14 June, 2022 Barcelona Barcelona Spain

Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A Global Perspective

13-14 June 2022
Barcelona, Spain
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Fold Thrust Belts are considered the foremost tectonic expression of convergent margins. Their topographic relief produces exposures to understand not only their evolution but also the tectonic setting and paleogeographic evolution before orogeny. Plate tectonic interactions have been responsible for compressional systems from the Paleozoic to the most recent late Cenozoic fold thrust belt systems, forming large and elongated orogenic belts. Complex geodynamic settings and differences in mechanical stratigraphy characteristics have often triggered the development of unique geometries and relationships between units. However, similarities between structural styles and tectonic evolution among fold thrust belts in different regions can also be identified.

These Fold Thrust Belt Systems have been studied in order to understand their dynamics but also because they contain large hydrocarbon resources. They are characterised by complex trap geometries, reservoirs and source rock distributions as well as compound burial and thermal histories. In fold and thrust belts, an additional complicating factor is the short geological time span between the onset of petroleum generation, migration, and trap development. Despite those challenges and the various complexities, fold and thrust belts have been the focus of intense and long-lived exploration around the world. Recent hydrocarbon discoveries in fold thrust belt systems, and the most recent data confirming they still hold a large hydrocarbon prospectivity, have increased the interest from both academia and industry in deciphering their complexity.

The AAPG Workshop on “Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A global perspective” aims at bringing together experts from academia and industry from a range of disciplines to share experiences, new approaches, new data and new ways of integrating information that can help in reducing the uncertainties related to the exploration activities in Thrust Belt Systems.

The session themes aim to span several scales of observation from the local to the regional scale and draw on experience from different settings within the Thrust Belt Systems and different geographic areas.

