09 October, 2015 Salt Lake City Utah United States

NOTE: New Dates!

Sequence Stratigraphy, Facies Architecture & Reservoir Characterization Of Fluvial, Deltaic And Strand-Plain Deposits

2-9 October 2015
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States


Who Should Attend
This seminar is designed for geologists and engineers who explore for and/or develop oil and gas resources in fluvial, deltaic, and strand-plain deposits. The course will benefit participants by providing an opportunity to examine, describe, and better understand sequence stratigraphy, facies associations, and the 3-dimensional spatial distribution of reservoir flow units and heterogeneities in fluvial, deltaic, and strand-plain reservoirs. Although there are no prerequisites, a basic understanding of fluvial, deltaic and strand-plain (shoreface) sedimentology and stratigraphy is helpful. Engineers will find the experience complimentary to current surveillance and modeling challenges.

The objectives of this field seminar are to provide geologists and engineers with a better understanding of the sequence stratigraphy, facies architecture and reservoir characteristics of fluvial, deltaic and strand-plain deposits. Attendees will also be shown how the integration of information from outcrop, cores, and wireline logs can add confidence and reduce the amount of uncertainty associated with correlation and prediction of the spatial distribution of reservoir elements, their bounding surfaces, and internal heterogeneities at interwell, reservoir, and basin scales.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Distinguish a wide variety of fluvial, deltaic, and strand-plain facies and facies associations in outcrop.
  • Recognize and characterize important reservoir flow units and heterogeneities that influence the behavior of fluids in fluvial, deltaic and strand-plain deposits.
  • Recognize discontinuities that constitute flooding surfaces in shallow- and marginal-marine settings, as well as their landward expression in alluvial-plain environments.
  • Define parasequences and parasequence sets based on their vertical facies successions and stacking patterns.
  • Predict the spatial arrangement (stratigraphic or facies architecture) of fluvial channel deposits and predict whether shoreline parasequence sets will be strongly progradational, aggradational or retrogradational based on what part of the base level transit they were deposited. For example, participants will observe that channel sandstone body density is low (low net-to-gross) where shoreline parasequence sets are retrogradational or aggradational and channel sandstone body density is high (high net-to-gross) where parasequence sets are strongly progradational.

October 2 is a travel day for participants - they need to arrive in St. George, Utah, by late afternoon. A brief presentation on safety and an introduction to the course will be held that evening. Field work begins on October 3. The course ends in Salt Lake City late afternoon on Friday, October 9.

Course Content

Much of the world's conventional and unconventional oil and gas production is from fluvial, deltaic and shallow marine clastic deposits that accumulated within foreland basin settings. The ability to accurately describe and predict the stratigraphic architecture that controls the behavior of fluids within these reservoirs greatly reduces risk in exploration and development decisions. This field seminar focuses on relevant, topical geological and engineering issues as expressed in world-class outcrop exposures of these reservoir types throughout Utah. The emphasis in this 7-day field seminar is on recognizing and learning how to predict facies and facies architecture (the geometry and spatial arrangement of sedimentary bodies) within a high-resolution, sequence stratigraphic framework. Participants will examine numerous outcrops along a proximal (west) to distal (east) transect that represent a variety of depositional environments deposited during low stand, transgressive, highstand, and late highstand (falling stage) phases of two third-order Cretaceous sequences: the Cenomanian-Turonian Greenhorn Sequence and the Turonian-Santonian Niobrara Sequence.

Participants will:

  • examine and describe the facies and facies associations of gravelly braided river, meandering river, tidal channel, ebb-tidal delta, tidal flat, salt marsh, bay, estuarine, swamp, wave-modified shoreface, wave-modified delta front, fluvial-dominated delta front, distributary channel and mouth bar, offshore marine and prodelta deposits.
  • examine and describe the important surfaces that bound these facies, facies associations and facies assemblages.
  • define the criteria that can be used to recognize specific facies associations on wireline logs and in cores.
  • examine, describe, and understand the factors controlling stratigraphic architecture.
  • examine and describe the reservoir characteristics (flow units and heterogeneities) of these deposits.
  • develop depositional models that can be used to predict these variations in the subsurface.
  • examine core photos from wells drilled adjacent to the outcrop and analogous oil and gas fields, conduct core-to-log calibration and correlation exercises, and review techniques for integrating available data into a geological model, and discuss the uncertainties associated with building models.

This field seminar is a perfect follow-up course to the AAPG Modern Terrigenous Clastic Depositional Systems course. A remarkable comparison can be demonstrated between the modern South Carolina coastal plain and mid-Cretaceous sediments of southern and central Utah.

Outcrops visited are along the margins of the Kaiparowits, Paunsaugunt, Markagunt, Fish Lake, and Wasatch Plateaus, the Circle Cliffs Uplift, Waterpocket Fold, East Kaibab Monocline, and the Henry Mountains. The field seminar travels through spectacular natural scenery of the Colorado Plateau, including Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef National Parks, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Glen Canyon National Recreational Area (Lake Powell).

Class size is kept small for mobility and to promote group and individual discussions with the instructor on the outcrop. A considerable amount of hiking is involved. Participants should be in good physical condition.

Field Seminar Location
Begins in St. George, Utah and ends in Salt Lake City, Utah.

October 2 is a travel day for participants - they need to arrive in St. George, Utah, by late afternoon. They can make the 5 1/2 hour drive from Salt Lake City, or flights are available from either Denver or Salt Lake City to St. George.  A brief presentation on safety and an introduction to the course will be held at 7:00 pm that evening. Field work begins on October 3.

The course ends in Salt Lake City late afternoon on Friday, October 9.  Participants may plan flights out of SLC after 6:00 pm on Friday, October 9, or anytime on Saturday, October 10.

More detailed itinerary coming soon.

Expires on
04 September, 2015
Early Tuition
Expires on
08 May, 2015
Regular Tuition
12 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 field transportation, lunches and beverages in the field, guidebook. No refund for cancellations after 9/04/2015.


Edmund R. (Gus) Gustason Enerplus Resources (USA) Corp., Denver, Colorado, USA
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Stephanie Brown Assistant Registrar 918-560-2930 918-560-2678
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Debbi Boonstra Education Manager +1 918 560-2630
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