Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Clastics

Reservoir Sedimentology of Fluvial - Shallow Marine Facies (Isle of Wight, UK)

Course Code: N403
Instructors:  Gary Nichols
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
3 days


The course will analyse the distribution, architecture, internal characteristics and reservoir  quality of Cretaceous-age sandstone bodies from a range of clastic depositional settings including, fluvial, shelfal and estuarine. Focus will be placed on sedimentological and stratigraphic examination  of the successions, including a range of tidally-influenced facies. Attendees will learn to recognise and interpret a diverse range of shallow marine facies within a basinal framework and consider different scales of heterogeneity.

Duration and Training Method

This is a three-day field course to the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, comprising field examination of depositional systems at both seismic and, more  commonly, sub-seismic, sandstone body scale. The proportion of field time to classroom time is approximately 80:20 and participants will learn via lectures, field- observations, exercises and group discussion.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

1. Interpret the sedimentology, stratigraphic architecture and reservoir potential of fluvial and tidal/wave dominated shorelines/shelves.
2. Analyse fluvial channel deposits in terms of channel styles, net to gross variation and associated overbank deposits.
3. Examine the spatial distribution of tidally-influenced sandstone bodies in a basinal framework and assess the nature of intraformational seals, permeability barriers and baffles in the bodies.
4. Consider the different scales of heterogeneity in sandstone reservoirs.
5. Interpret a shallow marine stratigraphic succession in terms of sediment supply and sea level controls.

The geology of the Isle of Wight can braodly be divided into two parts, based upon a north-south division through the island as denoted by the structural feature known as the Isle of Wight Monocline: the north exposes the youngest rocks of the Paleogene, whereas the south exposes the older rocks of the Lower and Upper Cretaceous. The field elements of the course will focus on the Creatceous succession exposed on the south facing cliffs in East and West Wight.


Day 1:

Travel to Isle of Wight

Field location 1: Sandown Bay (East Isle of Wight). Cretaceous succession of tidal, coastal, inner and outer shelf facies; reservoir sandstone units.

Day 2:

Field location 2.  Compton Bay (West Isle of Wight). Cretaceous succession of fluvial channel deposits, tidal sandbars, shallow marine sandstone and mudstone facies in a sequence stratigraphic context.

Field location 3: Shepherds Chine (West Isle of Wight). Barnes High Sandstone (Early Cretaceous): tidal shallow marine sandstone unit, transgressive/regressive.

Day 3:

Field Location 4: Brook Chine (West Isle of Wight). Reservoir sedimentology and heterogeneity of a large (1600m wide) fluvial channel sandstone complex.

Return Travel

Geoscientists who wish to gain insights into the nature of a wide range of reservoir analogue sandstone bodies, with a particular focus on those deposited in a tide-influenced shallow marine and fluvial settings. The course would suit those working in any aspect of exploration, appraisal and field development in fluvial, coastal and shallow marine reservoirs.


Gary Nichols

Gary is responsible for the strategy and technical operations of the company worldwide and is based at RPS Energy offices in Woking, Surrey.

Before joining RPS Energy to work with the Nautilus Training Alliance, Gary taught at Royal Holloway University of London and the University Centre on Svalbard covering undergraduate and MSc courses in Sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy, Petroleum Geology and Sedimentary Basins plus MSc Petroleum Geoscience courses in Clastic sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Basin models.

Key Research Topics include clastic sedimentology and sedimentary basin analysis;  climatic and tectonic controls on sedimentation; fluvial sedimentology; basin-scale patterns of sedimentation and the architecture of basin-fill successions; endorheic basins. Field studies have been carried out in flexural basins in Spain, Greece, USA and Spitsbergen, extensional basins in Madagascar, Greece, northern Thailand, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and in arc-related settings in Antarctica, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. Detailed sedimentological studies include alluvial fan and fluvial sedimentation in continental basins and the reservoir characteristics of fluvial successions. Gary has published over 100 scientific papers and a widely-used textbook 'Sedimentology and Stratigraphy'. He is currently President of the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM).

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Cambridge
BSc London University, Honors
C.Geol - Chartered Geologist

Courses Taught
N108: Exploration and Geological Model Development in Fluvial Reservoirs (Pyrenees, Spain)
N155: Introduction to Clastic Depositional Systems: a Petroleum Perspective
N269: Sequence Stratigraphy and Subsurface Prediction: Methods, Limitations and New Developments (Isle of Wight, UK)
N387: Exploration and Development in Fluvio-Lacustrine Systems
N403: Reservoir Sedimentology of Fluvial - Shallow Marine Facies (Isle of Wight, UK)
N418: Tectonics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Coal-Bearing Basins
N432: Clastic Reservoir Characterisation for Appraisal and Development (Southern Pyrenees, Spain)
W017: North Sea Reservoirs Series - Triassic Reservoirs Overview (Distance Learning)


CEU: 2.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 24 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.