Monday, 13 June
8:00 - 8:25 Registration and Arrrival Coffee
8:25 - 8:30 Welcome from Chairmen
Salted Fold and Thrust Belts
Session Chairs: Raffaele di Cuia and Gonzalo Zamora
8:30 - 9:10 Keynote — An Overview of Salt-Involved Contractional Deformation
Mark Rowan
9:10 - 9:30 Structural Styles of Salt-Detached Fold and Thrust Belts
Oriol Ferrer
9:30 -9:50 Fold-And-Thrust Belts Developed From Passive Margin Salt Basin
Pablo Santolaria
9:50 - 10:10 Three-dimensional Interaction Between Folds, Thrusts, and Salt Diapirs: Examples from the Southern Gulf of Mexico
Mark Rowan
10:10 - 11:00 Morning Coffee Break - Posters
Understanding Fold and Thrust Belt Geometries
Session Chairs: Oriol Ferrer & Pablo Santolaria
11:00 - 11:20 Thin and Thick-skinned Deformation of Salt-related Fold-and-Thrust Belts: Structural Templates from Numerical Experiments
Pablo Granado
11:20 - 11:40 Exploring Pre-Orogenic Plays Within Collisional Orogens: A Rift-Related Point of View
Emmanuel Massini
11:40 - 12:00 The Role of Segmented Magma-Rich Rifted Margins During Convergence: The Caribbean Region Example
Julia Gomez-Romeu
12:00 - 12:20 The Role of Detachment Zones in the Evolution of a Fold and Thrust Belt; Insights From 4D Analogue Modelling in the Western Black Sea
Pavlos Farangitakis
12:20 - 12:40 The Impact of a Crustal-Scale Fault on Thrust Belt Geometries and Future Exploration Activities: The Khanaqin Fault Zone in the Kurdistan Zagros
Angelo Ricciato
12:40 - 14:00 Lunch Break
Structural Styles in Fold and Thrust Belts; Case Studies
Session Charis: Olivier de Mena & Oskar Vidal
14:00 - 14:20 Integration of Well (VSP) and Surface Seismic to Reveal Hydrocarbon Trap Geometry in a Poorly Imaged Anticline, a Case Study From Northern Iraq
Magdalena Musial
14:20 - 14:40 Along-Strike Variation of Contractional Deformation Styles and Hydrocarbon Occurrences in the Kurdistan Zagros Thrust Belt of NE Iraq
Angelo Ricciato
14:40 - 15:00 Relationship Between Deep Subsurface Structures, Topography and Structural Lineaments in Thrust Belts: Examples From the Southern Apennines
Raffaele Di cuia
15:00 - 15:20 Structural Styles in the Kura-Kartli Foreland Fold-and-Thrust Belt, Central Georgia
Angelo Ricciato
15:20 - 16:00 Afternoon Coffee break
Structural Styles in Fold and Thrust Belts; Case Studies
Session Chairs: Joan Flinch & Gabor Tari
16:00 - 16:20 New Insights in the Offshore Fold-And-Thrust Belt in Timor Trough
Pedro Martinez Duran
16:20 - 16:40 The Importance of Surface Structural Geometries in Defining the Exploration Potentials of an old HC province: The South Peten Basin, onshore Guatemala
Raffaele Di cuia
16:40 - 17:00 'The ‘Inverse Line’ Concept: Estimating Detachment Depths and Displacements Using the Area-Depth-Strain Method in Contractional Syn-Tectonic Structures
Sam Rivas-Dorado
17:00 - 17:40 Keynote — Geologically Constrained Seismic Imaging in Fold-And-Thrust Belts
Rob Vestrum
17:40 - 19:00 Poster Session
Close of Day / Cocktail Reception
Tuesday, 14 June
8:00 - 8:25 Registration and Arrrival Coffee
8:25 - 8:30 Welcome from Chairmen
Structural Styles in Fold and Thrust Belts; Case Studies
Session Chairs: Pablo Granado & Julia Gomez Romeu
8:30 - 9:10 Keynote — Evolutionary Stages of a Low Convergence Collisional Orogen: A Review of Pyrenean Foreland Systems
Marie Ford
9:10 - 9:30 What Does Control the Development of Fault-Bend, Fault-Propagation or Detachment Folds in Fold-And-Thrust Belts? A Field-Case Study From the Cantabrian Zone (NW Iberian Peninsula)
Hodei Uzkeda
9:30 - 9:50 Challenges in Finding Deep Structured Fractured Reservoirs in Complex Thrust Belts Systems: A Drilling Case in the Southern Subandean Belt in Bolivia
Olivier De Mena
9:50 - 10:10 Incipient Folding Prior to Thrust Sheet Development in the Southern Subandean Range of Bolivia: New Structural Models Integrating Fieldwork and Subsurface Data
Oskar Vidal-Royo
10:10 - 10:30 Negative Inversion in Folded Belts: An Overview
Gabor Tari
10:30 - 11:00 Morning Coffee Break - Posters
Fracture Reservoirs in FTB
Session Chairs: Samual Rivas & Matxalen Rey
11:00 - 11:20 Combining Topology and Fractal Dimension to Define Fracture Characteristics in Thrust Limestone
Mark Grodner
11:20 - 11:40 Automated Quantification of Fault Shape and Optimisation of Kinematic Parameters in Modelling Fold and Thrust Belt Deformation
Manoel Valcárcel
11:40 - 12:00 Fault Response Modelling of the Lebanon Restraining Bends
Jakub Fedorik
12:00 - 12:20 Field-Based Fractured Reservoir Characterisation in the Kura-Kartli Foreland Thrust-Belt, Central Georgia
Enrica Battara
12:20 - 13:00 Integrating Structural Restoration and Petroleum Systems Modelling Techniques to Unlock Fold & Thrust Potential
Alaister Sharkeley
13:00 - 14:20 Lunch Break
Sand Box Modelling
14:20 - 14:30 Sand Box Modelling Highlights
Oriol Ferrer
14:30 - 15:00 Sand Box Lab Visit (Group 1)
Oriol Ferrer
15:00 - 15:30 Sand Box Lab Visit (Group 2)
Oriol Ferrer
15:30 - 16:00 Close of Workshop

Poster are A0 format in portrait and one single panel. We will provide material to stick the posters to the surface. Should you need assistance printing the poster please contact Marta Diaz at .

