News

2014 Highlights

Fracture Diagenesis Paper Published

Our paper describing a new model that accounts for crystal growth patterns and internal textures in quartz cement in fractures, including massive sealing deposits, thin rinds (or veneers) on open fracture surfaces and bridge structures that span otherwise open fractures is now published in the GSA Bulletin.

Lander R.H., and Laubach, S.E., 2014, Insights into rates of fracture growth and sealing from a model for quartz cementation in fractured sandstones. Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B31092.1, published online October 2014. The paper–published open access–can be viewed at the GSA Bulletin.

Petroleum Geomechanics and Fracture Interpretation Issue

Laubach, Marrett, Olson and Fomel are editing a Special Section on petroleum geomechanics and fracture interpretation for the SEG-AAPG journal INTERPRETATION. Papers will be due in April 2015, and the publication date is November 2015. If you are interested in joining the editorial team, contact Steve Laubach.

Interpretation of petroleum geomechanics and fracture data is increasingly central in many exploration and development situations. This issue will investigate petroleum geomechanics interpretations, encompassing examples from structural geology, rock mechanics, petroleum engineering, and geophysics to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs. Topics to be covered include the exploration, assessment and production phases of petroleum reservoir development.

GSA Symposium 2015–Brittle Structure of Rocky Mountain Reservoirs & Analogs

2015 Rockies GSA Symposium

S.E. Laubach is organizing a Symposium for the Rocky Mountain GSA Section Meeting in Casper, Wyoming in May, 2015. The topic is Brittle Structures of Rocky Mountain Reservoirs and Reservoir Analogs.

Laubach appointed to Journal of Structural Geology Editorial Board

Steve Laubach has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Structural Geology. This journal is the leading venue for publication of structural geologic research.

The Structural Diagenesis Initiative currently has two papers in press in the journal, one of which–a review of microfractures–is the second most downloaded paper for this journal for the past several months.

In 2010 the journal published our review of the need for structural diagenesis research (Laubach, S.E, P. Eichhubl, C. Hilgers, R.H. Lander, 2010, Structural diagenesis. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, p. 1866-1872. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2010.10.001). The publisher recognized this paper as among the top 20 cited papers in the journal since 2009. Two other SDI papers are on this list.

SDI researchers have published many papers in the journal. A notable contribution is by SDI scientist Randy Marrett. His paper with Rick Almendinger on kinematic analysis of fault-slip data is the 18th most-highly cited paper in the history of the journal.

Hydrofracturing–modern & novel methods

The special section of SEG’s journal The Leading Edge edited by Jon Olson and Steve Laubach will appear in the October 2014 issue. The special section topic is modern and novel methods in hydraulic fracturing.

The rate of success in many unconventional plays for oil and gas depend strongly on finding the sweet spots, particularly with regard to TOC and maturation.  However, just as important is determining where the wellbore and the hydraulic fractures are placed during drilling and completions.  The articles of this special session treat the topic of detecting (or diagnosing) wellbore and fracture placement, using novel hydraulic fracture characterization techniques related to passive or active monitoring during completions or reservoir performance diagnostics once the well is put on production.

Investigation of the interaction of natural and hydraulic fractures is an ongoing part of the SDI program.

Shell Research Award

 

Shell Outstanding Researcher Award 2014

Congratulations to Nike Tokan-Lawal, M.S. student in the FRAC and SDI program, who will be distinguished with the Shell Outstanding Researcher Award, in recognition of her work on the SUTUR project. Nike’s work crosses the disciplinary boundary between geoscience and engineering. She recently presented some aspects of her thesis work at the URTEC meeting.

Tokan-Lawal et al., 2014, Understanding tortuosity and permeability variations in naturally fractured reservoirs: Niobrara Formation. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, SPE-2014-1922870-MS. doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2014-1922870

16th Annual Fracture Research & Application Consortium Meeting

Scheduled for Camp Balcones Springs in the the Texas Hill Country September 15th through 17th, the meeting will feature a field workshop on new approaches to spatial organization and an introduction to new software for quantifying fracture clustering. Many SDI students will present their work to a select industry audience of structure and exploration & development experts. See the Events page for more information.

