Seismic Stratigraphy and Seismic Geomorphology into the 21st Century

Henry Posamentier

This course is designed to enhance interpretation skill sets with regard to geologic interpretation of seismic data.

The overall objective is to present methods for reducing risk with regard to prediction of lithology, reservoir compartmentalization, and stratigraphic trapping potential in exploration and production.


Two days (AAPG shared course)

Intended Audience

Intermediate; geologists and geophysicists, both in industry and academia. Materials covered will be valuable to both explorationists and exploitationists.

Course Outline

  1. Workflows designed to facilitate extraction of stratigraphic insights from 3D seismic data
  2. Techniques for 3D seismic geomorphologic/stratigraphic analyses
  3. Numerous examples of various depositional systems in various depositional settings

The application of seismic geomorphology and seismic stratigraphy to exploration and field development is a natural consequence of the advent of high-quality and increasingly more affordable and widespread 3D seismic data currently available. Integrating analyses of plan view (geomorphologic) and section view (stratigraphic) images can significantly enhance predictions of the spatial and temporal distribution of subsurface lithology (reservoir, source, and seal), compartmentalization, and stratigraphic trapping capabilities, as well as enhanced understanding of process sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy.

Participants in the course will be exposed to seismic geomorphologic/stratigraphic workflows, which involve 1) initial reconnaissance through 3D volumes using various slicing techniques using a variety of different seismic attribute volumes including full stack reflection amplitudes, near and far stacked amplitude volumes, and coherence volumes, as well as opacity rendering, 2) focus on features of geologic interest and further investigate through a combination of detailed slicing, interval attributes, horizon picking and amplitude extraction, horizon illumination, etc., and 3) comprehensive integration of seismic geomorphologic analyses with seismic stratigraphic analyses, whereby the plan view is integrated with the section view to ensure a consistent interpretation.

Course lectures will involve both PowerPoint presentations as well as interactive interpretation of 3D seismic data. A wide variety of depositional settings will be shown, ranging from non-marine to marginal marine, shelf and deep water, and will include both clastic as well as carbonate depositional environments. Concepts as well as applications pertaining to seismic-based analyses of depositional systems will be covered in detail.  

Instructor Biography

Henry Posamentier