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2015 Bill Hailey Short Course

Carbonate Depositional Systems

Art Saller


Registration Open - Download Registration Form

Who Should Attend

This course is for earth scientists and engineers involved in exploration or production from carbonate rocks. This is an introductory course that assumes no pre-existing knowledge. It moves from basic principles to advanced ideas and case studies that will also help experienced geoscientists with practical aspects of carbonate depositional systems.


This course will give participants a working knowledge of carbonate depositional systems. By the end of the course, participants will able to:

  • Describe carbonate rocks according to depositional texture and grain types
  • Interpret carbonate depositional environment from core descriptions and other data
  • Know the characteristics of modern and ancient carbonate depositional environments
  • Understand the relationship between depositional environments and carbonate grain types and textures
  • Use depositional environments and facies data to understand variations in subsurface reservoir properties like porosity and permeability
  • Predict the spatial distribution of different depositional environments in the context of reservoir development
  • Understand different types carbonate depositional systems (ramps, shelves, isolated platforms, and buildups), and their implications to reservoir development
  • Predict changes in depositional systems and facies during basin evolution and sea level fluctuations, including differences between “greenhouse” (small amplitude sea-level fluctuations) and “ice-house” (high amplitude sea-level fluctuations) times


This course will alternate between lectures and practical exercises involving cores, logs and seismic data.

The course starts with an introductory lecture that summarizes key differences between carbonate and siliciclastic depositional systems, followed by a review of the Dunham classification of carbonate rocks and grain types. An exercise involving outcrop samples will allow participants to describe samples and relate them to depositional environments.

The second lecture is on carbonate depositional environments, and it will systematically examine modern environments, outcrop equivalents, and subsurface reservoir examples of each environment. An exercise involving cores and logs will illustrate ramp depositional environments and their effect on reservoir architecture during “greenhouse” times.

Carbonate sequence stratigraphy will be discussed in theory and practice. A core-log-seismic exercise will show to how predictable variations in reservoir development occur during ice-house cycles on a shelf and isolated platform.

This course will conclude with a discussion summarizing prediction of depositional facies, stratigraphy and reservoir development in a variety of different settings.

Speaker Art Saller

Organizer Robert (admin) Nail


Mon, Jan. 5, 2015
1:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central


Abilene, TX