05 October, 2016 Grand Junction Colorado United States

Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphic Response of Paralic Deposits to Changes in Accommodation: Predicting Reservoir Architecture, Book Cliffs, Utah

28 September - 5 October 2016
Grand Junction, Colorado, United States


Who Should Attend
Geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers working marginal marine reservoir systems in exploration and production settings. Lectures cover all the concepts necessary for non-geologists to benefit greatly from the course. Geologists often wish that their reservoir engineer had also attended.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will:

  • Be able to understand detailed facies analysis within fluvial, estuarine, shoreface, and shallow marine deposits.
  • Be able to use parasequence stacking patterns to predict reservoir sand body occurrences.
  • Be exposed to a consistent subsurface methodology to recognize sequence boundary unconformities, marine flooding surfaces, parasequence stacking patterns, and reservoir distribution within a sequence stratigraphic framework, resulting in a more robust subsurface stratigraphy.
  • Be familiar with sequence stratigraphic concepts and be able to apply those concepts to their exploration and production assignments.
Course Content

World class exposures of Upper Cretaceous strata in the Book Cliffs of east-central Utah provide outcrops that demonstrate the 3D reservoir architecture of marginal marine strata. These strata were deposited by a variety of depositional settings ranging from fluvial to incised valley to shoreface and deltaic. For those more comfortable with systems tracts, we observe features common to highstand shorelines and contemporaneous alluvial deposits, late highstand and lowstand shorelines, and incised valleys. We illustrate 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. The outcrops have almost complete exposure of over 500 m of strata in both depositional strike and dip sections that extend for over 200 km.

Well logs and cores from the nearby oil and gas wells provide the opportunity to learn how to recognize outcrop relationships in more traditional subsurface datasets. This field seminar demonstrates how well log and core data can be used to predict reservoir geometries at both the exploration and production scales.

During the seminar, a practical approach of using sequence stratigraphic concepts is developed through the use of lectures, computer modeling, outcrop exposures and is reinforced through subsurface exercises. Field observations and data sets drawn from a variety of subsurface examples are used to develop understanding of vertical facies relationships that can be used to predict subsurface reservoir architecture in a variety of basin settings. At the end of the course, participants will have an understanding of deltaic and fluvial facies and the nature of larger scale stratigraphic variations within these deposits. Participants will be able to use these facies relationships to understand stratal stacking patterns that can be used to estimate lateral extent of reservoir facies. Participants will learn a process of how to use subsurface data to gain an understanding of depositional systems and key sequence stratigraphic surfaces to assist in either exploration or production.

The field trip begins by looking at the sedimentological and stratigraphic aspects of the Panther Tongue and lower Blackhawk Formation exposures in the vicinity of Price, Utah. In this relatively high-accommodation setting, sequence boundary unconformities are not developed and marginal marine facies tracts are more fully preserved. The high-accommodation stratigraphy in the vicinity of Price is contrasted with observations from the stratigraphically younger Desert Member of the Blackhawk Formation and the Castlegate Sandstone in the vicinity of Green River, Utah. In these deposits, subsidence rates are diminished relative to those found near Price; resulting in progradation during relative sea level fall which generated well developed sequence boundary unconformities. The stratal architecture of these deposits is dramatically different from the architecture associated with the more high-accommodation deposits near Price, Utah.

Field Seminar Location
Begins and ends in Grand Junction, Colorado. More details will follow soon.

Expires on
31 August, 2016
Early Tuition
Expires on
30 September, 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 ground transportation, lunches, and guidebook. No refunds for cancellations after August 31, 2016.


Keith W. Shanley Consultant, Denver, Colorado, USA
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J. Michael Boyles Shell Global Solutions, Houston, Texas, USA
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Lorry Oldefest Programs Staff +1 918 560 2621 +1 918 560 2678
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Stephanie Brown AAPG Assistant Registrar +1 918 560-2930
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