Geology - Carbonate Geology

Carbonate Essentials: Pores to Prospect



  Dr Christopher Liner (University of Arkansas, United States)


  1 day


  Geology – Carbonate Geology






  5 CPD points




Course description

This course is an overview of carbonates from geology to seismic interpretation, with a particular emphasis on karst topography and seismic expression thereof. Carbonate reservoirs represent over 60% of worldwide petroleum reserves, including emerging unconventional reservoirs. Unlike clastics, carbonate mineralogy is relatively simple, while complexity arises from depositional environment lateral variability, pore structure, digenesis and dissolution. These factors influence bulk rock properties and, in turn, the seismic response. The course offers a broad overview of carbonate geology and properties that are mappable on a seismic scale as potential hydrocarbon reservoirs. To illustrate key concepts, field sites and case histories are presented from global locations.


Course objectives

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

  • Carbonate geological classification, pore structures and the nature of karst terrain;
  • Relationship of seismic parameters to carbonate rock properties;
  • Use of full wave and dipole sonic to map fractures and classify in Vp/Vs-impedance space;
  • Basic concepts of 3D seismic such as resolution and meaning of seismic amplitude;
  • Carbonate horizon mapping with 3D seismic data in faulted and unfaulted terrain;
  • Nature of carbonate lithology bright spots and geobody extraction;
  • Parametrization and use of fundamental 3D seismic attributes in carbonate settings.


Course outline

Geology (1 hour)

  • classification, deposition, diagenesis, dolomite, chalk, pores, karst.

Rock Physics (1 hour)

  • velocity versus [everything], beware ND correlation, Gassmann in carbonates, diagenesis and rock physics.

Wireline (1 hour)

  • fractures and cross-dipole sonic, Vp/Vs-Impedance space, synthetic seismogram, time-depth curve.

Seismic 101 (1 hour)

  • tuning, resolution, spatial aliasing, dip and throw, 3D intro, meaning of seismic amplitude.

Horizons (1 hour)

  • layers and information, tracking in unfaulted terrain, offset tracking, flattening, depth conversion, tracking in faulted terrain, geobody extraction.

Attributes (1 hour)

  • acoustic impedance, similarity, curvature, spectral decomposition, AVO.


Participants' profile

The course is designed for seismic interpreters, geologists, reservoir engineers and technical managers. Early career geoscientists can benefit from the broad overview of this course, as well as seismic acquisition and processing geophysicists.


About the instructor

Chris LinerProf. Liner received his BSc at the University of Arkansas in 1978, an MSc at the University of Tulsa in 1980. He worked with Western Geophysical in London during 1980-1, then spent 6 years as an exploration geophysicist for Conoco in Oklahoma City. Liner earned a PhD at the Colorado School of Mines in 1989, working with the Center for Wave Phenomena. From 1989 to 1990 Liner was a geophysicist with Golden Geophysical, and from 1990-2004 was on the faculty of the University of Tulsa. From 2005 to 2007 he was a research geophysicist with Saudi Aramco, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. From 2008 through 2012, Liner was a professor at the University of Houston. In late 2012, Liner joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas.

Prof. Liner served as 2012 SEG DISC instructor and 2014-5 SEG President. He holds Maurice F. Storm Endowed Chair in Petroleum Geology in the Department of Geosciences, with research interest in carbonate outcrop and near-surface characterization, advanced seismic interpretation methods, seismic data analysis and processing, anisotropy, and seismic-wave propagation.

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