What is stratigraphy?
Stratigraphy is the study of the crust of the Earth. In particular
stratigraphy specializes in study of the stratified or layered rock
formations. This study involves determining age relationships of rocks and
What do stratigraphers do?
A stratigrapher is a specialized geoscientist who uses information from
the layering of sedimentary rocks to learn the sequence of geologic
events. A stratigrapher will also study rock formations and layering to
understand more about the environment in which the rocks were formed.
Stratigraphers may work at petroleum geologists or geophysicists who
analyze geological, geophysical and engineering information. Their goal
is to identify and describe and map petroleum reservoirs. They use core
samples, well logs, seismic data and well production data to help solve
these mysteries of the Earths layers.
What qualifications do stratigraphers need?
Stratigraphers need an interest and background in geology. They will
need a masters degree level of specialization as in most geoscience
careers. Computer skills, in particular mapping and manipulating data are
essential. Excellent writing and oral presentation skills are
desirable. Personality characteristics that help develop the stratigraphers
career include: perseverance, collaborative attitude, strong desire for
success and excellence.
What areas are included in stratigraphy courses?
The basic undergraduate background in geological sciences is important.
At the graduate level the specific courses will be somewhat dependent
upon the area of specialization selected. There are, however, some
basics that are common ground for most stratigraphy courses of study:reservoir engineering
structural geology rock
What areas of specialization may stratigraphers choose?
Stratigraphy is a specialty within the field of geology. There are
several fields of specialization within the field of stratigraphy
including: magnetostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy and
Petroleum geology and geophysics involve exploring for new hydrocarbon
resources, describing and making models of existing petroleum
reservoirs, reservoir development and production operations, geological and
The long standing topics in the field of environmental geosciences
include land-use planning and natural hazard assessment and abatement. The
dominant focus is now hydrogeology and contaminant geochemistry and
petrology. Even the specialized field of stratigraphy needs an
inter-disciplinary approach to include various aspects of geology, physics,
chemistry, engineering, and ecology.
Where do stratigraphic geologists work?
Professional level career opportunities in the field of stratigraphy
re found in teaching and research at colleges, universities, petroleum
industries, oceanographic or mining companies. Technical consulting
and support positions are also feasible with petroleum service companies.
Geoscience careers also can be found in business or government.
Much of the field work for stratigraphers is overseas. Opportunities
for foreign travel are abundant. The working conditions will vary widely
with the location. Due to the increased interest in efficient ore
discovery and extraction and this is a high demand field of study. It is