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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5171M Seismic Reflection Interpretation and Sequence Stratigraphy

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Richard Collier

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides a training in the geological characteristics of subsurface reservoirs, and how they are represented and interpreted from reflection seismic data.


On completion of this module, the student will be familiar with subsurface interpretation methods across a range of scales. They will learn how to build geological models from seismic datasets, how they inform the reservoir potential of the subsurface and the key elements of reservoir architecture.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will be able to:
- understand the principles and practice of interpreting industry seismic reflection data, in general geological, structural and detailed sequence-stratigraphic contexts.
- produce and appraise 3D-based geological models by interpreting 2D/3D seismic datasets, using both paper sections and computer-based software.
- review the key geological considerations in determining the quality and characteristics of a subsurface reservoir.
- understand the resource and fluid storage opportunities associated with subsurface reservoirs and the geological controls upon reservoir volumes, reservoir quality and topseal integrity.


Seismic interpretation:
• Context of reflection seismic data and basic principles of interpretation using hand and computer algorithms
• Use of seismic attributes for quantitative interpretation
• Seismic-to-well tie
• Velocity models, depth conversion and uncertainty analysis

Sequence stratigraphy and reservoir geology:
• Sequence stratigraphy and chronostratigraphy for siliciclastic sediments
• Linking seismic interpretation of sequence stratigraphy to well and outcrop parasequences
• Introduction to carbonate sequence stratigraphy
• Sequence stratigraphy and its role in larger-scale reservoir characterisation
• Reservoir geology in the context of the exploration-appraisal-production cycle and in CO2 storage
• Hydrocarbon entrapment and CO2 trapping mechanisms
• Fundamentals of the 3D static reservoir model

Strategy and workflow for quantitative interpretation

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours99.00
Total Contact hours51.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Ongoing coursework assessment; group feedback on hand-contouring and initial 2D software-based seismic interpretation.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical2D Seismic interpretation (30%); Practical: 3D seismic interpretation (40%); Practical: Sequence Stratigraphy (30%).100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

A student who fails this Module may be offered a resit. The resit mark provides a new alternative mark for the whole Module. The re-sit for this module will be a single unseen examination, of duration 3 hours, covering the content of the lectures and practical assignments.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/08/2023


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