Sequentially, illustrations of the seismic properties and geometry of each depositional element succinctly tied in with depositional models of their formation. Sheet sands, the product of multiple processes on the slope and basin floor, and channel complex systems were both described for their reservoir potential. Mass Transport Complexes – specifically not referred to as the tautologous ‘Mass Transport Deposit’, as Dr. Mayall amusingly pointed out – were noted as being of poor reservoir quality, clarifying ambiguity for some in the audience. MTC’s were included in the talk for their volumetric and stratigraphic significance in the deep marine. The presentation went on to identify how salt-derived extreme topography in slope environments can dominate the geometry the slope depositional elements, most notably channel complex systems, with examples from the West African continental margin. These examples, and many others, included stunning images illustrating the vanguard of seismic attribute capabilities.
The talk concluded with auspicious applications of the presented content, which many of the students will no doubt take to industry or further research. A gathering of inquisitive students after the formal presentation learned of the near-essential power of amplitude maps when interpreting these systems. With this came mention of the necessity of accurate seismic picking, which when carried out with peak-amplitude auto-tracing may ‘jitter’ the final image more so than smoothed-out manual picking; amiably personal tips shared from Dr. Mayall’s long career at BP!