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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Special Volumes


Chapter from: M 64:  Sequence Stratigraphy of Foreland Basin Deposits
Edited By 
J.C. Van Wagoner and G.T. Bertram

Seismic/Sequence Stratigraphy

Published 1995 as part of Memoir 64
Copyright © 1995 The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.  All Rights Reserved.


Wishes to thank the following

for their generous contributions


Sequence Stratigraphy of Foreland

Basin Deposits


BP Exploration OPCO Ltd.


BP Norge


Chauvco Resources


Exxon Production Research Company


Department of Geology and Geophysics,

Louisiana State University


Shell Oil Company


Union Pacific Resources


Contributions are applied against the production
costs of the publication, thus directly reducing the
book's purchase price and making the volume
available to a greater audience.



About the Editors



John C. Van Wagoner received an M.S. and Ph.D. in stratigraphy from Rice University in Houston in 1976 and 1977, respectively. His Ph.D. topic was the stratigraphic and sedimentological analysis of mixed siliciclastic and carbonate strata in the middle Pennsylvanian section of the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico. His dissertation advisor was Dr. James Lee Wilson. John joined Exxon Production Research Company in November, 1976. With his facies background, he soon became interested in facies analysis using well logs and cores. His early work was in the Cotton Valley Formation of east Texas, where he described over 15,000 feet of shallow-marine cores, mentored by C.V. Campbell. During this time, John also worked in Honduras, the United Kingdom, and Africa.

In the early 1980s, encouraged by Peter Vail and M.T. Jervey, John began to develop concepts of parasequences and parasequence stacking patterns and their application to well-log correlation. This approach had a major impact on how Exxon identified and mapped formations. This work was strongly influenced by discussions with D.E. Frazier. Immediately after M.T. Jervey formulated concepts of accommodation, John and an Exxon team, including K.M. Campion, V.D. Rahmanian, and K.M. Bohacs, began to develop techniques to identify sequences, sequence boundaries, and systems tracts in outcrops, cores, and well logs. This work formed the basis for sequence stratigraphic analyses using these types of data. Using this approach, John has conducted more than 50 detailed studies of producing fields in North America, Australia, Malaysia, and the North Sea. Many of the sequence stratigraphy ideas developed by John and the Exxon team were based on field work in the Book Cliffs of Utah and Colorado, the Powder River basin in Wyoming, and the San Juan basin in New Mexico. Additionally, he has worked extensively in the Brent and Statfjord Formations on both the U.K. and Norwegian side of the North Sea.

John has taught at many Exxon schools, including courses in sequence stratigraphy and facies analysis. He has received outstanding instructor awards from Exxon on four occasions. In addition, John has been 

an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer and has delivered AAPG short courses in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Bahrain. He has conducted numerous workshops and has led universities on field trips.

As well as many in-house publications on stratigraphy and facies, he published AAPG Methods in Exploration No. 7, Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphy in Well Logs, Cores, and Outcrops. Along with his co-authors, he received the Robert Dott, Sr., Award from the AAPG for this book in 1992. John has authored or edited numerous technical papers and books on the subjects of sequence stratigraphy, reservoir characterization, and facies analysis.

Currently, he is a Research Advisor at Exxon Production Research Company charged with coordinating technical work in the Reservoir Geometry and Continuity. He is actively planning and conducting research and teaching.


George T. Bertram received a B.Sc. Hon. in Geology and a Ph.D. in clastic sedimentology from Glasgow University in Scotland. His research topic was the sedimentology of fine-grained braided streams in Iceland. He joined Esso Exploration Europe Africa, Inc. in 1978 as a geophysicist. With his sedimentological background and encouragement from John Sangree and Robert Mitchum, Jr., he soon became interested in seismic stratigraphy. His early interpretation experience was gained in exploration projects in onshore African basins in Niger and Chad. After a spell at Exxon Production Research Company in Houston, where he worked in specialist research projects and training, he returned to Esso Exploration to assist further in new venture exploration in Africa and Europe.

George moved to Britoil in 1983, where he built and taught the first internal seismic stratigraphy course. He was also responsible for regional syntheses and basin study projects in the North Sea and West of Shetlands. As part of Britoil's international expansion, he lead a team studying and evaluating West African Basins.

After the takeover of Britoil by BP in 1989, George became Regional Project Manager for the Western Margin of the United Kingdom and, in 1991, became manager of the highly successful and innovative Stratigraphic Studies Group. This R&D team pioneered new methods of technology transfer and education within BP. Early on with BP, he assumed responsibility for the in-house seismic stratigraphy training course, modernizing both the material and the style of teaching. More recently, he was responsible for developing and communicating sequence stratigraphic concepts within the company and ensuring their appropriate application to business problems. In 1993, he took over the post of Manager of the Exploration Branch of BP Research in Sunbury, where his primary duty was delivering the Exploration R&D program to the business units on time and to budget. He also maintained his technical role as R&D Project Manager of the submarine fans research project.

His in-house instruction continued with courses in seismic and sequence stratigraphy in the United Kingdom and most BP site offices worldwide. He has also taught courses externally for JAPEC in London, I.P.A. in Jakarta, and E.N.S.P.M. in Paris.

George left BP at the beginning of 1994 to pursue a more technical career. He is currently a director for Stratigraphic Research International, a small Norwegian-registered company specializing in training and developing computer applications to stratigraphic problems.

As well as a number of in-house proprietary technical publications, he has published externally on a variety of topics, including the development of the carbonates in the Maldives, the structure of the North Sea, and a new approach to trap style classification.



Overview of Sequence Stratigraphy of Foreland Basin Deposits: Terminology, Summary of Papers, and Glossary of Sequence Stratigraphy

John C. Van Wagoner

Exxon Production Research Co.



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