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What is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative?

Structural diagenesis is a new perspective on interaction of mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. SDI promotes the growth of this new discipline.

Research and systematic student training in principles of both structure and diagenesis is the key to unlocking scientific knowledge about postdepositional processes in sedimentary basins.

The Structural Diagenesis Initiative—SDI—promotes a merger of these disciplines and a new training paradigm in sedimentary geochemistry and structural geology.

The initial focus of the SDI is on processes that systematically create and destroy fracture porosity and that influence fracture size and spatial distribution. Fluid flow in fractured rock is an increasingly central issue in recovering water and hydrocarbon supplies and geothermal energy, in predicting flow of pollutants underground, in engineering structures, and in understanding large-scale crustal behaviour. Our cross-disciplinary research is providing fundamental advances in our understanding of how the diversity of natural structural patterns evolves.

The Structural Diagenesis Initiative effort is supported by Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, Grant No. DE-FG02-03ER15430, ‘Predicting Fracture Porosity Evolution in Sandstone‘.

From a practical standpoint this research is leading to better predictions of fracture pattern attributes in the subsurface where sparse sampling is the rule.

Central to the success of the initiative is work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Grant No. DE-FG02-03ER15430.

The Jackson School of Geosciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering are supporting an already strong cross disciplinary and cross unit program in fundamental and applied fracture and rock-property evolution research.

Results are reviewed by industry representatives of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium that has been funded since 1998 by industry.

Collaboration across The University of Texas at Austin

The Structural Diagenesis Initiative is a collaboration that includes researchers and students from the Cockrell School of Engineering Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and from the Jackson School of Geosciences Bureau of Economic Geology and Department of Geological Sciences.

More information about the collaboration can be found here:

Brittle Structure Research at Department of Geological Sciences

Engineering and Geomechanical Modeling Research at Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering

Field-Based Structural Diagenesis Studies

Fluid Inclusion Analysis Program

Shale – Mudrock Fracture Research Program

Fractured Carbonate Rocks Program

Diagenetic Modeling and Reservoir Quality Prediction

Fault Rock Diagenesis and Fault Zone Attributes

Pore-Scale Research

Hydrothermal Laboratory at the Bureau of Economic Geology

Background information and related pages.

Grant No. DE-FG02-03ER15430, Predicting Fracture Porosity Evolution in Sandstone

2015 GSA Symposium - Brittle Structures of Rocky Mountain Reservoirs and Reservoir Analogs
GSA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Casper, Wyoming, May 21. Contact S. Laubach for information
2015 GSA Symposium
Brittle Structures of Rocky Mountain Reservoirs and Reservoir Analogs
GSA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Casper, Wyoming, May 21. Contact S. Laubach for information
2014 GSA Session - Applications of Structural Geology and Geomechanics in the Petroleum Industry.T190. This session highlights structural geology and geomechanics research with strong petroleum industry applicability. P. Hennings, S. Davis, & S.E. Laubach, chairs
Applications of Structural Geology and Geomechanics in the Petroleum Industry.T190. This session highlights structural geology and geomechanics research with strong petroleum industry applicability. P. Hennings, S. Davis, & S.E. Laubach, chairs
2014 TLE Theme Issue - Theme section of TLE on Hydrofracturing: Modern & Novel Methods, October 2014. Contact J. Olson or S. Laubach for more information.
Theme section of TLE on Hydrofracturing: Modern & Novel Methods, October 2014. Contact J. Olson or S. Laubach for more information.
2013 GSA Session - Structural Geology and Geomechanics in the Petroleum Industry. J.S. Davis, P. Hennings, and S.E. Laubach, advocates & session chairs
Structural Geology and Geomechanics in the Petroleum Industry. J.S. Davis, P. Hennings, and S.E. Laubach, advocates & session chairs
2012 GSA Session - The Role of Structure and Diagenesis in Governing Fluid Storage and Flow in Deep Sedimentary Basins with Applications to Unconventional Oil and Gas Reservoirs, Nov. 6, 2012, Stephen E. Laubach, Christoph Hilgers, M. A. Ellis, and Mark A. Evans, Presiding
The Role of Structure and Diagenesis in Governing Fluid Storage and Flow in Deep Sedimentary Basins with Applications to Unconventional Oil and Gas Reservoirs, Nov. 6, 2012, Stephen E. Laubach, Christoph Hilgers, M. A. Ellis, and Mark A. Evans, Presiding
2014 FRAC Meeting - The 2014 Fracture Research & Application Consortium meeting held September 15-17 in the Texas Hill Country. See the FRAC site for details.
The 2014 Fracture Research & Application Consortium meeting held September 15-17 in the Texas Hill Country. See the FRAC site for details.
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