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Read the 2014 Newsletter - A tradition since 1950, the Newsletter highlights research, news and achievements by Jackson School faculty, students, scientists and alumni

Read the 2014 Newsletter

A tradition since 1950, the Newsletter highlights research, news and achievements by Jackson School faculty, students, scientists and alumni

Video: GeoFORCE - Changing lives since 2005

Video: GeoFORCE

Changing lives since 2005

Video: Unveiling Earth's Surface - Airborne lidar at the Jackson School's Bureau of Economic Geology

Video: Unveiling Earth's Surface

Airborne lidar at the Jackson School's Bureau of Economic Geology

Video: New Stash of Ice Age Fossils

Video: New Stash of Ice Age Fossils

Video: Fire, Ice & Huge Quantity of Potential Energy - Researchers at the Jackson School of Geosciences are leading a project to learn more about frozen methane under the Gulf of Mexico

Video: Fire, Ice & Huge Quantity of Potential Energy

Researchers at the Jackson School of Geosciences are leading a project to learn more about frozen methane under the Gulf of Mexico

The Miracle of Flight - A graduate student discovers the largest flying animal in history: the Texas Pterosaur

The Miracle of Flight

A graduate student discovers the largest flying animal in history: the Texas Pterosaur

Risk of Amazon Rainforest Dieback is Higher Than IPCC Projects

Risk of Amazon Rainforest Dieback is Higher Than IPCC Projects

  Scientists using ice-penetrating radar data collected by NASA’s Operation IceBridge and earlier airborne campaigns have built the first comprehensive map of layers deep inside the Greenland Ice Sheet, opening a window on past climate conditions and the ice sheet’s potentially...

JAN
30

BEG Friday Seminar Series
9:00 AM

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Patrick J. Mickler
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

Abstract:
An important side effect of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in shale gas wells is the production of saline flow-back water. This water often contains total dissolved solid (TDS) concentrations ?100,000 ppm which requires expensive treatment and disposal of the produced water. Possible origins of the high TDS content include: 1) Mixing of fresh HF-fluids with highly saline pore fluids in the targeted shale. 2) Migration and mixing of saline brines by newly-formed fractures into the HF-water from neighboring formations. 3) Water rock interactions between the targeted shale and HF-water that include mineral dissolution, pyrite oxidation buffered by carbonate dissolution and cation exchange in newly hydrated clay minerals. These possibilities are not mutually exclusive and all may be operating to alter flow-back water chemistry. This study will examine geochemical reactions between shale and manufactured HF-waters using sealed bench top experiments and high temperature/high pressure autoclave experiments. The manufactured HF-waters were produced by mixing NaCl, KCl and CaCl2 salts with De-ionized water. During experiments, elements that show large increases in aqueous concentrations are Na, Cl, Ca and SO4. Simultaneous increases in Na and Cl, coupled with high Cl/Br ratios, suggest halite dissolution rather than pore space brine is responsible for Na and Cl concentrations. Simultaneous increase in Ca and SO4 suggest anhydrite dissolution. SEM imaging shows that anhydrite crystals are usually embedded with the framework mineral grains. Molar comparisons between Na-Cl and Ca-SO4 suggest Ca is preferentially removed from solution and Na is added to solution through interactions with clay minerals. Cation exchange and desorption during clay hydration likely has a secondary effect on the observed geochemical trend. Ca is sorbed and Na is released preferentially resulting in a Ca depletion seen on the Ca vs. SO4 plot and a Na excess seen in the Na vs. Cl plot. Although this study does not consider mixing of HF-water with formation brines, the identified water-rock reactions may provide insights into observed flow-back water chemistry. Overall the addition of friction reducers did not have a significant effect on elemental release amounts. The only exception is the polyacrylamide additive (PAM2) which has a high NH4+ blank that enhanced cation exchange in the clay minerals.


