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Seismic Geomorphology
Lesli J. Wood, PhD
INSTRUCTOR: Lesli J. Wood, PhD
DISCIPLINE: Geoscience
COURSE LENGTH (DAYS): 3 Days (Classroom) / 3 Five-Hour Sessions (Live Online)
CEUS: 2.4
AVAILABILITY: Public, In-House, & Live Online
SAMPLE TOPICS FROM THE CLASS: "Exploring in Ancient Landscapes: Seismic Geomorphology"

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Geoscientists, engineers, geophysicists from introductory to experienced levels; managers who evaluate technical work.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Seismic geomorphology is the study of landforms imaged in 3-D seismic data, for the purpose of understanding the history, processes and fill architecture of a basin. This course will review both qualitative and quantitative approaches to interpreting and applying seismic geomorphologic observations in basin exploration and reservoir development, and in carbon sequestration. Examples from Gulf of Mexico, Indonesia, Trinidad, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand and other basins of the world will be used to illustrate the techniques for interpreting the depositional elements of fluvial, deltaic, shoreline, shelf, and deep water clastic and carbo-clastic systems, as well as delineating geohazards, and for quantifying and using those data to predict reservoir and seal distribution and architecture, body geometries, planning field developments and assessing uncertainty.

We will examine a variety of depositional systems and integrate seismic, logs, core and other data into a comprehensive geomorphologic analysis of each system. Assigned reading will be provided. Exercises will give participants the chance to learn techniques in sketch mapping, measuring and calculating flow behaviors from morphometry, extrapolating 2D observations in to 3D knowledge, as well as the relationship between morphometry, process and deposits.


  • Techniques in mapping geomorphology in seismic data.
  • Techniques in seismic data interrogation to maximize the imaging of a basin’s geomorphic elements
  • Knowledge of the seismic expression of, and an ability to recognize in planform and cross-section, the various elements of depositional systems.
  • Recognition of impact of various elements on fluid flow in the basin.
  • Process for interpreting, documenting, calculating process and quantifying implications of data assessment for decision making.



9:00-10:00      What is seismic geomorphology? Techniques and Take Aways
10:00-10:15    BREAK
1015-11:00     SG of Fluvial Systems
11:00-11:45    EXERCISE: “So you take a core….”
11:45-12:00    Exercise Review
12:00-1:00      Lunch
1:00-2:00        Deltas and Shelf Edges
2:00-3:00        EXERCISE: Matzen Field, Austria
3:00-3:15        BREAK
3:15-4:15        The Shelf is a Dangerous Place
4:15-4:30         Wrap up

9:00-10:00      Slope and Toe of Slope Processes and Deposits
10:00-10:15    BREAK
1015-11:15     Deepwater Processes and Deposits
11:15–12:15   Canyons and Valleys
1215-1:15       LUNCH
1:15-2:15        EXERCISE: Mapping Canyons and Valleys; Berbice, Guyana
2:15-2:45        Review Exercise and discuss Guyana/Suriname
2:45-3:00        BREAK
3:00-4:00        Channel Complexes
4:00-4:45        EXERCISE: Mapping SG of Channel Complexes, Gabon

9:00-9:30        Review Gabon Mapping Exercise
9:30-10:30      Lobes (Frontal and Lateral)
10:30-10:45    BREAK
10:45–11:30   Mass failure processes and properties
11:30-12:15    Mass failures in E, P and CS
12:15-1:15      LUNCH
1:15-2:00        EXERCISE: SG of Mass Failures, Trinidad
2:00-2:15        Review Exercise
2:15-3:00        Deserts of the Deep: Deepwater Continuous Current Systems
3:00-3:15        BREAK
3:15-4:00        SG in Geotechnical Assessment Work
4:00-4:30        Let’s talk about CO2 sequestration assessments
4:30-4:45        Wrap up