Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Geophysics and Seismic Interpretation

Seismic Interpretation of Structural Styles: A Workshop for Petroleum Geoscientists

Course Code: N160
Instructors:  Mark CooperMarian Warren
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days


This course demonstrates the application of structural geology concepts to the interpretation of seismic data in a broad range of different structural regimes. The class has a workshop-style format and will consist of presentations and lectures interspersed with numerous seismic exercises.  Participants may bring their own examples of interesting, or problematic, seismic data for discussion. 


Course was informative and equipped my understanding of structural styles in different geological regions.

Duration and Training Method

A five-day classroom course consisting of lecture material that covers the fundamentals of structural interpretation at a seismic scale and the basics of the seismic method. The lectures support the practical examination of seismic data in a series of exercises covering the principal tectonic regimes and their structural styles.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Examine the basic mechanics and geometry of brittle and ductile rock deformation, and relationship of folding to faulting.
  2. Employ fundamental concepts and techniques such as regional elevation,  basic fault analysis techniques (e.g. displacement gradients) and simple restoration constraints in the interpretation of geological structures on seismic data.
  3. Interpret the principal fold structures associated with contractional structural styles including fault propagation folds, fault bend folds and lateral ramp features.
  4. Apply geometrical rules to the interpretation of restorable fold-thrust structures on seismic sections.
  5. Distinguish common structural styles, normal fault geometries (planar versus listric) and growth strata patterns developed under extensional regimes.
  6. Appraise the effects of extensional fault segmentation and linkage in 3D on sediment distribution patterns.
  7. Analyse strike-slip faults and compare and contrast fault geometries and scales with extensional and contractional faults.
  8. Interpret common structural styles generated by salt tectonics and recognize associated stratal geometries.
  9. Interpret the geometric criteria for structural inversion.

Compressional Structural Regimes:
- 2D examples, 2D balancing exercise and interpretation exercises
- 3D examples and 3D correlation exercise
- Compressional seismic interpretation Workshop

Hybrid Structural Regimes:
- In Space - Gravitationally driven systems balancing downdip compressional shortening with
updip extension
- In Time - Tectonic Inversion, seismic interpretation exercises and the impact of inversion on
the petroleum system

Strike Slip Structural Regimes:
- Transtension, Transpression and reconciling map and seismic data

Salt and mobile shale Structural Regimes:
- The basics of salt tectonics, application to shale diapirism and seismic interpretation

Seismic data interpretation and integration of well data for fault seal analysis

Final Seismic interpretation Workshop

The course is aimed at geoscience professionals starting their career who wish to understand fundamental seismic interpretation in a structural context. Non-specialist geologists, geophysicists and G&G technologists who require an understanding of structural interpretation of seismic data will also benefit from attending this class.

Mark Cooper

Mark taught geology at University College Cork prior to joining BP in 1985 to work on structurally complex basins based in London. Mark moved to BP Canada, Calgary in 1988 where he worked on exploration in the foothills including the successful Sukunka-Bullmoose gas play in NE British Columbia. Mark also worked for BP in Colombia on the team that drilled the discovery wells on the Cupiagua, Volcanera and Florena Fields. In 1994 he joined PanCanadian and worked on the BC foothills, western Newfoundland, Quebec, the Gulf of Mexico, the Scotian Shelf and various international projects. He worked on frontier and international projects in Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Eastern Europe and Greenland after the merger that created EnCana in 2002 managing the Middle East and Global New Ventures groups for EnCana.

Mark retired from EnCana as VP Middle East and Global New Ventures at the end of 2007 and now has his own consulting practice specializing in International Exploration and Structural Geology. Mark also holds an Honorary Chair in Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen and teaches on the Petroleum Geology MSc course. He has published over 50 papers, co-edited a book on Inversion Tectonics and has served as an advisory editor for the Journal of the Geological Society. He was a co-winner of the CSPG Link Award in 1997, served as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer for 1999-2000 and was a co-winner of the AAPG Matson Award in 2002.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Bristol University - Geology
BSc Imperial College, London - Geology
Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (10 years)
AAPG (10 years)

Courses Taught
N160: Seismic Interpretation of Structural Styles: A Workshop for Petroleum Geoscientists
N337: Geological Analysis of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs in Compressional and Foreland Basin Settings (Montana, USA)

Marian Warren

Marian Warren joined EnCana (then PanCanadian) in Calgary in 1997, where she held roles as geologist, geophysical interpreter and structural specialist. Her focus has been on exploration in new or known structurally-influenced clastic and carbonate plays, with projects in the Alberta foreland basin and foothills, including the Mississippian Banff B Pool discovery at Ferrier, and in the Quebec Appalachians, in the central African rift system in Chad, and in exploring for unconventional gas in the French Aquitaine Basin. She has also been involved in developing and presenting numerous technical training courses and field trips for EnCana technical staff, the CSEG, CSPG, Nautilus and other organizations. She currently has a consulting company, Jenner GeoConsulting Inc., in Calgary, Canada, with services focused in structural geology, frontier basin exploration and professional training

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Queen’s University, Canada - Canadian Cordilleran Tectonics
MS University of Vermont - Appalachian Tectonics
BS Williams College, Massachusetts - Geology and Astronomy/Physics
CSPG Medal of Merit Co recipient (2003)
AAPG Matson (Best Paper) Award (2004)
AAPG Distinguished -  Lecturer - Case Studies in Exploration (2006-2007)

Courses Taught
N160:  Seismic Interpretation of Structural Styles: A Workshop for Petroleum Geoscientists
N277:  Fault Seal Methods in Exploration and Production (Utah, USA)
N337:  Geological Analysis of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs in Compressional and Foreland Basin Settings (Montana, USA)



CEU: 4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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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.