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The Shale Revolution caught sedimentary geologists by surprise. Unlike deltas, submarine fans, carbonate ramps or other types of depositional systems, there were no ready-made shale facies models that could be used to help guide the exploration and development of source-rock reservoirs (Haynesville, Barnett, Eagle Ford, etc.). More than 15 years after the initial Barnett Shale boom, the sedimentary geology community still lacks widely applied shale facies models that integrate sedimentology, lithology, organic geochemistry and other aspects of shales in ways that can be used to understand and predict the distribution of properties of economic importance. Because depositional systems are the fundamental building blocks of systems tracts, sequence stratigraphic analyses of fine-grained systems (important as source rocks, reservoirs, seals, intra-formational seals, etc. in the petroleum industry) is problematic.

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