Geology for energy resources
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Simonetta Cirilli
  • Simonetta Cirilli
  • 68 ore - Simonetta Cirilli
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Discipline geologiche e paleontologiche
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Sedimentary processes - transport and deposition and structures. Facies analysis and depositional architectures. Introduction to diagenesis. Data collection strategies in the field and subsurface. Methods for the interpretation of sedimentary environments
Reference texts
text books
James N.P & Dalrymple (2010) - Facies Models 4. GEOtext6. Geological Association of Canada
Nichols G. (2009) - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 2nd Edition, 432 pages, Wiley-Blackwell

additional texts
Reading H.G. (2004) third edition- Sedimentary Environments: Processes, Facies and Stratigraphy . Blackwell Science. pp.689.
D. Emery and K. Myers (2009) - Sequence Stratigraphy. pp.304. Wiley¸
Richard C. Selley (2000)- Applied Sedimentology, Second Edition . Academic press
Tucker M.E.: Geologia del sedimentario; Flaccovio Dario Editor
Roger. M. Slatt (2007) - Stratigraphic Reservoir characterization for petroleum geologists, Geophysicists and Engineers. Handbook of Petroleum exploration and production, Vol.6, John Cubitt (Ed), Elsevier , pp. 478.
Educational objectives
The course represents one of the fundamental courses of the first semester of the Geology for Energy Resources. It aims to improve the theoretical and practical knowledge on sedimentary geology.
The main knowledge and skills that students will acquire are:
- recognition of the main sedimentary structures and processes and ability to relate them to the original depositional environment.
- ability to recognize, from the available data of outcrops and well logs, the depositional architectures and to reconstruct the depositional scenarios in time and space.
- ability to reconstruct and correlate at small and large scale the sedimentary sequences.
- ability to extrapolate from the available data of outcrops (surficial analogous) the subsurface geology.
- To link the acquired knowledge to the exploration petroleum geology
In order to be able to understand the main subjects and to apply the majority of the techniques described in the course the students must have:
- an essential knowledge of the fundamentals of geology
- a basic knowledge of the sedimentary rocks and on the sedimentary processes
- a basic knowledge on the classification schemes of the sedimentary rocks
- a basic knowledge of the principle of stratigraphy
- confidence in the field geology (in making geologic observations and interpretations)
This preconditions is valid for attending and not attending students.
Teaching methods
The course includes both theoretical and practical lectures. It is organized as follows:
- Frontal lectures on the topics of the course
- Periodical exercises on the topics covered by the lectures
- Seminars and working groups
- Interdisciplinary field trips are scheduled at the end of the course.
Furthermore, on a voluntary basis, students may be involved in short presentations of case studies on topics proposed by the professor and by the students themselves, carried out individually or in small groups. The presentation will be given in the presence of other students and professors.
The students must discuss the sedimentological and stratigraphic features of a certain geological area and the implications in the field of georesources. They must depict the geologic setting, the methodological approach, the data set and the possible hypotheses.
The presentation has a duration of 15 minutes (about 15 slides) and require theoretical insights and clarification of details by the other students and by the board of professors attending the presentation.
The presentation allows to verify both the ability of knowledge and understanding, to practice applying the skills and knowledge they gain, to propose solutions and to get in use the students to work in group.
Other information
The course focuses on the sedimentary geological processes applied to the exploration of the renewable and not renewable georesources
Learning verification modality
the exam is subdivided in two steps: the first one is a written test consisting of the solution of multiple choice tests and graphic exercises. The second step (only if the student is successful at the first step) consists of an oral exam.
The exam, as a whole, is designed to evaluate the knowledge acquired, the ability to correctly apply the theoretical knowledge of the sedimentary geology, the ability to rapidly solve the proposed problems.
Extended program
Fundamentals of Sedimentology. Facies, Facies Models and Modern Stratigraphic Concepts. Sedimentary processes - transport and deposition. Sedimentary structures. Sedimentary environments. Facies analysis and depositional architectures. Clastic, carbonate, evaporite depositional systems and rocks. Aeolian, fluvial, shallow marine and deep-water depositional environments. Introduction to diagenesis of sedimentary rocks.
Clastic system response to changing sea level and rates of sedimentation. Carbonate systems response to changing sea level and rates of sedimentation. Building and classifying sedimentary models.
Sediment textures and their influence on reservoir quality (porosity and permeability). Facies and Subsurface Facies Analysis. Data collection strategies in the field and subsurface. Methods for the interpretation of sedimentary environments. Use of outcrop analogues. Examples of hydrocarbon reservoirs and source rocks from different depositional settings.
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