JAN
30

UTIG Seminar Series: Walter Roest, Ifremer
10:30 AM

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Patrick J. Mickler
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

Abstract:
An important side effect of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in shale gas wells is the production of saline flow-back water. This water often contains total dissolved solid (TDS) concentrations ?100,000 ppm which requires expensive treatment and disposal of the produced water. Possible origins of the high TDS content include: 1) Mixing of fresh HF-fluids with highly saline pore fluids in the targeted shale. 2) Migration and mixing of saline brines by newly-formed fractures into the HF-water from neighboring formations. 3) Water rock interactions between the targeted shale and HF-water that include mineral dissolution, pyrite oxidation buffered by carbonate dissolution and cation exchange in newly hydrated clay minerals. These possibilities are not mutually exclusive and all may be operating to alter flow-back water chemistry. This study will examine geochemical reactions between shale and manufactured HF-waters using sealed bench top experiments and high temperature/high pressure autoclave experiments. The manufactured HF-waters were produced by mixing NaCl, KCl and CaCl2 salts with De-ionized water. During experiments, elements that show large increases in aqueous concentrations are Na, Cl, Ca and SO4. Simultaneous increases in Na and Cl, coupled with high Cl/Br ratios, suggest halite dissolution rather than pore space brine is responsible for Na and Cl concentrations. Simultaneous increase in Ca and SO4 suggest anhydrite dissolution. SEM imaging shows that anhydrite crystals are usually embedded with the framework mineral grains. Molar comparisons between Na-Cl and Ca-SO4 suggest Ca is preferentially removed from solution and Na is added to solution through interactions with clay minerals. Cation exchange and desorption during clay hydration likely has a secondary effect on the observed geochemical trend. Ca is sorbed and Na is released preferentially resulting in a Ca depletion seen on the Ca vs. SO4 plot and a Na excess seen in the Na vs. Cl plot. Although this study does not consider mixing of HF-water with formation brines, the identified water-rock reactions may provide insights into observed flow-back water chemistry. Overall the addition of friction reducers did not have a significant effect on elemental release amounts. The only exception is the polyacrylamide additive (PAM2) which has a high NH4+ blank that enhanced cation exchange in the clay minerals.


UTIG Seminar Series: Walter Roest, Ifremer

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 10:30 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Larry Lawver, lawver@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-0433
 URL:Event Link
"Combining Extended Continental Shelf Exploration and Scientific Interests: The Case of the Demarara Plateau Offshore French Guiana"

Abstract:

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea allows coastal states to obtain sovereign rights over the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin. The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf established under the Convention examines submissions made by coastal States. The French national program established to make those submissions, EXTRAPLAC, started in 2002 with funding from the French Government. The program is let by Ifremer, with as principle partners the SHOM (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy), IPEV (French Polar Institute) and IFP Energies Nouvelles. Seven submissions, of which 3 are joint with neighboring states, have been made thus far, concerning areas off metropolitan France and its overseas territories. In total, over 360 days of ship time was needed to explore these vast and dispersed areas, in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The data collected include multibeam bathymetry, seismic reflection and some rock sampling. In this presentation we will describe how the EXTRAPLAC cruise offshore French Guiana (GUYAPLAC, R/V L’Atalante, 2003) let to new scientific results for this transform type margin, in particular in the area of the Demerara Plateau. Results include the discovery of gigantic submarine land slides in the subsurface, and associated fluid escape features on the seafloor. A scientific collaboration between the EXTRAPLAC team and academia let to a follow-up cruise proposal to further explore this unique continental margin: The IGUANES cruise, let by Lies Loncke of the University of Perpignan, took place in April/May 2013 on the same research vessel, using a higher resolution multibeam echosounder, high resolution seismic reflection and sediment cores. In particular, we were able to confirm and better map significant submarine landslide scarps, aligned pockmark fields and sediment waves that are likely associated with strong bottom currents and/or the submarine landslides. We will also briefly describe some of the highlight results of other EXTRAPLAC related cruises to show how the EXTRAPLAC program has resulted in new knowledge in remote frontier areas that had very little modern data coverage.

FEB
02

Career Center Open House
9:00 AM

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Patrick J. Mickler
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

