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Wed, Feb 03


Zoom Virtual Short Course

2021 SWS AAPG Bill Hailey Continuing Education Short Course

Applied Log Motif to the Interpretation of Clastic Depositional Systems in the Subsurface - By Dr. Thomas (Mac) McGilvery, Adjunct Professor, University of Arkansas Geosciences

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2021 SWS AAPG Bill Hailey Continuing Education Short Course
2021 SWS AAPG Bill Hailey Continuing Education Short Course

Time & Location

Feb 03, 2021, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Zoom Virtual Short Course


Event Details

The SWS AAPG provides this annual short course and materials free of charge for active SWS AAPG Members or active members of a SWS Affiliated Geological Society.*   Please select the appropriate affiliate society or SWS AAPG membership when registering so membership status can be confirmed. Nonmembers will be charged $50 for the full day course. 

SWS local Society Member* or SWS AAPG Member ….…  Free

College/University Students w/ Geoscience Major …....….  Free

Non-Member Registration …………………….....…………  $50

*SWS AAPG Affiliated Geological Societies: Abilene * Dallas * El Paso * Fort Worth * North Texas * Roswell * San Angelo * West Texas

Attendees will earn 8 hours of Continuing Education Credit for this one day course. Certificate will be emailed to the attendee after completion of the course.

Tentative Schedule:

8:00 am - 8:15 am - Opening Announcements

8:15 am - 12:15 pm - Morning Lecture

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm - 45-Minute Lunch Break

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Afternoon Lecture

5:00 pm - Adjourn


Seismic data and well logs are the primary tools for evaluating subsurface stratigraphy and depositional systems. The application of seismic stratigraphy and seismic facies analysis became the “go to” techniques for such interpretations as a result of the publication of AAPG Memoir 26 in 1977 and the introduction of the famed Vail/Exxon model for sequence stratigraphy. There have been a host of additional Publications that address the various applications of seismic and sequence stratigraphy since. The application of log shape otherwise known as log motif has been formalized to a much lesser degree. Observations regarding log motif as applied to interpretation of depositional facies are commonly included in a supplementary way within publications focused on greater over all topics. One such publication is the text book Terrigenous Clastic Depositional Systems (Galloway and Hobday, 1996).

This course is designed to familiarize the participants with the application of log motif and cycle stacking patterns to the interpretation of stratigraphic basin fill architecture and clastic depositional systems. A systematic evolution in log motif, both vertically (100’s to 1000’s ft) and laterally (1’s km to 100’s km) can be observed at the basin scale. In addition, there are a number of generic log shapes including funnel, bell, blocky, barrel, and serrate that commonly indicate specific depositional conditions such as confined or unconfined depositional settings. These may reflect depositional patterns such as upward coarsening, upward fining, channelized, and/or unconfined sheets. Having said this, log motif is a very non-unique response. There are many clastic depositional settings that may yield a similar log shape. For example, a funnel shape log motif is common in progradational deltaic settings, basinward accreting shore zone systems and deepwater lateral and frontal splay complexes. Many workers avoid the application of log motif for this reason. This course is based on more than 35 years of industry experience in subsurface stratigraphic interpretation and the observation that the generic log motifs mentioned above occur in repetitive and systematic ways such that they can be effectively applied within the proper context. Integration of log shape and log attribute cut-offs can greatly enhance the effectiveness of interval thickness and Net:Gross interpretations. The goal is to give the participants a sound understanding of log motif analysis with emphasis on prediction of reservoir body geometry and degree of stratigraphic compartmentalization.

Speaker Bio:

After completing his Master’s degree at the University of Arkansas, Mac worked for Tenneco Oil co., Mid-Continent Div., Oklahoma City, OK from 1980-1987. While there, he worked exploration projects on combination structure-stratigraphic plays in the Atoka succession in the Arkoma Basin/Ouachita Mtns. Mac was then assigned to Tenneco’s South America Div., Houston TX where he worked exploration projects in the Upper Magdalena Valley, Colombia SA from 1987 to 1989. That division was sold to Royal Dutch Shell in 1989. 

Mac then moved to Cartagena, Colombia where he continued to work the Upper Magdalena Valley for Shell from 1989 to 1991. After two exciting years in South America, Mac returned to the U.S. and completed his Ph.D., Geology at The University of Texas at Austin in 1996. His dissertation work was focused on the sequence stratigraphy and basin fill history of the Cretaceous, Barrow Gp., Barrow Sub-Basin, North West Shelf Australia under the direction of Dr. W. E. Galloway. 

Mac then joined Phillips Petroleum Co., in Bartlesville OK where he worked as their Global Stratigraphic Advisor from 1996 to 2002. Upon the merger of ConocoPhillips, Mac transferred to the Anchorage AK office where he worked as the local Chief Geologist from 2002 to 2006. After four years of working cool North Slope geology, Mac transferred to ConocoPhillips’ Gulf of Mexico Exploration Team in Houston, TX as their Stratigraphic Advisor from 2006 to 2011. Mac finished his career at ConocoPhillips as Geoscience Advisor with emphasis on subsurface reservoir prediction in the Geological Technology Gp. from 2012 to 2015. During that time, he participated on a six-person Global Exploration Review Team which traveled worldwide to provide technical reviews, risk assessments, and sanction of volumetric determinations for all wildcat prospects throughout the global portfolio. 

Mac retired from the Petroleum Industry in the spring of 2015 and currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas. His current research interests are the application of sedimentology and facies analysis to petroleum reservoir characterization, depositional models for deepwater slope/basin systems based on modern seafloor and shallow seismic geomorphology and, seismic and sequence stratigraphy. He teaches courses in Petroleum Geology, Advanced Stratigraphy & Sedimentation, and Seismic Stratigraphy.


  • SWS AAPG or Affiliated Member

    AFFILIATED GEOLOGICAL SOCIETIES: Abilene * Dallas * El Paso * Fort Worth * North Texas * Roswell * San Angelo * West Texas

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  • Current Geoscience Student

    The 2021 Virtual Bill Hailey Continuing Education Short Course will be free for currently enrolled Geoscience students.

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  • Non-Member SWS AAPG/Affiliated

    This ticket is for people who are not Southwest Section AAPG or Affiliated Society Members.

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