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Considerable effort has been devoted to the development of simulation algorithms for facies modeling, whereas a discussion of how to combine those techniques has not existed. The integration of multiple geologic data into a three-dimensional model, which requires the combination of simulation techniques, is yet a current challenge for reservoir modeling. This article presents a thought process that guides the acquisition and modeling of geologic data at various scales. Our work is based on outcrop data collected from a Jurassic carbonate ramp located in the High Atlas mountain range of Morocco. The study window is 1 km (0.6 mi) wide and 100 m (328.1 ft) thick. We describe and model the spatial and hierarchical arrangement of carbonate bodies spanning from largest to smallest: (1) stacking pattern of high-frequency depositional sequences, (2) facies association, and (3) lithofacies. Five sequence boundaries were modeled using differential global position system mapping and light detection and ranging data. The surface-based model shows a low-angle profile with modest paleotopographic relief at the inner-to-middle ramp transition. Facies associations were populated using truncated Gaussian simulation to preserve ordered trends between the inner, middle, and outer ramps. At the lithofacies scale, field observations and statistical analysis show a mosaiclike distribution that was simulated using a fully stochastic approach with sequential indicator simulation.

This study observes that the use of one single simulation technique is unlikely to correctly model the natural patterns and variability of carbonate rocks. The selection and implementation of different techniques customized for each level of the stratigraphic hierarchy will provide the essential computing flexibility to model carbonate settings. This study demonstrates that a scale-dependent modeling approach should be a common procedure when building subsurface and outcrop models.

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This article addresses the controls exerted by sedimentologic and diagenetic factors on the preservation and modification of pore-network characteristics (porosity, pore types, sizes, shapes, and distribution) of carbonates belonging to the Bolognano Formation. This formation, exposed at the Majella Mountain, Italy, is composed of Oligocene–Miocene carbonates deposited in middle- to outer-ramp settings. The carbonates consist of (1) grainstones predominantly composed of either larger benthic foraminifera, especially Lepidocyclina, or bryozoans; (2) grainstones to packstones with abundant echinoid plates and spines; and (3) marly wackestones to mudstones with planktonic foraminifera.

The results of this field- and laboratory-based study are consistent with skeletal grain assemblages, grain sizes, sorting, and shapes, all representing the sedimentologic factors responsible for high values of connected primary macroporosity in grainstones deposited on the high-energy, middle to proximal outer ramp. Cementation, responsible for porosity reduction and overall macropore shape and distribution in grainstones to packstones deposited on the intermediate outer ramp, was mainly dependent on the following factors: (1) amount of echinoid plates and spines, (2) grain size, (3) grain sorting and shapes, and (4) clay amount. Differently, in the wackestones to mudstones, laid down on the low-energy, distal outer ramp, matrix is the key sedimentologic factor responsible for low values of scattered macroporosity and dominance of microporosity. The aforementioned results may be useful to improve the prediction of reservoir quality by means of mapping, simulating, and assessing individual carbonate facies with peculiar pore-network characteristics.

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The Sierra Diablo Mountains of west Texas contain world-class exposures of Lower Permian (Leonardian) platform carbonates. As such, these outcrops offer key insights into the products of carbonate deposition in the transitional icehouse to greenhouse setting of the early to middle Permian that are available in few other places. They also afford an excellent basis for examining how styles of facies and sequence development vary between inner and outer platform settings.

We collected detailed data on the facies composition and architecture of lower Leonardian high-frequency cycles and sequences from outcrops that provide more than 2 mi (3 km) of continuous exposure. We used these data to define facies stacking patterns along depositional dip across the platform in both low- and high-accommodation settings and to document how these patterns vary systematically among and within sequences.

Like icehouse and waning icehouse successions elsewhere, Leonardian platform deposits are highly cyclic; cycles dominantly comprise aggradational upward-shallowing facies successions that vary according to accommodation setting. Cycles stack into longer duration high-frequency sequences (HFSs) that exhibit systematic variations in facies and cycle architectures. Unlike cycles, HFSs can comprise symmetrical upward-shallowing or upward-deepening facies stacks. High-frequency sequences are not readily definable from one-dimensional stratigraphic sections but require dip-parallel two-dimensional sections and, in most cases, HFS boundaries are best defined in middle platform settings where facies contrast and offset are greatest. These studies demonstrate that HFSs are the dominant architectural element in many platform systems. As such, the lessons learned from these remarkable outcrops provide a sound basis for understanding and modeling carbonate facies architecture in other carbonate-platform successions, especially those of the middle to upper Permian.

