Geology - Stratigraphy

Introduction to Sequence Stratigraphy



  Dr Gary Hampson (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)


  2 days


  Geology – Stratigraphy






  10 CPD points




Course description

Sequence stratigraphy is now a well-established analytical tool for investigating sedimentary successions, with the aim of predicting the distribution of reservoir, source rock and seal lithologies. Over the last 20 years, concepts that were originally developed from seismic reflection data have been refined by application to wireline-log, core and reservoir production data sets. Several schools of sequence stratigraphic interpretation (and attendant jargon) have also evolved. In all of these data sets and approaches to interpretation, the goal is to elucidate chronostratigraphic relationships that enable sedimentation patterns to be robustly predicted.

This course will provide an introduction to the principles and methods of sequence stratigraphy as applied in subsurface prediction. The emphasis will be on selecting interpretation methods that are appropriate for particular data sets and purposes, in order to ensure that a sequence stratigraphic interpretation is meaningful and useful.


Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the concepts of sequence stratigraphy and their application to a wide range of subsurface data types (seismic, well-log, core, reservoir production data);
  • Illustrate pragmatic, fit-for-purpose approaches to sequence stratigraphic interpretation.


Course outline

The course combines classroom lectures with practical exercises that illustrate the application of sequence stratigraphy as a tool in exploration and production contexts. Exercises emphasise fit-for-data and fit-for-purpose approaches to interpretation.

Day 1 is exploration focussed:

  • Introduction

  • Basic concepts and models

  • Model assumptions, real world complications

  • Predicting sand delivery to deepwater

Day 2 is production focussed:

  • Application to shallow-marine strata

  • Application to coastal-plain and alluvial strata

  • Application to aeolian strata

  • Application to deepwater strata

  • Application to carbonate depositional systems


Participants' profile

The course is designed for geoscientists who wish to learn more about current sequence stratigraphic concepts and models and to apply them to exploration and production projects. The course will also benefit Masters- and Doctoral-level students.



Participants should have knowledge of basic sedimentology and petroleum geology.


About the instructor

Dr Gary Hampson

Gary Hampson is a Reader in Sedimentary Geology at Imperial College. He received a BA Honours degree from the University of Cambridge (England) in 1991, and a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (England) in 1995. After undertaking post-doctoral research at the University of Würzburg (Germany) and Imperial College (London, England), Gary was appointed to a lectureship at Imperial College (London, England) in 2000.

Gary has over 20 years of experience in applying sequence stratigraphic methods and models to a wide variety of outcrop and subsurface examples. He teaches undergraduate, post-graduate and CPD courses in sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and petroleum geology to geoscientists, geophysicists and petroleum engineers, and is currently Director of the internationally renowned Petroleum Geoscience MSc course at Imperial College (since 2013). His research interests lie in the understanding of siliciclastic fluvial, coastal and shallow-marine depositional systems and their preserved stratigraphy, and in applying this knowledge to reservoir characterisation and modelling. He has supervised 20 PhD students (14 successfully graduated, 6 in progress), and is the author of over 70 peer-reviewed technical papers.


Recommended reading

  • Catuneanu, O. [2006] Principles of sequence stratigraphy. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • Coe, A.L. (Ed.) [2003] The sedimentary record of sea-level change. Cambridge University Press.
  • Emery, D. and Myers, K.J. (Eds.) Sequence stratigraphy. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
  • Posamentier, H.W. and Allen, G.P. [1999] Siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy — concepts and applications. Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology 7.
  • Van Wagoner, J.C., Mitchum, R.M., Campion, K.M. and Rahmanian, V.D. [1990] Siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy in well logs, cores and outcrops. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Methods in Exploration 7.


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