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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions

Tech Sessions

  Start: November 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm     End: November 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm
 Location:Boyd Auditorium, JGB 2.324
"TBA"

Craig Manning

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BEG Friday Seminar Series: Cancelled this week

BEG Friday Seminar Series: Cancelled this week

  Start: November 2, 2012     End: November 2, 2012
 Contact:Jenny Turner, jenny.turner@beg.utexas.edu, 471-2677

10:00 am - BEG Special Seminar: Dr. Michael Abrams, Apache Corp.

BEG Special Seminar: Dr. Michael Abrams, Apache Corp.

  Start: November 2, 2012 at 10:00 am     End: November 2, 2012 at 11:00 am
 Location:Bureau of Economic Geology, PRC, Bldg. 130, room 1.116C
 Contact:Jenny Turner, jenny.turner@beg.utexas.edu, 512/471-2677
Video Streaming Link: TBA

Dr. Michael Abrams
Apache Corporation
Manager Geochemistry Depart.
Houston Texas USA 77056
michael.abrams@apachecorp.com


TITLE: "Best practices for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of seabed geochemical samples to evaluate subsurface hydrocarbon generation and entrapment"

There are multiple methods currently applied by industry contractors to collect, prepare, extract, and analyze near-surface migrated hydrocarbons contained within marine sediments. To improve the detection of seabed migrated thermogenic hydrocarbon seepage, core samples should be collected along major migration pathways identified by conventional deep seismic and high-resolution seafloor imaging technology. Not all targeted cores will hit the designated feature and thus collecting replicates within key features is important. Collecting sediment samples below the Zone of Maximum Disturbance to avoid possible transition zone alteration effects and ROM masking problems is also critical. The sediment sampling device (corer) chosen should be suited for local seabed conditions to maximize both penetration and sample recovery. Real time imaging provides greater detail to confirm feature and provides a specific feature to target.
Multiple sections per core should be collected at variable depths. Geochemical analysis should include a full range of hydrocarbon types; light hydrocarbon and selected non hydrocarbon gases (C1 to C5, CO2, and N2), gasoline range (C5 to C12), and high molecular weight hydrocarbons (C15+). Two types of samples should be collected; one to capture the volatile light hydrocarbons (C1 to C12) and non-hydrocarbon gases; and a second for the higher molecular weight hydrocarbons (C15+). The light hydrocarbons require special handling that should include containers which limit volatile loss and protocols which prevent post sampling microbial alteration. Bulk sediment measurements such as quantity of organic matter and lithology type will be very helpful in evaluating the results to make sure the variability is not related to local near surface sediment conditions.

The identification of background versus anomalous populations is very important when evaluating anomalous seabed hydrocarbons. Note that near surface migrated sediment extracted hydrocarbons are normally highly altered and may not resemble conventional reservoir oil or gas compositions. Mapping thermogenic hydrocarbon oil and gas seeps relative to key cross-stratal migration pathways via fluid flow modeling and seismic attribute analysis provides an effective petroleum systems evaluation tool to better understand the seepage relative to subsurface hydrocarbon generation and entrapment.


10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: Gwenn Flowers, Simon Fraser University

UTIG Seminar Series: Gwenn Flowers, Simon Fraser University

  Start: November 2, 2012 at 10:30 am     End: November 2, 2012 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Ginny Catania, gcatania@ig.utexas.edu, 471-0403
 URL:Event Link
“Evolution of Glacier Thermal Structure and Dynamics in a Subarctic Environment”

Abstract:

Some of the most climatically sensitive regions of the world are populated by small glaciers and ice caps, many of which are ‘polythermal’, or comprised of ice both at and below the melting point. Because of the dependence of ice viscosity on temperature, glacier thermal structure is a potentially significant influence on ice dynamics and has been implicated in some forms of flow instability. Recent measurements from the highly glacierized St. Elias region of southwest Yukon, Canada will be used to illustrate the characteristic polythermal structures of glaciers in this subarctic continental setting, and to highlight the thermal imprint of ice dynamics. Results from forward and inverse models reveal how long-term changes in mass balance are altering ice dynamics and thermal structure in this particular region, and hint at an evolution toward colder, slower glaciers in the future.

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12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar: William Ambrose, BEG

Soft Rock Seminar: William Ambrose, BEG

  Start: November 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Rattanaporn Fongngern (Jah), rattanapornf@utexas.edu
Incised-valley and estuarine deposits in the Pennsylvanian Cleveland Formation, Western Anadarko Basin

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2:00 pm - BEG Lecture: Dr. David Arctur-Lecturer,UT School of Information

BEG Lecture: Dr. David Arctur-Lecturer,UT School of Information

  Start: November 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm     End: November 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm
 Location:BEG, PRC, Bldg. 130, room 1.202
 Contact:Susan Horvath, susan.horvath@beg.utexas.edu, (512) 475-9220
Bureau of Economic Geology
BEG Main Conference Room, #1.202
Pickle Research Campus
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. David Arctur
Research Fellow, UT Jackson School of Geosciences
Lecturer, UT School of Information
Research/Academic Advocate, Open Geospatial Consortium
https://sites.google.com/site/dkarctur


Think back to a recent, personal brainstorm you had… what made it a brainstorm? Was it at least partly from connections made between concepts, not seen before?

We are in the midst of a global brainstorm engulfing the sciences and industry. Two recent NSF initiatives are good examples: EarthCube and the Research Data Alliance. How do we make this work? How will we even know they’re working? The first signs will be that your own projects lose some of the tedious hurdles you face, just managing data. We can do this.

Come to this seminar with your mind open, ready to share. We’ll talk about EarthCube’s potential, and how we might get there. This isn’t just about EarthCube…




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12:00 pm - UTIG Informal Talk: John Sclater, University of California San Diego

UTIG Informal Talk: John Sclater, University of California San Diego

  Start: November 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Larry Lawver, lawver@ig.utexas.edu, 471-0433
"The Heat Flow Anomaly across the Ocean Continent Transition "

Abstract:

The effect of the relation between heat flow and age for the ocean crust and the increase in radioactivity on the continents tend to counteract each other creating a decrease in heat flow across the ocean continent transition (OCT) at a young margin and an increase in heat flow across an older margin. Recent advances in the heat flow field related to our much better understanding of hydrothermal circulation in the ocean crust and two recent papers show the expected drop or increase in heat flow at the OCT, encouraged us to take a collective approach and look at all published heat flow profiles across the OCT to investigate if there are any processes common to all or a group of the margins.

We examined 16 actual and two constructed profiles across the ocean continent transition (OCT). Nine of these profiles were in marginal basins: six in the western Mediterranean and three on the north margin of the South China Sea. We could not use the measurements in the Mediterranean, because of scatter presumably due to unknown salt movement. Problems with the location of the OCT on the northern South China Sea led to our use of only one profile. In deep water we could use eight profiles that together with the one in the South China Sea led to a total of nine. We examined the difference between the ocean heat flow and that over the stretched margin (?HF-OCT) for all nine profiles.

For the two margins > 40 Ma, ?HT-OCT decreased and for the six older than 115 MA it increased or did not change. All the margins where it did not change were in the Northeastern Atlantic near ocean floor spreading at < 15 mm/yr and close to regions of exhumed ultramafic crust. By invoking the low radioactivity of the ultra mafic rocks at such boundaries or the diaparism of the ultramafics into the much thinned continental crust we were able to account for the lack of change. On one profile, we found convincing evidence for hydrothermal circulation through both the exhumed oceanic and presumed diapiric intruded continental crust.

At the two younger margins we found the abrupt drop in heat flow (HF-OTC) lies 30 to 50 km landward of the seismic OTC. This can only be explained by significant intrusion of magma or exhumation of hot ultra mafic rock into the thinned continent.


4:00 pm - Tech Session- Distinguished Guest Speaker

Tech Session- Distinguished Guest Speaker

  Start: November 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm     End: November 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm
 Location:Boyd Auditorium, JGB 2.324
Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series Presents

Inez Fung, PhD
UC Berkeley

"TBA"



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9:00 am - BEG Friday Seminar Series: Dr. David Pyles, Colorado School of Mines

BEG Friday Seminar Series: Dr. David Pyles, Colorado School of Mines

  Start: November 9, 2012 at 9:00 am     End: November 9, 2012 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Room 1.202
 Contact:Jenny Turner, jenny.turner@beg.utexas.edu, 512/471-2677
Video Streaming: Not available

Title: "Hydrodynamic Fractionation of Minerals in Submarine Fans: Results from physical experiments and the stratigraphic record"

David R. Pyles 1, Jane G. Stammer1, Kyle M. Straub 2
1. Chevron Center of Research Excellence, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
2. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University

Submarine fans contain compensationally stacked channels and lobes that form a distributive, radially dispersive map pattern. Sediment in submarine fans is predominantly delivered by turbidity currents. Grains in the turbidites are longitudinally sorted by size, which is the primary control on settling velocity (ws). However, grain density and shape also dictate ws. Specifically, angular particles have higher drag force (Fg) and therefore lower ws than spheres of equivalent volume; just as spherical, relatively high-density particles have a higher ws than spherical lower-density particles of equivalent volume. Each of the common sandstone forming minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica has a distinctive density due to chemical composition and a distinctive shape partly due to mineral cleavage. Here we use measurements from physical experiments and the stratigraphic record to document the efficacy of turbidity currents to spatially fractionate mineral grains on the basis of grain density and grain shape and we discuss how this process can be applied to address practical geoscience problems.
1) Two physical experiments were conducted in the Tulane University’s Deep-Water basin. Three grain types with similar grain-size distributions were used. The first experiment used equal proportions of spherical high- and low-density (control) grains. The proportion of high- to low-density grains decreased by ~ 50% toward the margins of the deposit. At all locations, high-density grains were smaller than low-density grains; however, when normalized by calculated ws, the populations approximately align, indicating that the different grain types were hydrodynamically equivalent. The second experiment used equal proportions of spherical (control) and angular grains of the same density. The proportion of angular to spherical grains increased by ~ 500% toward the margins of the deposit.
2) The Upper Cretaceous Point Loma Formation, San Diego, California contains turbidite lobes that compensationally stack to build a submarine fan. Spatial variations in the mineralogy of one turbidite bed exposed over a lateral distance of ~ 2.5 km are evident. The amount of feldspar, plagioclase, biotite, and terrestrially derived organic material increases relative to quartz toward the lateral margin of the deposit. These minerals are more angular and/or less dense than quartz. In contrast, the amount of hornblende and ilmenite decreases relative to quartz toward the lateral margin of the bed. These minerals are denser than quartz.
This process is important because large-scale spatial changes in mineralogy, such as those documented herein, can result in spatial changes in primary and secondary porosity, permeability, Young’s modulus and Poisson’s Ratio, which strongly influence the storage capacity and recoverability of fluids in subsurface reservoirs.

10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: Jud Partin, UTIG

UTIG Seminar Series: Jud Partin, UTIG

  Start: November 9, 2012 at 10:30 am     End: November 9, 2012 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Nick Hayman, hayman@ig.utexas.edu, 471-7721
 URL:Event Link
"Reconstructing Rainfall Variability in the Tropical Pacific using Stalagmites"