Evidence of Sub-Thrust Exploration Potential in a Transpressional Fold-and-Thrust belt: Examples From the South Peten Basin, Onshore Guatemala
Raffaele Di cuia
Rift-Related Petroleum Plays During Compressional Inversion and Orogenesis
Julia Gomez-Romeu
Jurassic Tectono-Stratigraphy at the Interface Between Alpine Deformed Belt and Foreland Basin. Impact on Palaeozoic and Jurassic Petroleum Systems of the Causses and Bas-Languedoc Basins of Southern France
Daniel Truempy
Interpreting Virtual Outcrops of Folded/Thrusted Rocks in the Variscan and Alpine Fold and Thrusts Belts in the NW Iberian Peninsula Using a CAVE Tool Called 3D Stereo VDT
Hodei Uzkeda
Influence of the Inherited Structure on the Development of Fold-And-Thrust Belts: An Example From the Boomerang Hills (Bolivian Andes)
Hodei Uzkeda
Understanding Geological Uncertainty in Subsurface Interpretations Using Cross-Sections Constructions Examples From Coalmine Dataset in Lower Rhine Basin, Ruhr Sub-Basin, Germany
Ramy Abdallah
Identification of the Southeastern Extensions of the Hamrin and Ajil Oil Fields, Central Part of Iraq, Using Space Image
Torhan Al-Mufti
Geometría Y Cinemática Del Frente De Deformación De La Falla De Honda en La Parte Sur Del Valle Medio Del Magdalena, Colombia
Oscar Marquez, Universidad Industrial de Santander
Substantial Prospective Oil & Gas Resources Identified in the Historic Carpathians of Slovakia
Michael Lewis
Strain Modelling in Transverse Fault Zones of the South-Eastern Pyrenees: Implications for Reservoir Characterization in Fold-And-Thrust Belts
Emilio Carrillo
The SE Pyrenean Frontal Structures at Sria - Sallent Area: the Role of the Cardona Fm. Salt Detachment
Oscar Gratacós
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Trip leader(s): Josep Anton Muñoz, Pablo Granado and Eduard Roca
Limit: 20 Participants

The aim of this 2-day field trip is the recognition of the key structural features of a fold and thrust belt detached on salt that has resulted from the inversion of a previous passive margin. To achieve this objective, some of the key and most spectacular localities of the southern Pyrenees have been selected along the ECORS-Pyrenees transect. This is a reference cross-section provided that for many years a huge amount of geological and geophysical data sets has been collected and integrating into a kinematic model of the South-Pyrenean fold and thrust belt. Subsurface data (well logs and seismic sections) will be combined with field observations. One of the main characteristics of the southern Pyrenees is the preservation of the synorogenic sediments since the earlier stages of deformation, which not only provide time constraints but also allow us discussion of kinematics of fault-related folds and thrust systems. Finally, the mild contractional deformation permits deciphering the initial geometry of the rift system and the salt structures that configure the structural grain of the passive margin before the inversion, allowing discussion of the role that these structures play during the fold and thrust belt development.

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Itinerary: (day by day details of the trip)
Day 1

Stop 1.1: The South-Pyrenean thrust front. Sant Llorenç de Montgai

Structure of a frontal thrust system and related unconformities. Out of sequence thrusts and synorogenic sediments.

A close up of a hillside Description automatically generated

The frontal thrust system of the South-central Pyrenees has been detached into the Triassic evaporites and involves a thin Mesozoic succession. It is characterized by an emergent thrust system during the sedimentation of upper Eocene and lower Oligocene continental sediments. Frontal thrusts were progressively buried by conglomerates, triggering a break-back thrusting sequence and the development of out-of-sequence thrusts bringing together strongly different Mesozoic successions, such as the Montroig thrust in the picture.

Stop 1.2: The Ager basin and the Montsec thrust sheet. Fontllonga

The Ager basin in the footwall of the Montsec thrust.

The Montsec thrust sheet developed from the Paleocene to the Early Eocene as recorded by continental to shallow marine sediments deposited in its footwall (Ager basin) as well as in the Tremp-Graus piggy-back basin. The lower Eocene sediments of these basins grade westward into the slope succession filling the Ainsa basin at the footwall of the Montsec thrust.

Stop 1.3: The frontal structure of the Montsec thrust sheet. Ametlla (optional: Montrebei)

Fault-propagation fold related with the inversion of Early Cretaceous extensional faults and growth deltaic sediments in the footwall syncline.

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The Montsec thrust sheet involves the northern part of the Upper Cretaceous foreland basin characterised by a strong subsident turbiditic trough at the footwall of the Bóixols thrust. These turbidites grade southward into a carbonatic platform that constitutes the backbone of the Montsec Range (main ridge and cliff of the pictures). Underneath the Upper Cretaceous carbonates, some Early Cretaceous extensional faults are preserved in the hanging wall of the Montsec thrust, but others have controlled the development of a hanging wall frontal anticline. The geometry of this anticline as well as the structure of the growth sediments in the footwall Ager syncline are visible in the field. The subthrust geometry will be discussed integrating surface observations and the available seismic and well data.

A close up of a hillside Description automatically generated

Overnight in Tremp

Day 2

Stop 2.1: The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline

Inversion of the rift margin

A close up of a hillside Description automatically generated

The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline is the most prominent frontal structure of the Bóixols thrust sheet in the central Pyrenees. This fold trends east–west and crops out for greater than 40 km along strike. The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline involves a thick Mesozoic succession detached on top of Triassic evaporites. The prefolding sequence consists of up to 5 km of prerift, synrift, and postrift carbonates ranging in age from Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous. Synfolding Upper Cretaceous sediments start with the upper Santonian carbonates and continue with a succession of Campanian and Maastrichtian marls and turbidites.

The Sant Corneli–Bóixols anticline is an example of an inversion fold developed along the rift margin of the Lower Cretaceous basin. Its geometry is related with the inverted extensional system. In particular, the three-dimensional geometry, including the saddles between culminations, is inherited from the previous transfer faults of the segmented rift margin.

Available seismic data and 3 exploratory wells constrain the geometry at depth.

Stop 2.2: The synororgenic Paleogene conglomerates

Inverted Lower Cretaceous basin and Eocene-Oligocene synorogenic conglomerates at Collegats gorge.

Stop 2.3 (optional): The Sopeira and Aulet minibasins. Sopeira

Minibasins developed by extensional collapse and salt evacuation during the thermal subsidence at the southern Pyrenean rift margin. Inversion of these mini-basins at the early stages of Pyrenean contractional deformation during Late Cretaceous.

Additional logistic information

Transportation will be with a small bus, assisted by minivans to have access to some of the outcrops.

Physical demand, equipment and safety

This is an easy field trip with very easy and limited hikes to get to the outcrops. Outcrops will be from main sealed roads.

Safety vests will be available, to be used by everybody of the group wherever required and asked to. There will be First Aid Kits available in each car during fieldwork.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Barcelona, Spain
Wednesday, 15 June Thursday, 16 June 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Field Trip Leader: Jaume Vergés
Limit: 20 Participants

The main plan of this fieldtrip to the South Pyrenean Fold Belt is to have an overview of a fold belt and adjacent foreland basin through four well-exposed and well-known localities. Each example permits the discussion of different geological processes related to the interplay between tectonics and sedimentation and the role of salt-tectonics during both pre-compression rifting and during tectonic inversion.

Day 1 - Wednesday 15 June 2022

Stop 1: Overview of the southern margin of the Ebro foreland basin: Montserrat fan-delta

The main objective In the Montserrat fan-delta locality is to characterize the evolution of the southern margin of the Ebro foreland basin during the Pyrenean shortening with especial emphasis on its tectono-sedimentary evolution through the Eocene. The size and quality of this outcrop is directly comparable to good seismic examples.

Stop 2: Role of detachment levels and salt-tectonics in building the fold belt: Cardona diapir

The main objective in the Cardona diapir locality is to provide an overview of salt tectonics in compressional settings at different scales using the South Pyrenean examples. The role of pre- and syn-orogenic evaporitic levels during shortening in fold belts is discussed as well the interplay between tectonics and sedimentation.

Overnight in Solsona

Day 2 - Thursday 16 June 2022

Stop 1: 3-D Growth strata to define folding mechanisms and growing topography: Sant Llorenç de Morunys

In the Sant Llorenç de Morunys locality. along the footwall of the Pyrenean thrust sheets, we can observe the 3-D views of the large-scale and best preserved growth strata worldwide; several square kilometres and more than 500 m of tectonic relief. The size and quality of this outcrop is directly comparable to good seismic examples.

Stop 2: Evolution and inversion of a salt-related rift basin: Roca Narieda

In the Roca Narieda locality we discuss the role of pre-orogenic salt tectonics in development of salt-related rift basins and their control on Lower Cretaceous platform growth. Outcrop is also superb and is directly comparable to good seismic examples.

Drive to Barcelona (2:30 hours)


In mid-June the weather is rather hot and therefore it is recommended to bring fresh clothes, hat or cap and sunscreen as well as drinking water. Do not forget suitable hiking boots. If weather conditions are good we can walk on steep terrain for short distances (but only in two of the four localities).

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Before registering and booking your travel to attend the workshop, please visit the link below and read the guidelines from the Spanish Government.

Spanish Travel Health Service

Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A Global Perspective
Hotel Alimara Barcelona
Carrer de Berruguete, 126
BarcelonaBarcelona 08035
+34 934 27 00 00

Before registering and booking your travel to attend the workshop, please visit the link below and read the guidelines from the Spanish Government.

Spanish Travel Health Service

Marta Diaz Events Manager
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