2014 Field Expedition to the Northern Tetons, Wyoming

Field party by starlight

A successful field expedition to NW Wyoming was concluded in late August. Lauren Copley’s field party examined fractures in Cambrian rocks as part of a National Park Service sanctioned research project. The study is aimed at understanding deformation patterns associated with basement-involved reverse faults. Lauren Copley will present preliminary results of the study at this year’s Geological Society of America meeting in Vancouver. The image, by Eva Laubach, field assistant and expedition photographer, shows the field party preparing to set out, at 5 am under starlight and moonlight, on a 16 mile hike covering more than 5000 ft of elevation gain to view exposures deep in the range. More information and photographs will be provided on the SDI field expeditions page.

2014 International Year of Crystallography

The International Year of Crystallography 2014 (IYCr2014) commemorates the centennial of X-ray diffraction and the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s observation in 1611 of the symmetrical form of ice crystals, which began the wider study of the role of symmetry in matter.

Laubach and Lander inspect quartz

The Structural Diagenesis Initiative is doing it’s part by helping to rewrite the book on how quartz — the most important mineral in the Earth’s crust — grows in fractures:

  • Lander R.H., and Laubach, S.E., in press, Insights into rates of fracture growth and sealing from a model for quartz cementation in fractured sandstones. Geological Society of America Bulletin. | A general model for quartz growth in fractures.
  • Fall, A., Eichhubl, P., Bodnar, R. J., Laubach, S. E., Davis, J. S., 2014, Natural hydraulic fracturing of tight-gas sandstone reservoirs, Piceance Basin, Colorado. Geological Society of America Bulletin. doi:10.1130/B31021.1. | Includes accounts of quartz growth in fractures throughout a wide area of the Rockies over tens of millions of years.

Recognition for Slow Fracture Opening Account | Citations

According to the Geological Society of America, as of June 2014, the SDI paper describing A 48 m.y. history of fracture opening, temperature, and fluid pressure: Cretaceous Travis Peak Formation, East Texas basin, is the third mostly highly cited recent article in the Geological Society of America Bulletin. The paper by S.P. Becker, P. Eichhubl, S.E. Laubach, R.M. Reed, R.H. Lander, and R.J. Bodnar was published July 2010, in v. 122, no. 7-8, p. 1081-1093. doi:10.1130/B26404.1. The GSA list is here.

Lander: Distinguished Lecturer 2015-2016

R. H. Lander was named AAPG Distinguished Lecturer for 2015-2016. This recognition marks an unprecedented eight distinguished lecture tours by SDI project scientists that have been sponsored by a professional society (and 9 overall) since initiation of the project.

Bonnell and Lander

Rob also has the distinction of having edited a 2010 special issue of AAPG Bulletin that produced six of the ten AAPG Bulletin Notable Papers for that year including the paper by Rob Lander and Linda Bonnell that won the AAPG Pratt Award for best paper in the Bulletin.

Top Downloads: Microfracture Review

Microfractures: A Review is on the June 2014 top down loads list for Journal of Structural Geology.

As of August 2014, #2 on downloads list.

Down load and read the article here.

  • Anders, M. H., Laubach, S. E., and Scholz, C. H., 2014, Microfractures: A review. Journal of Structural Geology. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.05.011

The review paper provides a historical perspective on microfracture research and an appreciation of future research directions. Among the topics discussed are experimentally produced microfractures, paleostress and microfractures, scaling of microfracture aperture and length, microfractures in shale, sealing of microfractures, and an assessment of geomechanical and geochemical interaction in microfracture development.

Hydrofracturing: Modern & Novel Methods

J. E. Olson and S. E. Laubach are editing a special issue of The Leading Edge on hydrofracturing technology. Final papers are due in June, and the volume will be published in the Fall.

Progress Report Issued on Seismic Diffraction Imaging for Fracture Characterization

A report on our ongoing work to improve fracture characterization with seismic diffraction imaging has been issued. The report covers the theory and practice of diffraction imaging, fracture modeling in support of the research effort, and geologic calibration. The entire report and related slide sets can be found on the FRAC site.

  • Fomel, S., Eichhubl, P., Klokov, A., Olson, J., Sheibani, F., Laubach, S.E., T. Weisenberger, T., Hooker, J. N., Fall, A., 2014, Multiazimuth Seismic Diffraction Imaging for Fracture Characterization in Low-Permeability Gas Formations, Report, 08122.53, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, 168 p.

Geology of the Haynesville Published

Julia Gale and Ursula Hammes edited recently published AAPG Memoir 105, Geology of the Haynesville Gas Shale in East Texas and West Louisiana, 2014. More information and links on the SDI publication page.

