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Clastic Depositional Systems and Reservoirs

duration: 5 days
format: Virtual course
level: Foundation
accreditation: CPD


The course presents the characteristics of clastic modern sedimentary environments and their fossil counterparts, and the depositional potential, both as a host rock, migration routes, as well as reservoir rock.
Special emphasis is paid on alluvial, fluvial, shore, shelf, shallow-water, deep-water, lacustrine, glacial and aeolian depositional systems.

The course is designed for:

  • Petroleum geoscientists.
  • Petroleum engineers and members of integrated asset teams, who are responsible for defining and evaluating subsurface geological risks and uncertainties.
  • EP professionals in the initial phase of their career.

The definition of depositional systems:

  • the factors controlling the development of depositional systems:
  • climate,
  • tectonics,
  • relative sea-level changes,
  • the supply of sediment,
  • biological activity,
  • water chemistry.

Classification of clastic depositional systems;

  • Alluvial fans:
  • sedimentary processes,
  • sediment characteristics,
  • morphology,
  • facies distribution models,
  • the relationship of climate and tectonics,
  • alluvial fans in fossil sedimentary sequences
  • the architecture and the reservoir potential


Fluvial depositional systems:

  • depositional processes,
  • types of systems and their relationship to the nature of the basement,
  • climate and tectonics.

Modern examples:

  • gravel- and sand-braided rivers,
  • meandering rivers,
  • anastomosing rivers.

Ancient examples of fluvial depositional systems,

  • models of sequences,
  • facies architecture,
  • the reservoir potential;

Deltaic environments

  • depositional processes,
  • facies associations,
  • deposits,
  • deltaic systems classifications:
  • fluvial-dominated deltas,
  • wave-dominated deltas,
  • tide-dominate deltas.

Models for deltaic sequences,

  • Recognition and ancient deltaic systems architecture
  • Architecture, origin and deposition potential for reservoir rocks based on fossil examples of deltaic sequences.


Clastic shore zone:

  • processes, deposits, facies.
  • modern beaches and sandy bars,
  • tidal flats.
  • facies characteristic of ancient clastic shore zones;

Shallow-water clastic-shelf sedimentary environments.

  • Physical processes controlling shelf-sedimentation: tides, tidal currents, waves, wave-currents, density-currents.
  • Facies distribution on different shelf zones.
  • The role of shelf depositional systems in the architecture and evolution of the sedimentary basins fill.
  • Diagnostic criteria for the recognition of ancient shelf systems


Deep-water clastic sedimentary environments.

  • Mechanisms of deposit transport:
  • underwater gravitational mass movements,
  • density currents,
  • pelagic sedimentation
  • Slope and abyssal plane facies characteristics.
  • Modern and ancient models of turbiditic fans.
  • Turbiditic facies classification.
  • Flysch.
  • The depositional potential of the deep-water deposits, both as a host rock, migration routes, as well as reservoir rock;

Lacustrine depositional system

  • modern and ancient examples
  • Facies and depositional mechanisms.
  • Factors controlling geometry and hydrology of lakes, water stratification and fertility of lake water.
  • The depositional potential of the lacustrine deposits, both as a host rock and reservoir rock


Aeolian environment:

  • transport mechanisms and depositional processes
  • Aeolian accumulation forms, their textures and structures.
  • Modern deserts, climatic and tectonic controls.
  • Models for aeolian sequences, facies interfingering with other terrestrial and shore facies.
  • The depositional potential of the aeolian deposits, both as a host rock, migration routes, as well as reservoir rock;
  • Transport mechanisms in glacial environments.
  • Glacial sub-environments: glacial, glacilimnic, glacimarine and glacifuvial. Distribution of modern and ancient glacial environments.
  • Glacial deposits, the biggest glaciations in the Earth history;

Phytogenic deposits vs. clastic depositional systems.

  • Coal-hosted deposits.
  • Climatic and tectonic control on the phytogenic sedimentation. geometry and evolution of the coal-hosted basins

Depositional systems vs. fossil fuels reservoirs.

  • The depositional potential of the different depositional systems, both as a host rock, migration routes, as well as reservoir rocks.

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