Abstract:
An important side effect of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in shale gas wells is the production of saline flow-back water. This water often contains total dissolved solid (TDS) concentrations ?100,000 ppm which requires expensive treatment and disposal of the produced water. Possible origins of the high TDS content include: 1) Mixing of fresh HF-fluids with highly saline pore fluids in the targeted shale. 2) Migration and mixing of saline brines by newly-formed fractures into the HF-water from neighboring formations. 3) Water rock interactions between the targeted shale and HF-water that include mineral dissolution, pyrite oxidation buffered by carbonate dissolution and cation exchange in newly hydrated clay minerals. These possibilities are not mutually exclusive and all may be operating to alter flow-back water chemistry. This study will examine geochemical reactions between shale and manufactured HF-waters using sealed bench top experiments and high temperature/high pressure autoclave experiments. The manufactured HF-waters were produced by mixing NaCl, KCl and CaCl2 salts with De-ionized water. During experiments, elements that show large increases in aqueous concentrations are Na, Cl, Ca and SO4. Simultaneous increases in Na and Cl, coupled with high Cl/Br ratios, suggest halite dissolution rather than pore space brine is responsible for Na and Cl concentrations. Simultaneous increase in Ca and SO4 suggest anhydrite dissolution. SEM imaging shows that anhydrite crystals are usually embedded with the framework mineral grains. Molar comparisons between Na-Cl and Ca-SO4 suggest Ca is preferentially removed from solution and Na is added to solution through interactions with clay minerals. Cation exchange and desorption during clay hydration likely has a secondary effect on the observed geochemical trend. Ca is sorbed and Na is released preferentially resulting in a Ca depletion seen on the Ca vs. SO4 plot and a Na excess seen in the Na vs. Cl plot. Although this study does not consider mixing of HF-water with formation brines, the identified water-rock reactions may provide insights into observed flow-back water chemistry. Overall the addition of friction reducers did not have a significant effect on elemental release amounts. The only exception is the polyacrylamide additive (PAM2) which has a high NH4+ blank that enhanced cation exchange in the clay minerals.


UTIG Seminar Series: Walter Roest, Ifremer

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 10:30 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Larry Lawver, lawver@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-0433
 URL:Event Link
"Combining Extended Continental Shelf Exploration and Scientific Interests: The Case of the Demarara Plateau Offshore French Guiana"

Abstract:

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea allows coastal states to obtain sovereign rights over the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin. The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf established under the Convention examines submissions made by coastal States. The French national program established to make those submissions, EXTRAPLAC, started in 2002 with funding from the French Government. The program is let by Ifremer, with as principle partners the SHOM (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy), IPEV (French Polar Institute) and IFP Energies Nouvelles. Seven submissions, of which 3 are joint with neighboring states, have been made thus far, concerning areas off metropolitan France and its overseas territories. In total, over 360 days of ship time was needed to explore these vast and dispersed areas, in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The data collected include multibeam bathymetry, seismic reflection and some rock sampling. In this presentation we will describe how the EXTRAPLAC cruise offshore French Guiana (GUYAPLAC, R/V L’Atalante, 2003) let to new scientific results for this transform type margin, in particular in the area of the Demerara Plateau. Results include the discovery of gigantic submarine land slides in the subsurface, and associated fluid escape features on the seafloor. A scientific collaboration between the EXTRAPLAC team and academia let to a follow-up cruise proposal to further explore this unique continental margin: The IGUANES cruise, let by Lies Loncke of the University of Perpignan, took place in April/May 2013 on the same research vessel, using a higher resolution multibeam echosounder, high resolution seismic reflection and sediment cores. In particular, we were able to confirm and better map significant submarine landslide scarps, aligned pockmark fields and sediment waves that are likely associated with strong bottom currents and/or the submarine landslides. We will also briefly describe some of the highlight results of other EXTRAPLAC related cruises to show how the EXTRAPLAC program has resulted in new knowledge in remote frontier areas that had very little modern data coverage.

Career Center Open House

  Start: February 2, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm
 Location:JGB 2.112 Martineau Career Services Suite
 Contact:Chelsea Ochoa, chelsea.ochoa@jsg.utexas.edu, 5122320893
JSG students, faculty and staff are invited to come by the Career Center for coffee and bagels.

FEB
02

Soft Rock Seminar - Anthony McGlown
12:00 PM

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Patrick J. Mickler
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

