Applied Ichnology: A core workshop

Course Details

Until a decade ago, most geologists would write-off entire sections of core as “bioturbated” and not take the time to describe ichnofacies or to think about the possible relationship between bioturbation and reservoir quality. Trace fossils if and when described would be an unnecessary bonus on a standard sedimentological core description. Thanks to the work of George Pemberton, James MacEachern, Tom De Keyser, Murray Gingras and others we now know that bioturbation can impact reservoir quality. Therefore, if and when you do find bioturbation in your reservoirs it is your responsibility to understand what effect burrowing has had on quality.

This two-day core workshop uses cores from the Frontier and Muddy (J-Sandstone) to exemplify organism substrate relationships and effects on reservoir quality. Morning lectures will introduce participants to common shallow-marine ichnofacies and a step-by-step methodology for their interpretation.

Learner Outcomes:
1. Identify common trace fossil types.
2. Measure bioturbation and index and plot these data as a log.
3. Differentiate between common shallow marine clastic depositional environments using trace fossils.
4. Predict the effect of bioturbation on reservoir quality.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

This course is designed for geoscientists working on sandstone reservoirs in the Piceance, Uinta, Big Horn, Denver-Julesburg and Powder River Basins.

Course Outline

Day 1

1: METHODOLOGY
1.1. The ichnofacies vs ichnofabrics approach
1.2. Bioturbation Index – quantification and creating a bioturbation index log
1.3. Substrate classifications – mobile sandy substrates, soupgrounds, softgrounds, firmgrounds and hardgrounds
2: ICHNOFACIES
2.1. Archetypal Psilonichnus, Skolithos, Cruziana and Zoophycos ichnofacies
2.2. Diversions from the norm: stressed environments
2.3. Distinguishing between wave-tide- and river influence in deltas using trace fossils
2.4. Interdistributary bays, lagoons, estuaries, how to differentiate these environments of deposition using trace fossils?


LUNCH BREAK


3: CORE WORKSHOP ON THE WALL CREEK FORMATION, POWDER RIVER BASIN


Day 2

4: BIOGENICALLY ENHANCED PERMEABILITY
4.1. Surface constrained heterogeneities, cryptic, non-constrained, weakly defined and diagenetic heterogeneities
4.2. Dual porosity and permeability systems and effects on fluid flow


LUNCH BREAK


5: WORKSHOP ON CORE FROM THE MUDDY (J-SANDSTONE) FROM THE DJ-BASIN