Geology of the North Sea

2019-2020

Course Objective

On completion of this course, students should be better able to:
1. Use geological and geophysical datasets to evaluate the stratigraphy
of basins in the subsurface;
2. Predict the occurrence and distribution of source and reservoir
facies and their fluids in the subsurface; and
3. Identify tectonic, climatic, and eustatic controls on basin
stratigraphy that explain the occurrence and distribution of source and
reservoir facies in the subsurface.
In terms of skills, on completion of this course, students should be
better able to:
• Describe rocks in cores and thin sections;
• Use seismic sections and wireline logs to interpret the stratigraphic
architecture of basins in the subsurface; and
• Study source rocks and reservoirs in the field.

Course Content

This course is part of the stream 'Subsurface Resourcing' in the Geology
and Geochemistry specialisation. This stream contains a series of
elective courses that prepares for activities in the subsurface
(geothermal, CO2 sequestration, hydrocarbon exploration and production).
Many examples of successful techniques, originally developed for the oil
and gas industry, need also to be applied elsewhere in order to achieve
safe and accurate operations.

The aim of this course is to bridge the methodological and scale gap
between outcrop-based geology and subsurface investigations. Students
who enroll in this course should have learned, so far in their academic
careers, how to study rocks exposed at the surface of the Earth and how
to collect and interpret field data. In this course, students will learn
how to study basins in the subsurface and how to collect and interpret
subsurface data. This is arguably a more challenging occupation, for
subsurface datasets are more incomplete and the economic implications of
subsurface exploration immense. Students will learn how—and why—facies
and fluids occur in basins in the subsurface and how the geologic
history of a region affects the occurrence and distribution of those
fluids and the facies that contain them. The content and learning
outcomes of this course are particularly relevant for those wishing to
pursue a career in applied geology (e.g., exploration geologist or
seismic interpreter).

Teaching Methods

Lectures, project work, student presentation, and field study.

Method of Assessment

• Class report (60%): Students are required to hand in their class notes
for a session selected by the course coordinator. Students will be given
the opportunity to annotate their class notes and complement them with
information and insights from the literature.
• Field trip guide (40%): Students will work in pairs and collaborate on
the research and writing of a guide for the field trip to England. Each
pair will choose one of the localities to be visited during the field
trip and prepare a succinct description and interpretation of its
geology. The interpretation should explore the nature of the control on
structure and/or stratigraphy. Students should place their observations
and interpretations in the broader context of the geology of the North
Sea. Before the trip, students will be given the opportunity to receive
formative feedback on a draft version of their guide. After the trip,
students will prepare an illustrated final version of their guide.
Students who cannot participate in this field trip will write a report
based on a review of the literature.

Entry Requirements

This course is only accessible to MSc students.

Literature

The lecturers will make extensive literature lists available. In
addition students can refer to:
Miall, A. D. 2016. Stratigraphy: A Modern Synthesis. Cham: Springer.
Woodcock, N., and Strachan, R., eds. 2012. Geological history of Britain
and Ireland. 2nd ed. Chichester: Wiley.
Wong, Th., D. A. J. Batjes, and J. de Jager, eds. 2007. Geology of the
Netherlands. Amsterdam: KNAW.

Additional Information

Lecturers: Dr. João Trabucho (Utrecht University), and specialists from
the industry (EBN, Shell, TNO). Field trip occurs in spring.

Recommended background knowledge

Students should have followed the Regional Geology compulsory course.

General Information

Course Code AM_450317
Credits 7 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
Examiner prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
Teaching Staff prof. dr. J. de Jager

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: