07 January, 2021

Deepwater Depositional Systems: Processes and Products

AAPG Virtual Masterclass


Modern outcrops and subsurface data sets provide a mapping opportunity to characterize deep-water depositional systems from shelf edge to basin plain. This includes observations of the grain- to basin-scale framework and key stratigraphic surfaces that subdivide the basin-fill. This presentation incorporates observations from passive margins including faulted slopes and ponded mini-basins, and active margins including foreland, forearc, back-arc, strike-slip, intracratonic and hybrid basins.


The Deepwater Depositional Systems masterclass includes a field-based analysis of the range and variation in deep-water siliciclastic conventional petroleum reservoirs.

The course explores new themes in petroleum reservoir research and applications, current solutions for classic reservoir challenges and the relevance of technical challenges to exploration, appraisal and development drilling programs.

The material questions the turbidite reservoir paradigm established since the 1960s and provides a route to modern solutions.

Key questions to be addressed
  1. What is the range and variability in the types of deepwater clastic conventional petroleum reservoirs?
  2. What are the key factors determining sediment distribution patterns in the deep sea?
  3. How can first principles of deep-water sedimentology and stratigraphy be used to a company’s advantage when determining depositional environment, and, in turn, bulk rock volume, net to gross and porosity as part of the original oil in place equation?
  4. What is the role played by sedimentary routing systems in determining the overall quality of deep-water turbidite reservoirs?
  5. How can we as an industry simultaneously and at various scales observe sediment gravity flows and their deposits to inform business decisions?
Participant Outcomes

Upon completion of the masterclass, participants will have an improved ability to characterize and interpret deepwater stratigraphy and reservoirs.

The course provides an added benefit for corporate teams, as content will help them to mature exploration concepts in areas of interest and as well as aid in the development decisions of existing fields.

Insights gained during the session will enable subsurface teams to characterize and rank the value of their projects in other regions and on a global scale.

Course modules
  1. Introduction to deepwater depositional systems
  2. Sediment transport and depositional processes
  3. Deepwater facies models
  4. Deepwater depositional environments and sub-environments