Stratigraphy Jobs

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 their distribution.

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 Earth’s layers.

What qualifications do stratigraphers need?

Stratigraphers need an interest and background in geology. They will need a master’s 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 stratigrapher’s 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
  • reservoir modeling
  • structural geology rock
  • soil mechanics
  • petrology
  • sedimentary geology
  • geomorphology
  • engineering geology
  • field geology
  • hydrogeology
  • mineralogy
  • structural geology
  • geochemistry
  • tectonics
  • applied geophysics
  • 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 sequence stratigraphy.

    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 geophysical research

    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 very competitive.

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