Abstract:

will present cave stalagmite stable oxygen isotope records (?18O) from the Western Pacific Warm Pool, a major source of heat and water vapor to the atmosphere. Stalagmite ?18O records from Borneo and the Philippines spanning the last 15 kyrs help map the spatial extent, and offer clues about the origin of, the abrupt climate change event known as the Younger Dryas. The stalagmite records also provide insight as to how precessional insolation forcing can alter rainfall associated with the Asian monsoon. A high resolution, sub-annually resolved ?18O record for the last 450 years from Vanuatu, a location whose climate is heavily influenced by variability in the South Pacific Convergence Zone, is dominated by changes in stalagmite ?18O that are large (~1%), repetitious (~50 year periodicity), and generally abrupt (within 5-10 years). These isotopic changes imply abrupt rainfall changes of up to ~1.6m/wet season; changes that can be ~3 times larger than the shift in 1976 commonly associated with a change in phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

12:00 pm - Hydro Brown Bag: Georgianne Moore, TAMU

Hydro Brown Bag: Georgianne Moore, TAMU

  Start: November 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Peter Zamora, pbzamora@utexas.edu, 5127673809

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Gracious Dining

Gracious Dining

  Start: November 12, 2012     End: November 12, 2012
 Location:AT&T Center Room 103
 Contact:Maurine Riess, mriess@jsg.utexas.edu, 5122327673
Jodi Smith of Mannersmith, Inc. will present at our annual etiquette dinner.
AT&T Education & Conference Center
6:30 pm
Room TBA
Registration is required on GeoSource

12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar: Josh Dixon

Soft Rock Seminar: Josh Dixon

  Start: November 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Rattanaporn Fongngern (Jah), rattanapornf@utexas.edu
Shelf-edge deltas: stratigraphic complexity and relationship to deep-water deposition

7:00 pm - Free Film Screening: Switch

Free Film Screening: Switch

  Start: November 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm     End: November 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm
 Location:Student Activity Center Auditorium (SAC 1.402)
 Contact:Marc Airhart, mairhart@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-471-2241
 URL:Event Link
Free screening of the film Switch, a documentary about our energy future, followed by a Q&A with Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology.

Students, come early for free pizza at 6:30pm in the Jackson Geosciences Building Student Center, across the east mall from the Student Activity Center.

Background: In 2009, documentary filmmaker Harry Lynch and geologist Dr. Scott Tinker set out to make a film on our transition from the current fossil fuel dominated energy system to a more diversified system. The goal was not to advocate for one technology over another, not to suggest how the transition should happen -- but to try to determine how it actually would happen, based on scientifically-sound investigation and the practical realities of the world of energy as we discovered them. The result, is Switch. The event, which is free and open to public, is sponsored by the Jackson School of Geosciences and the Austin Geological Society.

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10:30 am - UTIG Informal Talk: Shiguo Wu, Chinese Academy of Sciences

UTIG Informal Talk: Shiguo Wu, Chinese Academy of Sciences

  Start: November 13, 2012 at 10:30 am     End: November 13, 2012 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 2.201, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Craig Fulthorpe, craig@ig.utexas.edu, 471-0459
"Cenozoic Tectonic Evolution of the South China Sea Basin: Advances and Questions"

Abstract:
The extensional model of the South China Sea (SCS) has been widely studied, but is still debated. Analysis of the latest high-quality multi-channel seismic data acquired by the National Basic Research Program of China, together with existing seismic profiles and bathymetry data, reveal asymmetry between the conjugate margins of the SCS. Two interpreted strike-slip faults divide the SCS into three basins: the Zhongnan Fault separates the eastern basin (EB) from the southwest basin (SWB), and the Xinin Fault subdivides the SWB into eastern and western components (E-SWB and W-SWB). Each of these sub-basins has totally different structural features on their conjugate margins. A detachment fault is identified within the crust on the southern margin and is believed to play an important role in the Cenozoic evolution of the SCS. Referring to extant and well-recognized extension models of detachment plus pure shear, a differential extensional model is proposed for the rifting of the SCS. Because of different lateral mass transfer between the observed upper detachment fault and inferred lower ductile extensional regions, a marginal plateau (Liyue basin) and outer rise (Zhenghe massif) developed on the lower plate margin of the EB and E-SWB, respectively. Several geological and geophysical features indicate that the W-SWB may be a failed rift, with no formation of oceanic crust.


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4:00 pm - Tech Session

Tech Session

  Start: November 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm     End: November 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm
 Location:Boyd Auditorium, JGB 2.324
"Impact of Ocean Eddies on Large Scale Climate"

Benjamin Kirtman
The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmosphere
University of Miami

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9:00 am - BEG Friday Seminar Series: Dr. Brad Wolaver, Res. Assoc., BEG

BEG Friday Seminar Series: Dr. Brad Wolaver, Res. Assoc., BEG

  Start: November 16, 2012 at 9:00 am     End: November 16, 2012 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room 1.202
 Contact:Jenny Turner, jenny.turner@beg.utexas.edu, 512/471-2677

Video Streaming Link: http://mediasite.beg.utexas.edu/Media/Viewer/?peid=13725bcf74ba464f871bfbc59e3479fe

Speaker: Dr. Brad Wolaver
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology
Jackson School of Geosciences
The University of Texas at Austin
Brad.wolaver@beg.utexas.edu

TITLE: “Potential Economic Impacts of Instream Flows for Central Texas Freshwater Mussels”
Brad D. Wolaver1, Cassandra E. Cook1, David L. Sunding2, Stephen F. Hamilton3, Bridget R. Scanlon1, Michael H. Young1, Xianli Xu1, Robert C. Reedy1
(1) Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
(2) Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
(3) Orfalea College of Business, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

Texas water resources already taxed by drought are becoming more important as population grows. Environmental flows (EF) for aquatic habitat preservation could further reduce supplies if five Central Texas freshwater unionid mussel species are listed as endangered. This study estimates potential economic impacts water shortages induced by EF for mussels in Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe-San Antonio River basins (36% Texas area,~95,000 square miles). Water supply reductions for EFs were simulated with Water Availability Model, aggregated by county, and categorized by: (1) Steam electric, (2) Commercial and industrial, (3) Municipal, and (4) Agriculture. Counties were identified with surface water supply deficits and power plant cooling reservoir operating level frequency changes were calculated. Economic impacts were estimated with and without water transfers (“integrated market” and “segmented market”). EF- impacted counties already had supply issues. Reductions ranged from 3–33% to 13–67% of baseline stream flow under low and high EF scenarios (95% and 75% exceedances probabilities, respectively). Brazos River basin has no shortages. Colorado River basin shortages include Tom Green (55,000 acre-feet/year, af/yr) and Wharton Counties (82,000 af/yr) in worst-case. Groundwater imports reduce Bexar (74,000 af/yr) and Medina County (4,000 af/yr) Guadalupe-San Antonio River basin shortages to 8,000 af/yr. Bexar County power plant reservoir supply reductions cause economic impacts up to 7M if no water transfers occur. Non-power economic impacts can be almost entirely mitigated by water transfers, which reduce worst-case total losses from M to .6M. Establishing water markets (and also including conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater, aquifer storage and recovery, interbasin transfers, and conservation) should mitigate most economic impacts if mussels are listed. In light of Texas’ water supply challenges, approaches need to be developed for environmental flows and to have a broad range of strategies to decrease any economic impacts related to flow reductions.


10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: Josef Dufek, Georgia Institute of Technology

UTIG Seminar Series: Josef Dufek, Georgia Institute of Technology

  Start: November 16, 2012 at 10:30 am     End: November 16, 2012 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Nick Hayman, hayman@ig.utexas.edu, 471-7721
 URL:Event Link
"Multiphase Magmatism: From Crustal Construction to Eruptive Dynamics"

Abstract:

Many processes in nature involve multiple, mechanically distinct phases: for instance, crystals settling in magmatic systems and ash particles interacting with a turbulent gas phase in an explosive volcanic eruptions. The interaction between these phases shape the landscape of all terrestrial planets, dictate interactions at the interface of the solid surface and the atmosphere and lead to the large scale differentiation of Earth and other planets. Examples of multiphase flows include explosive volcanic eruptions, Martian dust storms, sediment-choked rivers, crystal and bubble-laden magma chambers and marine turbidity currents. Although extremely common, the cumulative expression of numerous particle-particle and particle-fluid interactions can produce emergent meso-scale structure and self-organization that is difficult to predict.

