My online course websites have moved to the University system. See utah.instructure.com


Regular offerings, not including special topics and seminars


GEO 5510/6510 - PICP 1a (1.5 credits/first half of Fall semester). Intro to Petroleum Systems

PICP 1a is an introduction to the science and business of petroleum geology, with a strong focus on conventional exploration. This year’s course will focus on the structural and stratigraphic evolution of one part of the Cretaceous-Paleocene Sevier fold and thrust belt, with an emphasis on petroleum exploration strategies in the Wyoming over-thrust belt. Several class periods prior to the trip will cover general introductory material through lectures, guest speakers, assignments, group presentations, and discussions. We will then conduct a field transect across the Sevier fold and thrust belt from Ogden, Utah to east of Evanston, Wyoming. This trip will be co-led by representatives from Hess Corporation and Anadarko Petroleum, with generous funding from both. Prerequisite. = 1 undergrad course in sedimentology and stratigraphy. Structural Geology is also strongly recommended.


GEO 5530/6530 - PICP 2b (1.5 credits/second half of Spring semester). Geologic Interpretation of Seismic Reflection Data

   This fourth course in the Petroleum Industry Career Path (PICP) covers the basic principles of geologic interpretation of seismic reflection data, including the basics of acquisition and processing, and potential pitfalls that all seismic interpreters should consider.  Laboratory and in-class exercises will use real petroleum industry software and datasets—including both 2D paper lines and experience with 3D workstation data—and  emphasize practical applications of theories introduced in class. Labs will cover integration of outcrop and well-log data with seismic data (including synthetics), mapping and contouring techniques, and fundamentals of seismic stratigraphy, all with direct implications for hydrocarbon exploration.  Prerequisite: GEO 5525/6525  (i.e., all previous PICP courses).


GEO 5920/6920 Sedimentary Basin Analysis (3 credits, Alt. Spring semesters)

This course investigates the mechanisms involved in the initiation, evolution, and preservation of sedimentary basins.  We will develop an understanding of the stratigraphic, structural, and thermal characteristics of basin types from various plate tectonic settings including divergent, convergent, and transform plate margins, and intraplate provinces.  Through case studies of modern and ancient examples, we will gain exposure to a catalog of multidisciplinary tools used in basin analysis, including outcrop-based sedimentologic and subsurface geophysical interpretation, and quantitative modeling techniques. We will explore the larger implications of basin analysis studies including discussion of controls on sedimentary packaging, implications for fluid migration and hydrocarbon potential in different basin settings, and recent advances and controversies in the field of basin analysis. At least one previous sedimentology/stratigraphy course is REQUIRED – this course is taught at the graduate level and a reasonable background in sedimentology is assumed.


An alternative version of this course, Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling, is also offered occasionally. This course focuses on basin modeling with PetroMod.