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 – Florida/Bahamas

Dates: By Request

Location: Florida and Bahamas

Workshop Fee: TBA

Course Overview

This course is specifically designed for the explorationist working in the Devonian and Mississippian of Western Canada. We will view carbonate depositional environments in a modern setting, emphasizing spatial variability and resulting reservoir parameters. We emphasize controls on the geometry, distribution and development of reservoir quality in carbonate rocks.

The Modern course has been successfully run on 16 previous occasions. It is designed to give the explorationist who is charged with modelling reservoir heterogeneity, familiarity with modern carbonate depositional environments, comparable with ancient analogues of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Critical factors such as water temperature, clarity, energy levels, nutrient availability and effective day length all modify carbonate settings and are not readily discernible in the rock record. The participant gains exposure to barrier and patch reef systems, mobile (oolite) sand shoals, lagoonal muds and tidal flat settings. Factors critical to the development and preservation of reservoir-quality sediments are addressed directly in the field with numerous analogies drawn to productive Alberta subsurface examples. At each stop there will be a geologic and sedimentologic orientation, highlighting sedimentary processes, products, and capacity for preservation - with related reservoir analogs in Western Canada. Wet lectures are supported by waterproof posterboards. The course involves snorkeling stops only.

During the course of the trip, examples of submarine cementation (hardgrounds), beachrocks and subtidal stromatolites are observed. Emphasis is placed on criteria that may be used to recognize comparable ancient analogues and place their significance within the regional depositional setting.

Pleistocene outcrops are visited in order to assess the "preservability" of the various facies and how interpretations of the rock record may be approached.

A number of lectures are presented in the field to orient participants to both modern and ancient examples used.

Florida Keys

We will spend 2 days examining facies of the reef margin model in the Florida Keys, staying at a local hotel and working from small boats on both the Florida Shelf and Florida Bay sides. Transportation on land will be by rental vehicles. Participants will supply all requisite snorkelling gear (list will be distributed in advance). Accommodation will be double shared.


We will board a charter flight at Marathon and spend 1 hour flying over the Florida Keys area before setting off for the Bahamas. Total flying time will be about 4 hours en route to Lee Stocking Island in the Exuma Cays. We will fly over the extensive tidal flats of West Andros Island as well as see numerous oolite shoals, patch and barrier reefs, lagoons and Pleistocene islands. The overflight allows participants to view the geometry and distribution of the various sedimentary environments and is invaluable in visualizing scale and comparing paleogeography of ancient producing situations. The exact nature of this overflight is subject to aircraft availability and prevailing weather conditions.


Accommodation on Lee Stocking Island will be shared (bunk beds) at the Marine Research Station. Our work in the Lee Stocking Island area will be undertaken from small boats with the exact schedule adjusted to conform to prevailing weather conditions.

We will return to the Ft. Lauderdale by charter aircraft (all charter aircraft costs from the island to Ft. Lauderdale are covered in the course fee).


The course will be instructed by Frank Stoakes and members of the SCG staff. The instructors have had extensive experience in the interpretation of subsurface carbonate depositional systems. As primarily subsurface exploration geologists, they recognize the need to present modern depositional systems as analogues to unravelling complex sedimentologic and stratigraphic relationships in the Ancient. This is in marked contrast to other Modern Carbonate courses which tend to purvey only an understanding of present day environments. Analogies with the ancient examples also allow for analysis of depositional systems through time to assess the role of governing controls on reservoir distribution, such as sea level and tectonics. Since participants are drawn locally, the Western Canadian Devonian and Mississippian will form the main data reference. The instructors are familiar with all of the major producing horizons in this stratigraphic section and have worked a large number of regional and local field studies.

Dr. Frank Stoakes has over 30 years experience of stratigraphic studies in 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.

Pre-Course Meeting

A pre-course meeting is held approximately one month prior to departure to familiarize participants with the course schedule, as well as to discuss arrangements and request notification of swimming ability. At this meeting participants are provided with a complete list of equipment and clothing required and/or recommended, along with any medical and/or visa requirements. Participants are also required to sign a waiver form at this meeting.

Post-Course Core Workshop

Upon return to Calgary SCG offers a half-day core workshop at the AEUB, presenting ancient examples of concepts presented in the modern course. This post-briefing can be tailored to areas of exploration focus specific to participants.

Modern Carbonate Course Cost

Total course cost consists of a tuition amount paid directly to SCG Ltd., and a personal expenses amount for flight & miscellaneous expenses.

Tuition (includes all group expenses):

  • Please enquire for current pricing information.
  • includes most costs pickup from / drop-off to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • accommodations (shared)
  • meals (excludes alcoholic beverages) on Lee Stocking Island
  • rental vehicles and boat charters
  • charter overflights to and from Bahamas
  • 1/2 day core workshop at the AEUB Core Research Centre

Personal Expenses:

  • airfare (Calgary-Ft. Lauderdale-Calgary)
  • meals while in Florida
  • miscellaneous personal expenses (snorkeling gear, alchoholic beverages, departure taxes)


  • Pre-course meeting scheduled approximately 1 month prior to departure
  • Post-course core workshop will be scheduled upon return

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