Stoakes Consulting Group Ltd

Suite 402, 103 - 10th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2M 0B4
ph: (403) 262-6003  fax: (403) 265-4662   email: Replica Longines

Modern Carbonates Course – Belize, Central America

Dates: Available on request

Location: Belize, Central America

Workshop Fee: TBA

Course Overview

Designed for participants to view carbonate depositional environments in a modern setting, emphasizing spatial variability and resulting reservoir parameters. Examples of subsurface producing carbonate reservoirs in Western Canada will be compared to modern environments in the field. Run on 22 previous occasions the course begins in Dangriga and is then based on South Water Caye, an island located directly on the Belize Barrier Reef. The group will visit classic examples of:
  • patch reefs and pinnacles
  • isolate reefs and barrier reefs
  • siliciclastic shoreline
  • carbonate shelf transition
  • outlying atolls
These provide striking analogues to the Devonian of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. At each stop there will be a geologic and sedimentologic orientation, highlighting sedimentary processes, products, and preservation with related reservoir analogs in Western Canada- supported by waterproof posterboards. These “wet stops” are supplemented by evening slide lectures detailing examples from Western Canada. Boats with local captains take us to field stops including: Tobacco Caye (reef transect), Turneffe (mud dominated reef interior), Lighthouse (atoll transect and blue hole), Rhomboid shoals (atolls), patch reefs, siliciclastic beaches (as weather, time and travel distance allow). The course involves travel by boat (38 ft.) in open water, periods of snorkeling in shallow water, and bottom sampling transects. At the end of the course, a 1.5 hour overflight of the entire area will give participants an opportunity to view the “big picture” of depositional environments, and allow an appreciation of scale, trend and spatial variability.


Accommodation on the mainland is at the Pelican Beach Hotel in Dangriga. Shared accommodation is at Blue Marlin Lodge. Located directly on the Belize barrier system, this picturesque reef rubble island offers a convenient base for our field excursions. The Blue Marlin Lodge is accustomed to scientific visitors and SCG has used the facility in previous years. It has also been the base for field work by companies such as Chevron Overseas. The lodge is just north of the Smithsonian Institute’s field station at Carrie Bow Caye. Access to fax and phone, is available, and with registration at the Belize airport, cellular phone service can be arranged.


To maintain contact on land and in the water, we provide 2 instructors and a logistics co-ordinator. Dr. Frank Stoakes has over 30 years experience in stratigraphic studies of the Western Canada Basin both at a research (regional study) and exploration level. He was employed for 6 years by Esso Canada Resources Ltd., where he taught a number of carbonate-related courses that included 5 schools in Florida and the Bahamas. As a consultant he has conducted regional studies and carbonate courses for the industry for over 24 years including over 35 modern courses. Instructors are familiar with Belize and have been there on a number of previous occasions. As subsurface geologists, they recognize the need to portray the Modern in terms of Paleozoic analogues from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.

Pre and Post Course Itinerary

We will offer an pre-course meeting in Calgary approximately 1 month prior to departure. At this time we would distribute a list of snorkeling equipment required, give details of the itinerary and outline safety guidelines. We also poll participants for any special dietary, allergy or health issues. Participants will be required to sign a waiver form at this meeting. On our return from Belize we offer a half-day core workshop at the ERCB, presenting ancient examples of concepts presented in the modern course. This post-course briefing can be tailored to areas of exploration focus specific to participants.

Belize Modern Carbonate Course Cost

Total course cost consists of a tuition amount paid directly to SCG Ltd., and a personal expenses amount (this is estimated) for flight, exit tax, etc. Tuition:
  • $5100.00 (CDN) per person
  • includes all costs pickup from / drop-off to Belize City;
  • accommodations (shared);
  • meals and non-alcoholic beverages;
  • boat transportation;
  • flight to Dangriga;
  • 1.5 hour barrier reef and atoll overflight;
  • half day core workshop at AER Core Research Facility;
Estimated Personal Expenses Not Included in Tuition:
  • $1,100.00 per person
  • airfare Calgary-Belize City-Calgary (same-day connections via Houston);
  • miscellaneous personal expenses;


  • Pre-course meeting approximately 1 month prior to departure;
  • Spring 2015
  • Post course workshop will be scheduled upon return.

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