Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Clastics

Continental and Shallow Marine Depositional Environments Sampler (Utah, USA)

Course Code: N669
Instructors:  Anton Wroblewski
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days


This course provides hands-on experience with a variety of clastic reservoir body types in diverse climatic, depositional, and accommodation regimes. These provide calibration points for accurate facies and reservoir models and allow for more targeted exploration, appraisal, and development wells, ultimately increasing reservoir production potential and overall profitability. Participants will learn how climate, tectonism (including diapirism), and sea level interact to drive sand delivery to sedimentary basins. Geomorphology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology are linked through the use of outcrop, core images, and log data to provide insights into three-dimensional subsurface interpretations.

Duration and Training Method

This is a field course, supported by classroom sessions in a 70:30 ratio. Classroom sessions will comprise presentations, case studies, exercises, and reviews of the fieldwork.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Identify aeolian, fluvial, lacustrine, deltaic, sabkha, tidal inlet, shoreface, and shelf deposits based on grain size profile, sedimentary structures, and ichnofossils in a variety of climatic and accommodation regimes.
  2. Predict sedimentary heterogeneity and reservoir architecture in a variety of continental and shallow marine reservoir bodies in seasonal/dry and humid climate settings and high and low accommodation basins, including salt mini-basins.
  3. Predict reservoir properties of fluvial and shallow marine geobodies away from well bore and beyond seismic resolution by using first principle observations and appropriate modern and ancient analogs.
  4. Construct depositional environment maps calibrated by appropriate modern and ancient analogs.
  5. Evaluate potentially significant stratal surfaces and constrain local to regional-scale sequence stratigraphic reconstructions.

Day 0:

  • Participants travel to Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Evening lecture on course content and introduction to local and regional geological context, implications for potential analogs, natural history, and wildlife.

Day 1: Fluvial and Lacustrine Deposits in Seasonal and Humid, Rapidly Subsiding Basin.

  • Lacustrine deposits and lake basin types (Green River Fm)
  • Single storey channel body in seasonal floodplain (Colton Fm)
  • Amalgamated fluvial sand and critically evaluating fluvial sequence stratigraphic reconstructions (Type section Castlegate SS).
  • Parasequence overview and controls on basinward sand delivery (Helper Water Tower)

Day 2: Wave, Tide, and Fluvial Influences on Deltaic Deposits in a Humid, Rapidly Subsiding Basin.

  • Aberdeen road cut (upper shoreface through fluvial deposits)
  • Panther Tongue at Gentile Wash (River Dominated)
  • Delta parasequences Ferron Fm (Mixed Processes)
  • Woodside Overview of sandy parasequences and Lunch
  • Wave-dominated parasequences and tidal inlet at Woodside

Day 3: High Accommodation, Humid Rivers and Offshore Sand Bodies.

  • Mud-prone channel fill in the Aberdeen prodelta.
  • Incised valley or distributary channel? Castlegate in Tusher Canyon
  • Offshore sandy body and multiple working hypotheses at Hatch Mesa
  • Sego Canyon Pictographs

Day 4: Fluvial, Paralic, and Eolian Deposits in a Seasonal/Dry, Slowly Subsiding Basin

  • Exhumed, 3D fluvial channel bodies, Cedar Mountain Fm (Green River, UT)
  • Shallow marine, sabkha, and eolian deposits of the Jurassic Carmel, Summerville, and Entrada Fms (San Rafael Swell margin)
  • Eolian deposits (Navajo SS in Buckhorn Draw)
  • Overview of Basin Scale Shallow Marine to Eolian and Fluvial Transition (Spotted Wolf Cnyn and Capitol Reef View Areas).

Day 5: Low Accommodation, Seasonal to Dryland Fluvial and Eolian Systems

  • Eolian Deposits (Arches Visitor Center)
  • Amalgamated, Dryland Fluvial Channel System and transition to eolian (Kayenta and Navajo Fms, Poison Spider Trail)
  • Salt-influenced fluvial deposits and crayfish burrows in Chinle Fm
  • Optional evening hike out to Delicate Arch - 5 km (3.2 mi) round trip
  • Final trip review and banquet

Day 6:

  • Drive to Grand Junction, CO, depart.

Exploration and production staff working fluvial and shallow marine environments, including integrated asset teams of geologists, geophysicists, and reservoir, petroleum, geothermal, and CCS engineers.

Anton Wroblewski

Anton is a geological consultant and an adjunct professor at the University of Utah and the University of Wyoming. As a clastic sedimentologist and ichnologist, he studies the role of climate, tectonics, sedimentary, and biological processes on sand transport, delivery, and preservation.

Prior to joining RPS Energy to work with the Nautilus Training Alliance, Anton worked in the Upstream Technology and Global New Ventures groups at ConocoPhillips in Houston, Texas for 15 years. There he provided technical guidance on a variety of exploration, appraisal, and development projects in the Arctic Circle, North Sea, Alaska, Canada, Indonesia, the United States, Malaysia, China, Chile, and Australia. He was previously an instructor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois from 2003-2006 and taught introductory earth science, historical geology, and palaeontology courses.

Recent research projects include the role of shallow marine bottom currents in redistributing siliciclastic and bioclastic sediment, the impact of palaeobathymetry on tidal current amplification, and the ichnology of brackish and freshwater heterolithic deposits. When not doing field research, Anton can be found on any nearby water body, stalking a variety of fresh and saltwater fish with a rod and reel.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Wyoming – Geology
MSc University of Wyoming – Geology
BSc University of Wyoming – Geology

Courses Taught
N669: Continental and Shallow Marine Depositional Environments Sampler (Utah, USA)
N670: Fluvial and Coastal Clastic Depositional Environments (Texas Gulf Coast, USA)

CEU: 4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.