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In this study, seismic models and a Starfak and Tiger Shoal fields data set in the Gulf of Mexico Basin are used to investigate uncertainties caused by the frequency dependence of seismic data and solutions for avoiding pitfalls in seismic-stratigraphic and facies interpretation. Seismic amplitude and instantaneous attributes, along with stratigraphic interpretation of these attributes, are controlled by seismic interference, or tuning, between thin geologic units. Seismic-tuning effects include thickness tuning and frequency tuning, which cause nonlinear variations of reflection amplitude and instantaneous seismic attributes with thickness and/or data frequency. Seismic modeling shows that, whereas thickness tuning determines seismic-interference patterns and, therefore, occurrence of seismic events and seismic facies in layered rock, frequency tuning may further influence the nature of the correlation of seismic data and geologic time and modify seismic facies. Frequency dependence offers a new dimension of seismic data, which has not been fully used in seismic interpretation of geology.

Field-data examples demonstrate that a stratigraphic formation is typically composed of lithofacies of varying thicknesses, and a broadband, stacked seismic data set is not necessarily optimal for stratigraphic and facies interpretation. Although it is difficult to predict correct frequency components for interpretation of not-yet-known geologic targets, local geologic models and well data can be used to optimize the frequency components of seismic data to a certain degree and intentionally modify seismic-interference patterns and seismic facies for better seismic interpretation of geologic surfaces, sediment-dispersal patterns, geomorphology, and sequence stratigraphy.

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Closest of trends: Geoscientists experienced a huge “aha!” moment that started with the realization that Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale and Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale have a lot in common.

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A new, specially funded, designated speaker has been added to the prestigious AAPG Distinguished Lecture program for the 2012-13 season.

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The world’s best classroom? The beautiful and dramatic outcrops that dominate the western Ireland’s Clare and Kerry counties have provided enormous value as analogs to thousands of geoscientists – and new lessons are still being learned there.

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A popular part of the AAPG education department's many offerings is the compelling and often exotic field seminar program – and right now AAPG is looking for new leaders and fresh ideas for areas to visit and study.

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In-Person Training
Buenos Aires Argentina 11 May, 2015 12 May, 2015 14137 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/extending-mature-fields-life-cycles-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Buenos Aires, Argentina
11-12 May 2015

Join leading scientists and industry practitioners at Extending Mature Fields’ Life Cycles: the Role of New Technologies & Integrated Strategies, a Geoscience Technology Workshop (GTW) organized by the AAPG Latin America Region and the Asociación Argentina de Geólogos y Geofísicos Petroleros (AAGGP).

Denver Colorado United States 30 May, 2015 31 May, 2015 14568 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc07-pttc-rocky-mountain-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Denver, Colorado, United States
30-31 May 2015

This course is intended for industry professionals who desire a firm foundation in carbonate rocks. Most sedimentology and stratigraphy courses focus on siliciclastic rocks while giving only cursory treatments of carbonates. With carbonate reservoirs containing approximately half of the world’s oil and gas, a better understanding of these complex rocks is highly desirable. Participants should have some background in sedimentology and stratigraphy.

Denver Colorado United States 30 May, 2015 31 May, 2015 14573 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc08-graduate-students-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Denver, Colorado, United States
30-31 May 2015

This course is designed to teach graduate students the principles, concepts and methods of sequence stratigraphy. Sequence stratigraphy is an informal chronostratigraphic methodology that uses stratal surfaces to subdivide the stratigraphic record. This methodology allows the identification of coeval facies, documents the time-transgressive nature of classic lithostratigraphic units and provides geoscientists with an additional way to analyze and subdivide the stratigraphic record.

Denver Colorado United States 30 May, 2015 30 May, 2015 14555 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc04-mudstones-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Denver, Colorado, United States
30 May 2015

This workshop combines interactive lectures and exercises addressing the expression of depositional sequences in mudstones on seismic, well-log, core and outcrop data. Examples include in the course will include the Marcellus Shale, New Albany Shale, Barnett Shale, Shublik Formation, Kimmeridge Clay Formation, Kingak Formation, Hue Shale, Mowry Shale, and Monterey Formation.

Denver Colorado United States 30 May, 2015 31 May, 2015 13504 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc06-sequence-stratigraphy-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Denver, Colorado, United States
30-31 May 2015

This course presents the concepts and practical applications of sequence stratigraphy for petroleum exploration.

Three Forks Montana United States 24 June, 2015 26 June, 2015 13422 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/hero-lodgepole-bakken-petroleum-system.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Three Forks, Montana, United States
24-26 June 2015

This field seminar will give participants an overview about the geology, reservoir engineering and operation aspects of the Lodgepole-Bakken-Three Forks Petroleum System.  Excellent outcrops illustrate how facies, reservoir properties and rock strength can vary along a lateral well bore. Engineers, geologists and operators will find this especially interesting.

Hay River Northwest Territories Canada 31 August, 2015 04 September, 2015 13438 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/devonian-reef-facies-models-hydrothermal-dolomitization-and-tight-carbonate-reservoir-analogues-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada
31 August - 4 September 2015

The Hay River region in the Northwest Territories is one of the best locations in North America for the examination of Devonian carbonates, and the Pine Point mine site is one of the best localities for viewing the fabrics and geometries associated with hydrothermal dolomitization.