I will discuss the use of multiphase models in addressing the different scales of fluid motion in magmatic multiphase flow as well as how they can provide a platform to integrate microphysical, analogue experiments and observational constraints. Microphysical experiments can provide the necessary closure for statistical mechanics based models, and provide a way to examine grain-scale processes in a probabilistic manner. Such small-scale processes can dramatically alter the flow dynamics.

One of the primary goals and utilities of this combined approach is that it enables comparison with diverse datasets, integrating previously disparate observations. In this talk I will illustrate three types of comparison that cover very different dynamic ranges and observation types. Compositional gaps, or ‘Daly Gaps’ in magmatic series have long been recognized, and here I will discuss the use of a combined multiphase dynamics and thermodynamics approach to predict the probability of gaps forming in different magmatic environments. These dynamics can be used to explain geochemical trends in individual magmatic environments as well as broader trends in the vertical structure of the crust. Higher in the crustal column, the high energy density of volcanic conduits can cause particles to break above the traditionally defined fragmentation front. This style of break-up or, granular disruption can have a first-order control on the textures and sizes of particles exiting the vent providing a link between deposits and subsurface dynamics. Importantly granular disruption also strongly influences the dynamics and amount of fine-grained ash that can be injected into the atmosphere. Finally I will discuss experiments and numerical calculations used to link processes in eruptive plumes to satellite observations and deposits. By using an integrated lab, field and numerical modeling approach we can better describe near-field plume sources of ash, one of the biggest sources of error in current dispersal forecasts such as those associated with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, and provide an understanding of the microphysics necessary to interpret the next generation of in situ measurements including concentration and electric fields.

12:00 pm - Hydro Brown Bag: Wendy Robertson, UT

Hydro Brown Bag: Wendy Robertson, UT

  Start: November 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Peter Zamora, pbzamora@utexas.edu, 5127673809
Nitrogen and Recharge Dynamics in West Texas Aquifer: A Talk in Four Parts

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12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar: Man Liang

Soft Rock Seminar: Man Liang

  Start: November 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Rattanaporn Fongngern (Jah), rattanapornf@utexas.edu
'A reduced-complexity model for delta formation based on particle-directed-random-walk'

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3:30 pm - MS Thesis Tuesday Event

MS Thesis Tuesday Event

  Start: November 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm     End: November 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm
 Location:JGB
3:30 - 3:45 Coffee (Outside Boyd Auditorium)
3:45 - 4:05 Welcome and Introductions (Boyd Auditorium)
4:10 - 5:10 Presentations (JGB 3.222 & Boyd Auditorium)
5:15 - 6:30 BBQ Dinner (Holland Student Center)

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12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar: Maureen Levoir

Soft Rock Seminar: Maureen Levoir

  Start: November 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm     End: November 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Rattanaporn Fongngern (Jah), rattanapornf@utexas.edu
Tectonic Control on Deposition and Evolution of the Baranof Fan, Gulf of Alaska

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10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: Nicolas Waldmann, Haifa University

UTIG Seminar Series: Nicolas Waldmann, Haifa University

  Start: November 27, 2012 at 10:30 am     End: November 27, 2012 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, *Rm 2.201*, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Jamie Austin, Jamie@ig.utexas.edu, 471-0450
 URL:Event Link
"Tales of a Lake: Glacial Evolution and Sedimentary Processes in Western Norway"

Abstract:

