D411 Mechanical Stratigraphy, Stress and Geomechanics

Event Facts

  • 15 Nov. 2021
  • 16 Nov. 2021
  • 17 Nov. 2021
  • 18 Nov. 2021
  • 19 Nov. 2021
Half-day sessions, starting in the mornings for the Americas and afternoons for Europe, Africa and Middle East. Any variation to this will be communicated in advance.
Event Code:
5 sessions
Kevin Smart, Alan Morris
Booking Status:
Limited Availability
USD $2,920 (Exclusive of tax)

Course Facts

Course Code:
3 days
Virtual Classroom
2.4 Continuing Education Units
24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


Business Impact: We will explore the importance and application of stress and geomechanical analyses to energy exploration and production in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs, with emphasis on well design, borehole stability, and hydraulic fracturing.

This course will apprise course participants of key concepts in fracture characterization and analysis, stress, and geomechanics.  Participants will develop the skill sets necessary for planning and evaluating a fracture and geomechanics study.

Duration and Training Method

This is a virtual classroom course divided into five approximately three-hour webinar sessions with a mixture of lectures, discussions, and computer-based exercises. Participants will spend additional time between sessions working on exercises so that total time is equivalent of a traditional three-day classroom course.

 Participants will learn to:

  1. Characterize mechanical stratigraphy based on lithostratigraphy and other information, such as outcrop observations, core analysis, and traditional well logs. 
  2. Evaluate the basics of fractures, stress analysis and geomechanics, including the interrelationship between stress and strain in the context of geomechanical rock behavior. 
  3. Methods of evaluating fault stability
  •  Session 1 – Mechanical Stratigraphy and Fracture Basics
    • Lecture
    • Interactive Exercises
  • Session 2 – Stress Analysis
    • Lecture
    • Exercises (outside of session)
  • Session3 – Stress Analysis
    • Interactive Discussion Exercises
  • Session 4 – Geomechanics
    • Lecture
    • Exercises (outside of session)
  • Session 5 – Geomechanics
    • Interactive Discussion Exercises

Who should attend

The course is intended for exploration, development and production geoscientists and reservoir and production engineers whose focus is on unconventional resources and/or conventional fractured reservoirs.

Prerequisites and linking courses

Participants should have a familiarity with basic structural geologic principles prior to taking this class, such as is offered in N138 (Structural Interpretation in Petroleum Exploration and Development). 

This is a classroom version of Nautilus field course N266. As the two courses use similar material and software, individuals should consider attending one or the other, but not both. 

Related courses include:

  • N381 (Influence of Tectonics and Mechanical Stratigraphy on Natural Deformation in the Permian Basin)
  • N364 (Fracture Architecture, Sedimentology and Diagenesis of Organic-rich Mudstones of Ancient Upwelling Zones with Application to Naturally Fractured Reservoirs (California, USA))
  • N371 (Natural Fractures and Production in Different Reservoir Lithologies, Examples and Analogs from the San Juan Basin (New Mexico and Colorado, USA))
  • N379 (Application of Geomechanics to Reservoir Characterization, Management and Hydraulic Stimulation (Wyoming, USA))

Kevin Smart

Dr. Smart is a structural geologist with cross training in computational solid mechanics. His expertise is in the areas of structural geology and tectonophysics, nonlinear finite element analysis, field mapping, strain and microstructural analyses, and geologic fracture analysis. Dr. Smart’s research has ranged from outcrop and microscale analyses of carbonate and clastic rocks of the Appalachian, Ouachita, and Alpine contractional orogenic and the Basin and Range and Balcones Fault Zone extensional systems to field and laboratory studies of igneous and metamorphic rocks in the Wichita Mountains, Colorado Front Range, and southeastern Alaska.

Geomechanics efforts have included diverse applications in reservoir characterization (e.g., natural fracture prediction and production-related deformation, borehole stability, induced hydraulic fracturing), analyzing thermal effects on stress state evolution, and finite element analyses of ground response to seismic events. He has also conducted NASA-sponsored research to better understand the development of pit crater chains, landslides, and wrinkle ridges on Mars.

Dr. Smart is currently part of an integrated team that performs structural geology and geomechanics technical assistance and research projects for the oil and gas industry. His work in this area includes using geomechanical models to predict fracture distributions in conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs as well as analyze the effect of complex stress fields on subsurface deformation for problems ranging from large-scale folding and faulting down to borehole stability.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of  Tennessee, Knoxville - Geology
MS University of New Orleans - Geology
BS Allegheny College - Geology, Honors

Courses Taught
N114:  Extensional Tectonics and Normal Faulting (Nevada and California, USA)
N266:  Stress and Geomechanical Analyses (Texas, USA)
N381:  Influence of Tectonics and Mechanical Stratigraphy on Natural Deformation in the Permian Basin (Texas, USA)
N411:  Fractures, Stress and Geomechanics

Alan Morris

Dr. Morris is a structural geologist with research experience in the quantitative analysis of rock deformation. He has studied deformed rocks at large and small scales in various locations around the world. Dr. Morris also has experience validating structural interpretations for the petroleum industry in a variety of tectonic settings; including fold thrust belts, strike-slip margins, and extensional sedimentary basins. Study areas have included the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard, the French Alps, the Appalachians, the Basin and Range Province and Colorado Plateau of the western United States, the Balcones fault zone of Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Vietnam, offshore Turkey, and the Arabian Gulf.

He is the originator and coauthor of the 3DStress® computer program for interactive analyses of the effects of stresses on faults and fractures, which received an R&D-100 award from R&D Magazine, designating it as one of the world’s 100 most significant technical accomplishments.

Dr. Morris’ current research interests include 3D stress systems and fault formation, and the geometric evolution of fault systems.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Cambridge England - Geology
BSc Imperial College England- Geology

Courses Taught
N114: Extensional Tectonics and Normal Faulting (Nevada and California, USA)
N134: Carbonate and Shale Faulting and Fracturing Field Seminar (Texas, USA)
N266: Stress and Geomechanical Analyses (West Texas USA)
N411: Fractures, Stress and Geomechanics


Alternative Dates for this Course

Related Subjects