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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.

Grant DE-FG02-03ER15430 Predicting Fracture Porosity Evolution in Sandstone

Grant DE-FG02-03ER15430 Predicting Fracture Porosity Evolution in Sandstone

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.

The SDI Thesis and Dissertation page lists current student research topics as well as past graduate student and postdoctoral fellow projects and where students and postdoctoral fellows went after their time in the program.

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
Petrologic and outcrop studies at Bureau of Economic Geology Geochemistry and Mechanics
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

Cooperating Departments & Research Units

Structural Diagenesis Initiative Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences


Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering


Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

 

Structural Diagenesis Theme Issue - 2010 Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, Theme Issue
2010 Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, Theme Issue
Structural Diagenesis Hedberg - 2004 AAPG Research Conference.  Structural Diagenesis: Fundamental Advances and New Applications from a Holistic View of Mechanical and Chemical Processes
2004 AAPG Research Conference. Structural Diagenesis: Fundamental Advances and New Applications from a Holistic View of Mechanical and Chemical Processes
GSA Structural Diagenesis Award - The award highlights the need to break down disciplinary boundaries between structural geology and sedimentary petrology
The award highlights the need to break down disciplinary boundaries between structural geology and sedimentary petrology
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
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
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