Valleys, lakes and fjords are spectacular features of the Norwegian landscape. Yet, their beauty often contrasts with the natural hazard that they represent. Three lacustrine systems in the Nordfjord region (Western Norway) have been surveyed combining simultaneously 3.5 kHz (pinger) single-channel and 1 in3 airgun multi-channel systems. Amalgamating these data with information retrieved from sediment coring provide a string tool for calibrating the geophysical information and for chronologically constrain the different units uncovered in the lake basin. The seismostratigraphic analysis of the geophysical data is interpreted to reflect glaciomarine sedimentation during ice retreat and transition to marine and lacustrine sedimentation as glacio-isostatic rebound turned the fjord into a land-locked lake. In both the marine and lacustrine records there is evidence for mass-wasting activity in the form of rock avalanches, debris-flows and turbidites and other forms of rapidly deposited layers (RDL). One of the thickest (>3m) recorded RDL in these lacustrine basins is the 8180-8030 cal yr BP Storegga tsunami event. Sedimentological and geochemical analyses of the Storegga RDL provide important insights into the mechanisms and environmental behavior of a lacustrine setting threaten under such geohazard.

January 15th, 1905 and September 13th, 1936 are recorded in Norwegian history as dates of occurrence of the most devastating natural hazards in modern times. During these two catastrophes, large rock-falls collapsed into the valley provoking tsunami waves as high as 74 m and killing all together more than 135 people. Evidence for these disasters appears in the seismic record as well as older unknown events preceding historical times. During the 1936 event over one million m3 of rock material collapsed into the lake from Mount Ramnefjellet, resulting in the formation of a turbidite, seiche and slide deposits that covered almost all the basin floor reaching up to 3 m thickness.

Using a physically-based mathematical model we have numerically simulated the 1936 landslide and related tsunami in order to better understand the effects of such events on a small lacustrine basin. This kind of dataset is the first in Norwegian lakes providing valuable information that can be further amalgamated with other historical, marine and terrestrial records. The geophysical data permit extending the identification of mass wasting events beyond the historical record providing a model that can be applied to comparable basins at various temporal and geographical scales.

4:00 pm - Tech Session- Distinguished Guest Speaker

Tech Session- Distinguished Guest Speaker

  Start: November 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm     End: November 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm
 Location:Boyd Auditorium, JGB 2.324
"Interpreting Sea Level and Stratigraphic Records Over Long Time-scales on a Dynamic Earth"

Mike Gurnis
Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

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4:00 pm - Tech Session

Tech Session

  Start: November 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm     End: November 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm
 Location:Boyd Auditorium, JGB 2.324
TBA

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9:00 am - BEG Friday Seminar Series: Jim Markello, ExxonMobil, Houston, TX

BEG Friday Seminar Series: Jim Markello, ExxonMobil, Houston, TX

  Start: November 30, 2012 at 9:00 am     End: November 30, 2012 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG room 1.202
 Contact:Jenny Turner, jenny.turner@beg.utexas.edu, 512/471-2677
Video Streaming not available for this seminar

Title: “A New Depositional Model and New Sequence Stratigraphic Architecture for the Lisburne Wahoo Reservoir (Early Pennsylvanian) North Slope Alaska, USA”

James R. Markello ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
Richard J. Wachtman ExxonMobil Production Company
Aaron R. Liesch ExxonMobil Development Company
Richard J. Paterson ExxonMobil International Limited
Hugh Nicholson BP Alaska
David L. Boyer Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska
Mark Swanson BP Alaska

Abstract
Fluid flow in the Wahoo Reservoir of Lisburne Field is differentially controlled by matrix reservoir quality, reservoir architecture, and overprinting of faults and fractures across the field. To understand and predict specific fluid flow pathways and field performance, the multi-company team completed an updated reservoir characterization with a new depositional model, new sequence stratigraphic-based reservoir architecture, and new fracture assessment by reinterpreting cores, logs, and seismic. The new interpretations were the basis for populating new sector and full-field geologic models with matrix and fracture properties. These scaled geologic models were dynamically simulated and achieved reasonable performance history matches.