Whanganui New Zealand 09 September, 2015 12 September, 2015 18996 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT3-Pilo-Pleistocene-Shelf-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Whanganui, New Zealand
9-12 September 2015

This four-day trip to the internationally-significant Wanganui Basin and North Taranaki coastal sections will examine Late Miocene to Pleistocene components of shelf- to basin-floor depositional systems deposited during an overall tectonically-controlled regressive phase. We will examine and discuss the interplay between tectonics and sea-level change, and the reservoir architecture and sequence stratigraphic framework of these well-exposed rocks. The outcrop geology will be supported by a range of seismic, well and supplementary industry data.

Melbourne Australia 10 September, 2015 13 September, 2015 18997 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT4-The-Gippsland-Basin-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Melbourne, Australia
10-13 September 2015

This trip will visit the breathtaking coastal outcrops of turbidites, carbonate platforms, fluvial sediments and pillow lavas along the cliffs southeast of Melbourne. Come scramble down craggy slopes at Cape Liptrap to view superb outcrop-scale fold and thrust structures in Devonian turbidites, then take a 5 km hike along the adjacent coast where Cambrian ophiolites and exhumed amphibolites, faulted against trilobite-hosting Ordovician marls and Devonian reefal carbonates will be revealed. This will be followed by a trip to a site of Early Cretaceous fluvial rift sediments deposited during the initial separation of Antarctica from Australia to open the Gippsland Basin.

Sydney Australia 11 September, 2015 12 September, 2015 19011 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT5-Tidally-Influenced-Strata-of-the-Hawkesbury-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Sydney, Australia
11-12 September 2015

The Hawkesbury Sandstone is the foundation on which the city of Sydney was built. This trip will allow discussion of the sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of the Hawkesbury Sandstone by examining outcrops around the scenic Sydney Harbour and in spectacular coastal cliffs in National Parks close to the city. The sandstone displays a wide variety of sedimentary structures combined with superb scenery offering many opportunities for photographers.

Sydney Australia 17 September, 2015 18 September, 2015 19048 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT6-Blue-Mountains-World-Heritage-Area-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Sydney, Australia
17-18 September 2015

Experience the World Heritage Exhibition Centre in the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, and various geosites including the iconic Triassic sandstone landscapes at Govetts Leap and Echo Point. 

Grand Junction Colorado United States 23 September, 2015 30 September, 2015 86 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-sedimentology-and-sequence-stratigraphic-response-of-paralic-deposits.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Grand Junction, Colorado, United States
23-30 September 2015

Participants will learn through the use of spectacular outcrops, subsurface datasets, and stratigraphic modeling how these systems tracts and key surfaces (flooding surfaces and sequence boundaries) may be recognized.

Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates 23 November, 2015 25 November, 2015 16396 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw2015me-carbonate-reservoirs-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
23-25 November 2015

This three-day workshop is dedicated to sharing knowledge, ideas and workflows in exploring for and developing hydrocarbon bearing carbonate reservoirs of the Middle East. The workshop will emphasize case studies involving field scale reservoir characterization to regional scale lithofacies distribution, depositional models and sequence stratigraphy.

Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates 24 November, 2015 24 November, 2015 20582 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-field-trip-to-the-modern-sabkha-environment-abu-dhabi-11nov-2015-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
24 November 2015
The modern carbonate-evaporite depositional environments along the Abu Dhabi shoreline and offshore Abu Dhabi belong to the few areas of the world where the geoscientist can observe the interplay between carbonate and evaporite sedimentation.
Ras al-Khaimah United Arab Emirates 24 November, 2015 24 November, 2015 20580 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-field-trip-to-the-kharaib-and-shuaiba-formations-11nov-2015-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
24 November 2015
The field trip will take you to outcrops of the Musandam Peninsula of Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE equivalent in age and architecture to the producing Shuaiba and Kharaib formations in the subsurface of the Arabian Peninsula. Outcrops are of seismic scale and thus provide field-scale cross-sections that help to refine sequence stratigraphic and facies models, and aid to the understanding of reservoir geometry distribution, and reservoir continuity in the subsurface.
Online Training
10 May, 2012 10 May, 2012 1486 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-genetic-sequences-in-eagle-ford-austin.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
10 May 2012

Recognition and Correlation of the Eagle Ford, Austin Formations in South Texas can be enhanced with High Resolution Biostratigraphy, fossil abundance peaks and Maximum Flooding Surfaces correlated to Upper Cretaceous sequence stratigraphic cycle chart after Gradstein, 2010.

17 February, 2011 17 February, 2011 1469 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-siliclastic-sequence-stratigraphy.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
17 February 2011

This presentation is designed for exploration/production geologists and geological managers or reservoir engineers.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-generic-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
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