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AAPG Special Volumes


AAPG Studies in Geology #53: Seismic Interpretation of Contractional Fault-Related Folds, An AAPG Seismic Atlas, edited by John H. Shaw, Christopher D. Connors and John Suppe, 2005. Pages 1-59.

Copyright © 2005 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

AAPG Studies in Geology No.53 - Part 1: Structural Interpretation Methods

John H. Shaw, Christopher D. Connors, and John Suppe

About the Editors

John H. Shaw is the Harry C. Dudley Professor of Structural and Economic Geology at Harvard University, and leads an active research program in structural geology and geophysics, with emphasis on petroleum exploration and production methods. He received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in structural geology and applied geophysics, and was employed as a senior research geoscientist at Texaco’s Exploration and Production Technology Department in Houston, Texas. Shaw’s research interests include complex trap and reservoir characterization in fold and thrust belts and deepwater passive margins. He heads the Structural Geology and Earth Resources Program at Harvard, an industry-academic consortium that supports student research in petroleum systems.

Christopher Connors is an assistant professor in structural geology and geophysics at Washington & Lee University. Before coming to Washington & Lee he worked at Texaco Exploration as a structural geologist and seismic interpreter contributing to exploration efforts throughout the world. He earned a B.S. from Penn State University, a M.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. His current research interests are in forward and inverse modeling of fault-related folding, seismic interpretation of complex structures, and the development of growth strata associated with fault-related folding.

John Suppe is Blair Professor of Geology at Princeton University and is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences. Since 1978 he and his students have been at the forefront of research on fault-related folding in cooperation with many petroleum companies, including Texaco, Chinese Petroleum Corporation, and PetroChina. The photo is taken in the field in western China where he is currently studying active growth of petroleum anticlines in the Tarim and Jungaar basins.


This AAPG Atlas is a product of long-standing research partnerships between industry and academia. ChevronTexaco, Arco, Unocal, ExxonMobil, Shell, Ecopetrol, PDVSA, CNPC (PetroChina), and other companies have supported the development of fault-related folding concepts at Princeton and Harvard Universities for more than two decades. We offer special thanks to the scientists at these companies that have participated in these collaborations, including Frank Bilotti, Peter Brennan, George Chou, Ronald Cupich, Joyce Evans, Stephen Hook, Elizabeth Harvey, Gunvor Kristiansen, Alfred Lacazette, Steve McDougall, Donald Medwedeff, Shankar Mitra, Van Mount, Wayne Narr, Rafael Ramirez, Robert K. Sawyer, Tai Shih, Ted Snedden, Richard W. Wiener, and Sherilyn Williams-Stroud.

Many individuals at the Universities have contributed to the science of fault-related folding, and most of these researchers appear in citations and as Case Study authors in Part 2 of this Atlas. The authors wish to extend special acknowledgments to the following current and former graduate students and researchers at Princeton and Harvard Universities, who have contributed to these efforts, including Frank Bilotti, Richard Bischke, Freddy Corredor, Gregg Erikson, Paul Genovese, Chris Guzofski, Stuart Hardy, Aurelia Hubert-Ferrari, Pablo Kraemer, Jay Lieske, Donald Medwedeff, Jon Mosar, Van Mount, Karl Mueller, Jay Namson, Wayne Narr, Enrique Novoa, Andreas Plesch, Carlos Rivero, Delphine Rouby, Luther Strayer, M. Peter Süss, Xin Wang, and Hongbin Xiao.

We also acknowledge the support of Landmark Graphic Corporation, which has generously provided Harvard University with seismic reflection processing and interpretation software that was used for the analysis and presentation of many datasets in the Atlas. Through provision of software, Landmark, Schlumberger, Karl Thompson & Associates, MicroSeismic Technologies, and Paradigm also facilitated the use of these datasets in research and teaching, and the exchange of results with our industry sponsors. We also sincerely thank Texaco Inc., Veritas, Mabone Ltd., PetroChina, and the many other companies that have allowed the presentation of their data.

The Atlas benefited from very helpful reviews by Richard Allmendinger, Peter Brennan, Stephen C. Hook, Alfred Lacazette, and Thomas Pratt.

Finally, the most practical and perhaps exciting aspect of developing fault-related fold concepts has been their application and testing in petroleum exploration and production projects. For this opportunity, their friendship, and their critical support as we began the Atlas, the authors extend their most sincere appreciation to Peter Brennan, John (Jack) Carnes, Stephen C. Hook, and Geoffrey Newton.


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