The multi-billion barrel OOIP Lisburne Field (27.5km max length; 14.2km max width; ~360km2) was discovered in 1968 by the Prudhoe Bay State #1 well. The field is an oil accumulation (27oAPI gravity) with gas-cap, and is operated by BP with ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron as majority working interest owners. It consists of the Wahoo (Early Pennsylvanian) and Alapah (Late Mississippian) mixed carbonate-clastic-evaporite reservoirs. To date, six delineation wells and 95 development wells have been drilled from six surface pads (L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, and LGI-1). Field production is by pressure depletion and gas-cap expansion. First oil was produced in 1985. Field production peaked in 1988 at about 47KBD and declined to under 10KBD by 1997. Since then, production has varied from 5 to 13KBD. Well tests, spinner surveys, and temperature logs have been run in various wells, and tracer experiments were conducted between wells of the L2 drilling pad. L2 pad was the location for a water injection pilot from 1988-90. Water injection pilots commenced in 2011 for pressure maintenance and secondary recovery in the L3 and L5 pads.

The updated 2009-2011 reservoir description included new depositional, diagenetic and stratigraphy syntheses that incorporate 1) known global-scale geologic constrains of Early Pennsylvanian-age Pangean-assembly tectonics, paleogeography-directed warm vs. cold-water ocean circulation, climate-driven high-amplitude high-frequency icehouse eustasy, and 2) concepts of sequence stratigraphy, the stratigraphic hierarchy, syn-tectonic differential subsidence on an actively deforming distally-steepened ramp, mixed carbonate-clastic depositional facies systems with reciprocal and coeval sedimentation styles, and tectonic-driven surface and burial episodes of diagenesis. Four key sedimentologic problems required solutions before the new sequence stratigraphic architecture could be constructed. The focus of the talk will be on these four problems and how the answers were used in the construction of the new reservoir architecture. These include: 1) How did the complexly mixed carbonate-clastic depositional system of the Wahoo Formation work? 2) How can strata and facies composed of warm-water ooids, coated-grains, and photozoan faunal grains be interbedded with strata and facies composed of cool-water heterozoan faunal grains? 3) On a “low angle ramp” how do exposure surfaces observed in one well relate to “coeval” lower shoreface to open shelf strata in adjacent wells? And 4) Why are there no reefs or carbonate buildups of any kind present in the Wahoo Formation?

10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: Michael Gurnis, Caltech

UTIG Seminar Series: Michael Gurnis, Caltech

  Start: November 30, 2012 at 10:30 am     End: November 30, 2012 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Rd, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Sean Gulick/Nick Hayman, sean@ig.utexas.edu/hayman@ig.utexas.edu, 471-0483/471-7721
 URL:Event Link
"Trench Rollback: From the Birth of Subduction to Global Plate Motions"

Abstract:

I will address issues associated with the forces driving plate tectonics and initiating new subduction zones from two perspectives. A common thread is the origin and evolution of the intense back arc spreading and rapid roll back associated with some ocean-ocean subduction zones. First, I will look at the dynamics driving global plate motions. Then, I will look at the time-dependence of trench rollback regionally. Plate tectonics is regulated by driving and resisting forces concentrated at plate boundaries, but observationally constrained high-resolution models of global mantle flow have remained a computational challenge. We capitalized on advances in adaptive mesh refinement algorithms on parallel computers to simulate global mantle flow by incorporating plate motions, with individual plate margins resolved down to a scale of 1 kilometer. Cold thermal anomalies within the lower mantle couple into oceanic plates through narrow high-viscosity slabs, altering the velocity of oceanic plates. Back-arc extension and slab rollback are emergent consequences of slab descent in the upper mantle. I will show that most back arc extension follows subduction initiation and show how this arises in dynamic models. I will show how we moving global flow models from forward to inverse models.


  
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