and geophysics utilized in E&P in thrust belts.

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

  • Identify natural fractures and discuss analogs.
  • Differentiate natural vs. induced fractures.
  • Make connections between structure & fractures & prolific oil fields in the region and new discovery potential.
  • Have a greater understanding source rock petroleum systems of a thrust belt, and its influence on adjacent forebulge resource oil plays.
  • Develop completion programs where fractures and structure play a major role in the reservoir.
Course Content

During this seminar, leaders and attendees together will:

  • Examine the mechanics of fracturing, folding, and faulting in thrust belt terrains.
  • Identify and discuss new ideas regarding the geometry and kinematics of the development of thrust belts with examples from the spectacular Sawtooth Range of northwest Montana.
  • Compare seismic interpretation with outcrop examples and review drilling practices in a “frontier” (Montana) exploration thrust belt province.
  • Analyze stratigraphic concepts which are essential in the exploration of thrust belt targets.

This field seminar is unique in that it offers the participant the opportunity to interact with a number of instructors who have several decades of experience working in thrust belts of the world. It focuses on the practical issues of exploration and production of hydrocarbons in thrust belts, with the Montana Thrust Belt as the backdrop. It will explain how these concepts can be applied worldwide, where overthrust terrains are increasingly important exploration targets.

The course will integrate concepts of exploration, including a review of fractured reservoir models, structural geology, stratigraphy, and hydrocarbon assessment. The spectacular geology of the Montana Sawtooth Range (an exhumed duplex) will serve as the backdrop for this field seminar. Time in the field will be bolstered by periodic classroom sessions on structural geology concepts, fractured reservoirs, and other issues the explorationist can expect to encounter in thrust belt exploration.

The seminar will utilize traverses to examine multiple thrust sheets exposed in Sun River Canyon, the famous Teton Anticline, and an outstanding example of an exposed fractured reservoir along a fault-propagated fold in Mississippian carbonates as Swift Reservoir. Discussions will involve new ideas on the geometry and kinematics of thrust sheets and how they might influence exploration strategies in those settings.

Participants will discuss the Bakken/Exshaw petroleum system of the Montana Disturbed Belt, and its influence on the emerging resource oil play on the adjacent Sweetgrass Arch. The seminar will continue northward to Glacier National Park, with a cross-section view of the Lewis Thrust, the Chief Mountain klippe, discussions of horizontal Bakken oil drilling on the nearby Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the historical giant gas field production across the border in Alberta, and conclude with a geologic transect along the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Highway of Glacier National Park.

Field Seminar Location
Begins and ends in Great Falls, Montana. More details will follow soon.
Field trip begins and ends in Great Falls, Montana
Expires on
15 August, 2016
Early Tuition
Expires on
18 July, 2015
Regular Tuition
20 people

PLEASE NOTE:  Registrants in AAPG Field Seminars must complete and sign the Release and Indemnity Form on the bottom of the Registration Form (or read and agree to the appropriate box during online registration.) Your registration will not be complete until we have your signed form in our files.

Tuition includes lunches, transportation, guidebooks, admission to Glacier National Park, and some additional meals. No refunds for cancellations after August 15, 2016


William B. Hansen Jireh Consulting Services, Great Falls, Montana, USA
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Steven E. Boyer Independent Consultancy, Tacoma, Washington, USA
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Charles F. Kluth Kluth & Associates, Littleton, Colorado, USA
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James (Jim) Sears University of Montana, USA
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Stephanie Brown Technical Assistant +1 918 560-2930
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