Subsurface Geology (GEO501)

This course is designed to give students a deep understanding of sedimentary reservoir systems and basement, both as primary (hydrocarbon) and secondary reservoirs (e. g., carbon dioxide). This knowledge is essential for understanding energy systems. The course aims to enable students to interpret reservoir systems and their genesis and development as results of rock emplacement, depositional environments, and tectonic deformation.Reservoir systems will be set in a sequence stratigraphic context to understand and predict architectures, facies distributions and variations. The course also covers interpretation and validation (e. g., structural restoration) of faults and salt structures that can modify reservoir systems and control their formation. Techniques to assess the impact of faults on fluid flow are included.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


Topics include:

  • Interplay between clastic, carbonate and evaporitic depositional systems;
  • Basement;
  • Faults and salt structures in reservoir contexts, including growth structures and fault sealing; and
  • Validation of geological models.

Learning outcome


After completing the course, the student should know:

  • Preconditions for basement as reservoirs,
  • Sedimentary depositional response to changes in external factors,
  • Sequence stratigraphic concepts and depositional systems as controls for predicting reservoir properties,
  • Deep burial-related, reservoir alteration processes,
  • Faults and salt structures and their impact on reservoir systems,
  • Techniques to quality-control sedimentary and structural interpretations and reconstruct the evolution of sedimentary basins, and
  • Techniques to evaluate the impact of faults on reservoir properties and fluid flow.


After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • Evaluate different types of lithological successions for their potential as reservoirs,
  • Use sequence stratigraphic concepts for predicting elements of the petroleum system,
  • Apply various methodologies to perform predictive sequence-stratigraphic interpretations in both clastic and carbonate systems,
  • Use concepts and techniques for recognition and prediction of reservoir and source-rock facies changes,
  • Interpret faults and salt structures for their role in reservoir systems,
  • Validate and restore structural models, and
  • Assess the impact of faults on reservoir properties and fluid flow.

General competence

After completing the course, the student should be able to communicate:

  • Sedimentary and tectonic concepts in a basin-scale perspective, in the context of both basin-external and internal influencing factors,
  • The importance of tectonic structures for reservoir systems, and
  • The value and uncertainty of sedimentary and structural interpretations in reservoir contexts.

Required prerequisite knowledge




Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Assignment 1 1/2 1 Weeks Letter grades All
Assignment 2 1/2 1 Weeks Letter grades All

Continuous evaluation.You must pass all parts to pass the course. All parts must be assessed in order to receive a grade. If you fail the assessment, you must retake this the following year. There are no continuation opportunities on the assessment parts. Students who wish to take these sections again must do so the next time the course has regular instruction.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Ingrid Carita Augustsson

Study Program Director:

Lisa Jean Watson

Study Adviser:

Karina Sanni

Course teacher:

Udo Zimmermann

Head of Department:

Alejandro Escalona Varela

Method of work

The course includes lectures and laboratory practices.

6-8 hours teaching per week.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
PVT of Petroleum Reservoirs and Fluids (PET500_1) 5

Open for

Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
Energy, Reservoir and Earth Sciences - Master of Science Degree Programme Petroleum Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto