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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
29

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Peter Flemings
4:00 PM

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Peter Flemings

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

JAN
29

UTIG Seminar: Arthur Weglein, University of Houston
12:00 PM

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Peter Flemings

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

UTIG Seminar: Arthur Weglein, University of Houston

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Ian Dalziel, ian@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-0431
"Identifying and responding to prioritized and pressing challenges in exploration seismology"

Abstract:
The current frontier drilling success rate in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, of one in ten, at upwards of 250 million dollars per drill, reflects and exemplifies the magnitude and significance of the challenges we face in exploration seismology. The GOM deep water drilling success rate points to the gap between our collective seismic capability today, and the level of increased effectiveness that will be needed to respond to that challenge and to move towards significantly reducing, and filling that gap.

All scientific methods and algorithms have assumptions and prerequisites. Methods are effective when their assumptions are satisfied. Challenges arise in exploration seismology when the prerequisites and assumptions behind seismic methods are not satisfied, and that can contribute to dry hole exploration drilling or locating suboptimal development wells. To our thinking, there are two ways to respond to that challenge: (1) find new and more effective ways to satisfy the requirements of current methods, and (2) develop fundamentally new methods that can deliver ( and to go beyond) what current seismic methods can provide, without requiring, for example, the prerequisites, and subsurface information that current methods frequently require to be effective. We adopt one or the other of these two approaches for different links and steps in the seismic processing chain.

Many seismic methods require subsurface information to be effective. As the industry trend moves to more remote and complex and complicated off-shore and on-shore plays that requirement for accurate subsurface information can become increasing difficult , or impossible, to satisfy. We have produced the only comprehensive and consistent strategy where every single step in the seismic processing chain, and every single seismic goal and objective, can be achieved directly and without subsurface information. Among seismic processing objectives are identifying and utilizing the reference wave-field, de-ghosting, multiple removal, depth imaging, target identification and target changes, in a static or time lapse sense, , and Q compensation without needing or knowing Q. The projects within our program address off-shore and on-shore seismic E&P processing, for marine towed streamer, OBS, and on-shore surface and subsurface( buried) measurements.

In this presentation , we will describe that overall strategy, and will present what has been delivered with stand-alone capability to-date, methods that were originally considered radical and greeted with widespread skepticism, and are now considered mainstream and conventional within the seismic processing tool-box. Equally , if not more important, we will describe significant fundamental and high priority open issues, and research opportunities, and our plans going forward.

http://mosrp.uh.edu/news/a-b-weglein-nov-2014-m-osrp-executive-summary-and-2-video-for-kuwait-oil-company-seg-workshop-december-1-3-2014

http://mosrp.uh.edu/events/event-news/weglein-multiples-signal-or-noise-submitted-paper-and-2014-seg-rara-video

JAN
30

BEG Friday Seminar Series
9:00 AM

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Peter Flemings

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

UTIG Seminar: Arthur Weglein, University of Houston

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Ian Dalziel, ian@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-0431
"Identifying and responding to prioritized and pressing challenges in exploration seismology"

Abstract:
The current frontier drilling success rate in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, of one in ten, at upwards of 250 million dollars per drill, reflects and exemplifies the magnitude and significance of the challenges we face in exploration seismology. The GOM deep water drilling success rate points to the gap between our collective seismic capability today, and the level of increased effectiveness that will be needed to respond to that challenge and to move towards significantly reducing, and filling that gap.

All scientific methods and algorithms have assumptions and prerequisites. Methods are effective when their assumptions are satisfied. Challenges arise in exploration seismology when the prerequisites and assumptions behind seismic methods are not satisfied, and that can contribute to dry hole exploration drilling or locating suboptimal development wells. To our thinking, there are two ways to respond to that challenge: (1) find new and more effective ways to satisfy the requirements of current methods, and (2) develop fundamentally new methods that can deliver ( and to go beyond) what current seismic methods can provide, without requiring, for example, the prerequisites, and subsurface information that current methods frequently require to be effective. We adopt one or the other of these two approaches for different links and steps in the seismic processing chain.

Many seismic methods require subsurface information to be effective. As the industry trend moves to more remote and complex and complicated off-shore and on-shore plays that requirement for accurate subsurface information can become increasing difficult , or impossible, to satisfy. We have produced the only comprehensive and consistent strategy where every single step in the seismic processing chain, and every single seismic goal and objective, can be achieved directly and without subsurface information. Among seismic processing objectives are identifying and utilizing the reference wave-field, de-ghosting, multiple removal, depth imaging, target identification and target changes, in a static or time lapse sense, , and Q compensation without needing or knowing Q. The projects within our program address off-shore and on-shore seismic E&P processing, for marine towed streamer, OBS, and on-shore surface and subsurface( buried) measurements.

In this presentation , we will describe that overall strategy, and will present what has been delivered with stand-alone capability to-date, methods that were originally considered radical and greeted with widespread skepticism, and are now considered mainstream and conventional within the seismic processing tool-box. Equally , if not more important, we will describe significant fundamental and high priority open issues, and research opportunities, and our plans going forward.

http://mosrp.uh.edu/news/a-b-weglein-nov-2014-m-osrp-executive-summary-and-2-video-for-kuwait-oil-company-seg-workshop-december-1-3-2014

http://mosrp.uh.edu/events/event-news/weglein-multiples-signal-or-noise-submitted-paper-and-2014-seg-rara-video

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

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Peter Flemings

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

UTIG Seminar: Arthur Weglein, University of Houston

  Start: January 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: January 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Ian Dalziel, ian@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-0431
"Identifying and responding to prioritized and pressing challenges in exploration seismology"

Abstract:
The current frontier drilling success rate in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, of one in ten, at upwards of 250 million dollars per drill, reflects and exemplifies the magnitude and significance of the challenges we face in exploration seismology. The GOM deep water drilling success rate points to the gap between our collective seismic capability today, and the level of increased effectiveness that will be needed to respond to that challenge and to move towards significantly reducing, and filling that gap.

All scientific methods and algorithms have assumptions and prerequisites. Methods are effective when their assumptions are satisfied. Challenges arise in exploration seismology when the prerequisites and assumptions behind seismic methods are not satisfied, and that can contribute to dry hole exploration drilling or locating suboptimal development wells. To our thinking, there are two ways to respond to that challenge: (1) find new and more effective ways to satisfy the requirements of current methods, and (2) develop fundamentally new methods that can deliver ( and to go beyond) what current seismic methods can provide, without requiring, for example, the prerequisites, and subsurface information that current methods frequently require to be effective. We adopt one or the other of these two approaches for different links and steps in the seismic processing chain.

Many seismic methods require subsurface information to be effective. As the industry trend moves to more remote and complex and complicated off-shore and on-shore plays that requirement for accurate subsurface information can become increasing difficult , or impossible, to satisfy. We have produced the only comprehensive and consistent strategy where every single step in the seismic processing chain, and every single seismic goal and objective, can be achieved directly and without subsurface information. Among seismic processing objectives are identifying and utilizing the reference wave-field, de-ghosting, multiple removal, depth imaging, target identification and target changes, in a static or time lapse sense, , and Q compensation without needing or knowing Q. The projects within our program address off-shore and on-shore seismic E&P processing, for marine towed streamer, OBS, and on-shore surface and subsurface( buried) measurements.

In this presentation , we will describe that overall strategy, and will present what has been delivered with stand-alone capability to-date, methods that were originally considered radical and greeted with widespread skepticism, and are now considered mainstream and conventional within the seismic processing tool-box. Equally , if not more important, we will describe significant fundamental and high priority open issues, and research opportunities, and our plans going forward.

http://mosrp.uh.edu/news/a-b-weglein-nov-2014-m-osrp-executive-summary-and-2-video-for-kuwait-oil-company-seg-workshop-december-1-3-2014

http://mosrp.uh.edu/events/event-news/weglein-multiples-signal-or-noise-submitted-paper-and-2014-seg-rara-video

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.

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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