Abstract:
An important side effect of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in shale gas wells is the production of saline flow-back water. This water often contains total dissolved solid (TDS) concentrations ?100,000 ppm which requires expensive treatment and disposal of the produced water. Possible origins of the high TDS content include: 1) Mixing of fresh HF-fluids with highly saline pore fluids in the targeted shale. 2) Migration and mixing of saline brines by newly-formed fractures into the HF-water from neighboring formations. 3) Water rock interactions between the targeted shale and HF-water that include mineral dissolution, pyrite oxidation buffered by carbonate dissolution and cation exchange in newly hydrated clay minerals. These possibilities are not mutually exclusive and all may be operating to alter flow-back water chemistry. This study will examine geochemical reactions between shale and manufactured HF-waters using sealed bench top experiments and high temperature/high pressure autoclave experiments. The manufactured HF-waters were produced by mixing NaCl, KCl and CaCl2 salts with De-ionized water. During experiments, elements that show large increases in aqueous concentrations are Na, Cl, Ca and SO4. Simultaneous increases in Na and Cl, coupled with high Cl/Br ratios, suggest halite dissolution rather than pore space brine is responsible for Na and Cl concentrations. Simultaneous increase in Ca and SO4 suggest anhydrite dissolution. SEM imaging shows that anhydrite crystals are usually embedded with the framework mineral grains. Molar comparisons between Na-Cl and Ca-SO4 suggest Ca is preferentially removed from solution and Na is added to solution through interactions with clay minerals. Cation exchange and desorption during clay hydration likely has a secondary effect on the observed geochemical trend. Ca is sorbed and Na is released preferentially resulting in a Ca depletion seen on the Ca vs. SO4 plot and a Na excess seen in the Na vs. Cl plot. Although this study does not consider mixing of HF-water with formation brines, the identified water-rock reactions may provide insights into observed flow-back water chemistry. Overall the addition of friction reducers did not have a significant effect on elemental release amounts. The only exception is the polyacrylamide additive (PAM2) which has a high NH4+ blank that enhanced cation exchange in the clay minerals.


UTIG Seminar Series: Walter Roest, Ifremer

  Start: January 30, 2015 at 10:30 am     End: January 30, 2015 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Larry Lawver, lawver@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-0433
 URL:Event Link
"Combining Extended Continental Shelf Exploration and Scientific Interests: The Case of the Demarara Plateau Offshore French Guiana"

Abstract:

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea allows coastal states to obtain sovereign rights over the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin. The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf established under the Convention examines submissions made by coastal States. The French national program established to make those submissions, EXTRAPLAC, started in 2002 with funding from the French Government. The program is let by Ifremer, with as principle partners the SHOM (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy), IPEV (French Polar Institute) and IFP Energies Nouvelles. Seven submissions, of which 3 are joint with neighboring states, have been made thus far, concerning areas off metropolitan France and its overseas territories. In total, over 360 days of ship time was needed to explore these vast and dispersed areas, in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The data collected include multibeam bathymetry, seismic reflection and some rock sampling. In this presentation we will describe how the EXTRAPLAC cruise offshore French Guiana (GUYAPLAC, R/V L’Atalante, 2003) let to new scientific results for this transform type margin, in particular in the area of the Demerara Plateau. Results include the discovery of gigantic submarine land slides in the subsurface, and associated fluid escape features on the seafloor. A scientific collaboration between the EXTRAPLAC team and academia let to a follow-up cruise proposal to further explore this unique continental margin: The IGUANES cruise, let by Lies Loncke of the University of Perpignan, took place in April/May 2013 on the same research vessel, using a higher resolution multibeam echosounder, high resolution seismic reflection and sediment cores. In particular, we were able to confirm and better map significant submarine landslide scarps, aligned pockmark fields and sediment waves that are likely associated with strong bottom currents and/or the submarine landslides. We will also briefly describe some of the highlight results of other EXTRAPLAC related cruises to show how the EXTRAPLAC program has resulted in new knowledge in remote frontier areas that had very little modern data coverage.

Career Center Open House

  Start: February 2, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm
 Location:JGB 2.112 Martineau Career Services Suite
 Contact:Chelsea Ochoa, chelsea.ochoa@jsg.utexas.edu, 5122320893
JSG students, faculty and staff are invited to come by the Career Center for coffee and bagels.

Soft Rock Seminar - Anthony McGlown

  Start: February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: February 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222

more →

Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows Program - Deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2014
Deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2014
New Salt Tectonics Complex - Honoring Martin Jackson, raising funds towards a newly renovated Salt Tectonics Modeling Complex
Honoring Martin Jackson, raising funds towards a newly renovated Salt Tectonics Modeling Complex
Geoscience Education - Summit on Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education: Summary Report & Survey
Summit on Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education: Summary Report & Survey
GeoFORCE Challenge Match - This endowment has launched to ensure the continuation of this critical program
This endowment has launched to ensure the continuation of this critical program
Work at JSG - The Jackson School is hiring. Apply online.
The Jackson School is hiring. Apply online.
Find a Supervisor - Grad students work with over 70 scientists in 9 research disciplines
Grad students work with over 70 scientists in 9 research disciplines
 
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