Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Geophysics and Seismic Interpretation

Workshop in Geological Seismic Interpretation: Salt Tectonics

Course Code: N071
Instructors:  Carl FidukElive MenyoliMark Rowan
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
4 days


This workshop focuses on the geology and geophysics of salt basins and salt-related deformation. The content is centered around exercises interpreting a variety of seismic data illustrating some of the characteristic structural styles of salt basins. The exercises are supplemented by relevant lectures on salt tectonics and seismic imaging in salt basins. The class will help geoscientists to better develop and assess plays and prospects and to reduce costs by improving seismic interpretation skills.


Great course, very comprehensive. Good balance of mechanics, models, real examples and geophysics. Instructors were engaging and motivating!

Duration and Training Method

A four-day seismic-interpretation workshop which will includes a mixture of lectures and seismic interpretation exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Assess the limitations of seismic imaging for interpreting various salt-related geometries, including minibasin salt flanks and sub-salt targets.
  2. Analyse internal reflectors in salt bodies and their implications.
  3. Understand the relationships between crustal extension and evaporite deposition.
  4. Evaluate extensional salt geometries in both thin- and thick-skinned provinces.
  5. Assess the impact of salt on contractional deformation.
  6. Understand the different styles of salt evacuation and associated diapirism.
  7. Predict and interpret near-diapir deformation and how it influences three-way truncation traps against diapirs and welds.
  8. Evaluate the relative merits of different seismic migration techniques.
  9. Analyse and interpret complex allochthonous salt geometries and subsalt deformation.

The primary focus of the class is on the geology of salt basins and the geological interpretation of seismic data. Since an understanding of the geophysical aspects is also critical, the course also includes geophysical concepts and workflows and their practical implications for interpretation of migrated seismic data. The best practitioners, of course, combine a solid grounding in salt tectonics with a good understanding of the geophysical aspects.

  1. Geophysics 1 – The perils of imaging under the influence of salt
  2. Exercise 1 - Internal deformation of layered evaporite sequences (Santos Basin, Brazil, and Southern North Sea)
  3. Exercise 2 – Rifted crust and salt distribution (Gulf of Mexico)
  4. Exercise 3 – Thin-skinned extension (Espirito Santo Basin, Brazil)
  5. Exercise 4 – Thick-skinned extension (Central North Sea)
  6. Exercise 5 – Deepwater foldbelts (Espirito Santo Basin, Brazil)
  7. Exercise 6 – Salt evacuation and diapirism (Gulf of Mexico)
  8. Exercise 7 – Near-diapir deformation (Gulf of Mexico)
  9. Geophysics 2 – Imaging workflows and advanced solutions
  10. Exercise 8 – Building a salt model
  11. Exercise 9 – Allochthonous salt (Gulf of Mexico)

Geoscientists working in salt tectonic provinces, whether at the exploration, appraisal, development or production stage, as well as engineers with a decent understanding of structure and tectonics.

Carl Fiduk

Carl has worked for the USGS, Gulf Oil, Discovery Logging, the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, British Petroleum, the University of Colorado, and as a private consultant. His research interests cover sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, salt structural deformation and evolution, basin analysis, shallow and deep marine depositional processes, petroleum systems analysis, and the use of three-dimensional time and depth data in petroleum exploration. On these subjects, Carl has authored 60+ papers and abstracts and has given several hundred presentations.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Texas in Austin (Geology)
MBA University of Texas (Permian Basin)
MSc University of Florida (Geology)
BSc University of Florida (Geology)
AAPG - Certified Petroleum Geologist

Courses Taught
N043: Gulf of Mexico Petroleum Systems
N071: Workshop in Geological Seismic Interpretation: Salt Tectonics


Elive Menyoli

Dr. Elive Menyoli has nine years of industrial and academic experience.

After his graduation, Elive spent one and half year as a post-Doc with Applied Geophysical Research (OPERA) in Pau, France, and he later joined the Total SA innovative center in Pau, France. During this period he worked on topics such as surface related multiple attenuation, stereo-tomography and other imaging tools.

From 2003-2007 Elive was a Research Geophysicist with Total E&P Houston.  While with Total E&P, Elive conducted research in various areas of seismic depth imaging and complex salt velocity model building, with applications both in the GOM and Angola.

Since 2007 Elive has been in the Marathon Oil Corporation upstream technology group and he is currently a senior Geophysicist with the GOM Exploration team

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Hamburg, Germany- Geophysics
MSc University of Goettingen, Germany- Physics
EAGE - Member
SEG - Member
GSH - Member
AAPG - Member

Courses Taught
N071: Workshop in Geological Seismic Interpretation:  Salt Tectonics

Mark Rowan

Mark  has worked in or with industry for over 40 years as an exploration geologist with Sohio (1982-1985); as a consultant with GeoLogic Systems (1985-1989) and Alastair Beach Assoc. in Scotland (1989-1992); as a research professor at the University of Colorado (1992-1998); and finally as President of Rowan Consulting in Boulder since 1998.

Mark focuses on salt tectonics through a combination of consulting projects in salt basins worldwide, teaching for RPS Training (formerly Nautilus) and the industry, and conducting field work in salt basins with colleagues from the several universities. He has over 125 published papers and about 260 published abstracts. He is the recipient of the GCSSEPM Doris M. Curtis Medal and the AAPG Robert J. Berg Outstanding Research Award.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Colorado at Boulder - Structural Geology
MS Berkeley College - Geology
BA Caltech - Biology
AAPG Distinguished Lecturer (2005-2006)
AAPG International Distinguished Instructor (2009-2010)

Courses Taught
N043:  Gulf of Mexico Petroleum Systems
N071:  Workshop in Geological Seismic Interpretation: Salt Tectonics
N149:  Practical Salt Tectonics
N232:  Salt Tectonics: Global Styles, Spanish Outcrops (Basque-Cantabrian Pyrenees, Spain)

CEU: 3.2 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 32 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.