Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Fundamentals of Structural Geology

This class has been designed to familiarize class participants with the fundamentals of Structural Geology, as used and required in and for  the Oil & Gas Industry.

Structural Geology is defined as “The discipline within the science of Geology that relates to rock unit geometry and the deformational histories that produced those geometries.”

This class is structured with regard to scale considerations of the various elements of structural geology – small to large. The initial portions of this course will investigate rock deformation factors at the microscopic scale. Next meso-scale structures will be discussed and then, finally, large scale (tectonic) elements will be examined.

The class contains a significant practical element, with exercises and tests designed to improve the understanding of how to apply Structural Geology in Petroleum-related applications. The course also contains video and case histories.

Day 1

Agenda and QHSE

Pre-Course Test as required

Fundamental Structural Concepts


Forces and Stress 

Strain and Deformation (Elastic, Plastic and Brittle)

Ductile Deformation Processes - Folding

Lineations and Foliations

Exercise - understanding 3-point mapping

Day 2

Brittle and Other Structures

Brittle Deformation Processes

Fractures and Joints

Faulting (including video)

Unconformities, Domes, Pinchouts, Intrusions

Exercise - 3D Structures

Salt Tectonics and Diapirism

Day 3

Expression of Structure

Seismic Interpretation of Structure

Exercise - Seismic Interpretation of Structure

Structural Interpretation of Borehole Images

Exercise - Borehole Interpretation

Surface Representation of Structure

Exercise - Strikeline Mapping

Exercise - Mapping Project


Day 4

Expression of Structure (continued)

Exercise - Mapping Project (continued)

Structural Cross-Sections

Exercise - Constructing a Cross-Section

3D Modeling - Structure and Fractures

Exercise - Structural Correlation with Logs

Global Tectonics

Structure of the Earth and Plate Tectonics (including Videos)

The Wilson Cycle (including video)


Day 5

Regional Tectonics

Extensional Tectonics

Compressional Tectonics

Strike-Slip Tectonics

Paleo-Tectonics (with optional case Study)

Post-Course Test as required


Learning activity mix

Geoscientists who wish to expand their knowledge of Structural Geology as used and required in and for  the Oil & Gas Industry.

Fundamental concepts - stress, strain, & deformation

Ductile deformation (folding)

Brittle deformation (faulting and fracturing)

Other structures - domes, unconformities, pinchouts

Salt tectonics

Seismic Interpretation of Structure

Structural Interpretation of Borehole Images

Surface Representation of Structure

3D structural modeling

Global and regional tectonics

Tectonic styles - Extensional, compressional, lateral


Plate tectonics and the Wilson cyccle

A basic understanding and background in Geology is preferred.

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