Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Geophysics and Seismic Interpretation

Interpretation of Seismic Data in Structurally Complex Settings

Course Code: N288
Instructors:  Gloria Eisenstadt
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days


Buisness Impact: The course combines structural analysis with a practical application of a workstation-based workflow and a set of “best practices” that can be used to approach complex data sets.

Seismic interpretations are often carried out in areas with multiple episodes of structural deformation. This course develops skills in interpreting 2D and 3D seismic data sets that show examples of structural reactivation and superposition of different structural styles, directions and timing. 


I think this is a great course. Very well prepared material and an excellent tutor.

Duration and Training Method

A five-day classroom course comprised mainly of paper- and PC-based interpretation exercises and supporting lectures. The course learnings will be platform independent, but examples will be worked using IHS Kingdom software. The approximate ratio of exercises to lectures is 70:30.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Select an appropriate structural analysis workflow for interpreting a data set.
  2. Select restoration techniques to diagnose interpretation errors.
  3. Evaluate map patterns to recognize reactivated structures.
  4. Judge the usefulness of traditional fault analysis tools in areas of multiple deformations.
  5. Judge if older faults have been reactivated.
  6. Evaluate growth stratigraphy to determine timing of each deformation event.
  7. Integrate curvature analysis and coherence into fault mapping.
  8. Assess the impact of ductile layers on patterns of fault reactivation.
  9. Assess and realistically present interpretation risks and uncertainties.

Many exploration areas have experienced multiple periods and directions of deformation. The resulting fault and fold patterns are usually complex and often misinterpreted. 2D and 3D seismic data in complex areas present very different problems for the interpreter. 2D seismic data sets are less time consuming to interpret but usually there are not enough data to constrain the interpretation. Complexly deformed 3D datasets can present a different challenge, as the frequency and complexity of the faulting can be overwhelming. In both cases, experience in unraveling multiple deformations, evaluating confusing map patterns, best use of seismic attributes for structural interpretation, and guidelines for interpretation are essential.

This course will introduce the seismic interpreter to 2D and 3D seismic data sets that show examples of structural reactivation and superposition of different structural styles, directions and timing. It will review and discuss existing structural concepts of reactivation fault patterns produced by more than one episode of deformation.

Structural interpretation topics covered will include:

  • Structural analysis work flow – how to determine the best way to approach each data set
  • Quick restoration techniques to diagnose interpretation errors
  • Differentiating strike-slip deformation from oblique reactivation of basement faults or inversion
  • Recognizing map patterns of reactivated structures
  • How useful are traditional fault analysis tools in areas of multiple deformations?
  • Do older faults always get reactivated?
  • Is lineament analysis useful?
  • Use of growth stratigraphy to determine timing of each deformation event
  • Use of curvature analysis and coherence as a proxy for fault mapping
  • How ductile layers change patterns of fault reactivation

This course is designed for the experienced interpreter working with complex seismic data, but could be applicable for geoscientists with a minimum of four to five years experience interpreting seismic data and at least a college level course in structural geology.

Gloria Eisenstadt

 Gloria is an international consultant in structural geology, with 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Gloria began her work in the industry at Mobil’s Research Lab and Exploration Technology Company where she worked for 11 years as a researcher, internal consultant and technical teacher. She has been an independent consultant since 2000. Her primary research and consulting areas are the interpretation and analysis of complex 2D and 3D seismic data, compressional and inversion structures, salt/shale gravity- driven systems, the use of physical models to understand structural deformation, and cross section restoration. She has been teaching Nautilus courses since 2004.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD The Johns Hopkins University - Geology
MA Temple University - Geology
BSc Temple University - Geology

Courses Taught
N090: Seismic Structural Styles Workshop
N288: Interpretation of Seismic Data in Structurally Complex Settings
N289: The Niobrara Formation as a Resource Play (Colorado, USA)
N527: Interpretation of Complex Structures: Techniques for Unraveling Structural Geometry and History

CEU: 4.0 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.