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Recognition of Sedimentary Environment of Primary Structures in Outcrop and Core
Duration: 1 Day
Course Description

The evaluation of reservoir properties such as geometry, porosity and permeability requires knowledge of the depositional environments that created the rocks, their spatial variability and temporal change. In this short course we will restrict ourselves to the analysis of physically formed sedimentary structures, such as cross-stratification. These are the "building stones" of any depositional facies or depositional sequence. A proper and accurate interpretation of these "building stones" in terms of bedforms and flow conditions is essential for understanding the origin and development of any depositional facies or depositional sequence.

Knowledge of the physical background of the preserved structures is a prerequisite to understand the mutual relations of structures found in cores that guide us in interpretation solutions and that help us to keep our imagination of the palaeo-environment within realistic borders.

Course Objectives

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

  • Understand the relationship between flow, waves, bedforms  and primary sedimentary structures
  • Carry out process-related interpretation of primary sedimentary structures and common assemblages of sedimentary structures
  • Recognize diagnostic attributes for fluvial, tidal, transitional fluvial-tidal and coastal depositional facies in outcrop and core.


Course Outlines

  • Fundamentals of flowing water and sediment transport
  • Bedforms and sedimentary structure formed by unidirectional flow
  • Influence of wave action on bedforms and sedimentary structure
  • Influence of tides on sedimentary structures
  • Aeolian sedimentary structures
  • Diagnostic criteria for the recognition of fluvial, tidal, transitional fluvial-tidal and coastal barrier sedimentary environments in outcrop and core.
Participants' Profile

The course is designed for geoscientists involved in core descriptions and core evaluations, borehole image interpretations. It is also recommended for those who use existing core description for further evaluations, specifically sedimentologists, stratigraphers and reservoir geologists.


Participants should have some familiarity with the basic principles of sedimentology.

In-house Course

Are you interested in this course but it is not organized near your location? You can request it as an in-house course via the Learning Geoscience website or via email

About the instructor

Janrik van den Berg

Current position: Assistant Professor Utrecht University (guest); independent consultant (Morfodynamica); associate ENRES International.

• Sedimentology
• River and estuarine morphology and sediment transport

1968-1973 Research assistant Dept.of Physical Geography, Utrecht Univ., Netherlands
1974-1980 Lecturer at the Geology Dept., Utrecht Univ.
1980-1986 Project engineer Rijkswaterstaat-Deltadienst, Ministry of Public Works, Zierikzee, Netherlands
1986-1988 Scientific member of staff Rijkswaterstaat-Dir. Zeeland, Ministry of Public Works, Middelburg, Netherlands
1988- 2007 Assistant Professor Dept. of Physical Geography Utrecht University, Netherlands
1989-1996 Employee of Svasek B.V. Coastal and Harbour Engineering Consultants, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2006- Director Morphodynamics (consultant), Zeist, Netherlands
2007- Guest lecturer Dept. of Physical Geography Utrecht University, Netherlands
2009- Associate ENRES International, Huis ter Heide, Netherlands"