Exploration Tectonics/Basin Analysis course

This 3-day short course is run at the Institute for Geology, Mineralogy & Geophysics at the Ruhr-Uni Bochum in summer and the Geophysics Section, Department of Earth Sciences at the Ludwig-Maximilans Uni in Munich in winter. I teach aspects of tectonic processes relevant to hydrocarbon exploration from plate to play scale, including basic overviews of resource economics/risk.

Official timetable info:

Course schedule

Ruhr-Uni, Summer 2017:

  • Start: Monday, 07. August 2017 - 09:00 hrs
  • End: Wednesday, 09. August 2017 - 17:00 hrs
  • Place: NA 04/592 (“Kartenkurs Raum”)

LMU, Winter 2018:

The days will be an interactive mix of lectures and practicals using QGIS, GPlates and interactive, Python-based notebooks.

Please create an account on this wiki to access course-related info. Please also fill out the prior knowledge doodle (see below).


Any failure to have the software not ready for use on Day 1 will not only bog you down personally but will also lead to slowing down the course, effectively minimise what we will be able to cover. I also reserve the right to exclude students from the course who fail to download and install the software.
  • The participants will be required to bring a laptop computer. Teams of 2 are ok if people do not have a computer available to run exercises on or if their personal machine is too outdated to allow the software to run. However, you will learn more if you can organise to bring a laptop along so that everyone has her/his own machine to hack away on.
  • 8-O Read the software page very carefully to see which applications are required to be installed prior to the course so that we can immediately start on day 1.
  • I expect that students will have had a look into the different applications listed on the software page and know the basic user interface for GPlates & QGIS.
  • As we will be using the Python programming language, prior knowledge of the basics will give you a head start and make it much easier to follow what we will be doing. See the software page for links to tutorials.


Wiki pages for each day contain the lecture note links and links to documents/data used for practicals during the course.


The below links take you to the individual days and course documents. Should you find that something appears to be missing or discover broken links please get in touch by email. Feel free to go through the documents, although some content will be obsolete/significantly changed at the beginning of the course.
  1. Day 1: Introduction to exploration, basic concepts. Signal processing, plate tectonics and geodynamics.
  2. Day 2: Basin analysis, basin formation, rifted margins, structural and depositional styles. Exercises in seismic interpretation (structural geology), potential field and signal processes related to regional geology interpretation.
  3. Day 3: Forward numerical modelling, prospects, volumes, risks. From geoscience aspects to business. 30-minute exam in the afternoon (Bochum), followed by interactive, open session. At LMU the exam will be held on a separate day a week or so after the course - please check with the department for the exact date/location.


The following pages contain information that is relevant for the course and to topics touched upon in the course: