June 22-23, 2022: AAPG “Carbonate Sequences and Reservoirs” conference in Naples, Italy

The subject of my speech was the “Seismic Expression of Shallow-Water Carbonate Structures Through Geologic Time”.

I found particularly interesting to investigate how the evolution of the biota of carbonate builders through time, from Proterozoic to present day, affected the appearance of carbonate structures and how this, in turn, reflected on their seismic expression.

Furthermore, I think this is an additional approach to keep decreasing exploration risks and this is why this topic has been integrated in my carbonate seismic interpretation course as an optional module.

A manuscript with the results of this investigation, which, to date, has required the study of more than 700 publications, has been sent out for publication.



Depositional and early diagenetic processes in shallow-water carbonate deposits have undergone significant variations through geologic time, from Proterozoic to recent times. This has reflected in a sequence of carbonate structures characterized by different shapes, sizes and identifying features depending, among other factors, on the age of deposition and the carbonate factory associated with a specific geologic period. These variations, which have been extensively studied in the literature, however not from a seismic interpretation point of view, have a formidable impact on the display of these structures in reflection seismic data. This study aims at providing an overall, albeit not conclusive, picture of how the seismic expression of shallow-water carbonate structures has evolved through time. Several examples from different geologic ages, from Proterozoic to present day, are shown along with a proposal of a qualitative ranking based on some critical discriminating seismic criteria, which is applied to each of the geologic times considered.

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Slide 3 of 33

Slide 27 of 33 (Oligocene age)

Field Seminar


I also joined an interesting fieldtrip, associated with the AAPG event and run by Alessandro Iannace, Stefano Tavani and Mariano Parente of the University of Naples, on fractured platform carbonates of the Southern Apennines. I believe a continuous expertise increase and update is critical in our professional activity.