Analysis of Structural Traps in Extensional Settings - ESS

Discipline: Geology
Level: Intermediate
Instructors who teach this course:
  • Dr. James W. Granath


Related courses
Compressional and Transpressional Structural Styles - CPST
Mapping Subsurface Structures - MSS
Structural Styles in Petroleum Exploration - ST
About the course Designed For You will learn Course Content
About the course
Extensional structures provide some of the world's largest known oil reservoirs and remain one of the major frontier plays of the immediate future, both onshore and, particularly, in deep water offshore. 3D seismic has revolutionized structural mapping. However, the most realistic geologic interpretation of these structures is only as good as our ability to recognize and exploit the fundamental characteristics of the forms that are possible. This course presents outcrop, subsurface, seismic sections, and model analogs that will provide the starting point for structural interpretation in a wide range of extensional environments. Interpretations are validated by restoration and comparison to balanced models. This course covers the latest restoration techniques and the use of predictive kinematic models appropriate for rifted and other extensional and transtensional areas. The instructors of this course are happy to accept examples from your company for analysis in the class as one of the demonstration exercises. Please contact PetroSkills for a list of the information and support data required, as well as the necessary lead-time.


"Good examples used that mostly fit what we see in the field." - Geologist II, United States


"Liked fault geometrics and the structural restoration. I also appreciated fault linkages and traps in relay ramps and accomodation zones." - Participant, Nigeria


Designed For
Exploration and development geologists, geophysicists, engineers, and managers responsible for the interpretation and drilling of extensional structures.
You will learn
How To:
  • Distinguish the characteristics of extensional and transtensional deformation for both basement-involved and thin-skinned styles
  • Apply mechanical-stratigraphic principles governing the formation and evolution of extensional structures and apply restoration and balancing techniques
  • Predict structural geometry from sparse or inconsistent data using kinematic models
  • Recognize typical extensional and transtensional petroleum-trapping geometries
Course Content
  • Extensional structural styles and their plate tectonic habitats
  • Models for rifting and passive continental margin evolution
  • Transtensive structures
  • Detached and basement-involved styles
  • Map patterns
  • Half grabens and full grabens
  • Footwall uplift
  • Pre-inversion normal faults
  • Ramp-flat and listric-fault related structures
  • Rotated block with keystone graben style
  • Structural validation criteria
  • Selecting the best balancing and restoration technique
  • Flexural-slip restoration and predication
  • Vertical and oblique simple shear
  • Rigid-block restoration
  • Area-depth technique for section validation, depth to detachment, bed-length changes and fault prediction
  • Effect of detachment-zone thickness
  • Transition from horizontal to vertical displacement
  • Extensional drape folds
  • Trishear models of drape folds
  • Sequential restoration of growth structures
  • Fracturing in extensional structures