Publication Award 2014

John N. Hooker has been awarded the Jackson School Publication Bronze Award for student-authored publication and the Best Student Paper Award in the JSG Energy Theme for Fracture-aperture size–frequency, spatial distribution, and growth processes in strata-bounded and non-strata-bounded fractures, Cambrian Mesón Group, NW Argentina. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 54, p. 54-71. doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2013.06.011. John’s dissertation advisers S.E. Laubach and R. Marrett are co-authors. Hooker is currently on the research staff at Oxford University. Read the paper at publisher’s site.

Olson SPE Distinguished Lecture Tour Underway 2014-2015

Jon Olson’s SPE DL tour is underway. Contact Olson for schedule information.

May: Upcoming Presentations

  • Rob Lander presents A Model for Quartz Cementation in Fractured Sandstones at the Geological Society, London, on May 29 at the Reservoir Quality of Clastic and Carbonate Rocks: Analysis, Modelling and Prediction meeting. Rob is a co-chair of the meeting. More information is on the Geological Society site.
  • Steve Laubach presents Rates of Fracture Array Growth at the Basic Energy Sciences Geoscience PI Symposium in Gaithersburg on May 16.

Interpretation

S.E. Laubach joined the editorial board of the SEG-AAPG journal INTERPRETATION.

Laubach is also editing a theme issue on “Fractures”. Manuscripts are due on the 1st of  October.

A theme issue on “Geomechanics” is in the planning stages.

Review: Advances in Carbonate Exploration & Reservoir Analysis

Read the review of Geological Society Special Publication 370 in the Geoscientist. The volume was co-edited by SDI researcher Laubach and contains our paper on dolostone fracture diagenesis and scaling (Hooker et al., 2012).

Highly Cited since 2009

Three project papers have been recognized as among the top 25 most highly cited papers since 2009 by the publisher of Journal of Structural Geology.

  • Pure and shear-enhanced compaction bands in Aztec Sandstone. Eichhubl, Hooker, Laubach | 2010
  • Aperture-size scaling variations in a low-strain opening-mode fracture set, Cozzette Sandstone, Colorado. Hooker, Gale, Gomez, Laubach, Marrett | 2009
  • Structural diagenesis. Laubach, Eichhubl, Hilgers, Lander | 2010

Jon Olson promoted to Professor | PGE

Congratulations to Jon Olson on his promotion to full professor. Olson will be on the road as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2014. Contact SPE for Olson’s speaking schedule. Slides are available on the FRAC web site.

2013 Highlights

Olson to deliver SPE Distinguished Lecture Tour 2014-2015

Jon Olson has been invited to deliver an SPE International Distinguished Lecture tour for 2014-2015. The topic is hydraulic fracturing in naturally fractured reservoirs, which builds on what has been learned in our Basic Energy Sciences program. This recognition marks seven distinguished lecture tours by Structural Diagenesis Initiative scientists that have been sponsored by a professional society (and 8 overall) since initiation of the SDI program.

SDI/FRAC Student Event Rescheduled and Research Colloquium Planned

New SDI Student Event and FRAC Picnic date is Saturday, February 1st, 2014. A research colloquium on incorporation of diagenesis into geomechanical models will be held on Friday, January 31 at a location TBD. Contact Esti Ukar, Andras Fall or Nike Tokan-Lawal for event information .

Highly Cited Papers in JSG since 2008

Two project papers have been recognized as among the mostly highly cited since 2008 by the publisher of Journal of Structural Geology.

  • Pure and shear-enhanced compaction bands in Aztec Sandstone v. 32/12, December 2010, p. 1873-1886. Eichhubl, P. | Hooker, J.N. | Laubach, S.E.
  • Aperture-size scaling variations in a low-strain opening-mode fracture set, Cozzette Sandstone, Colorado v. 31/7, July 2009, p. 707-718. Hooker, J.N. | Gale, J.F.W. | Gomez, L.A. | Laubach, S.E. | Marrett, R.

New Developments in Spatial Scaling

Advancements are being made on the initiative to understand the spatial arrangement of fractures. Contact Randy Marrett about progress on Spatial Scaling software testing.

Hottest Downloads 2013

A paper by industry research partner Rick Schultz with co-author J.E. Olson is listed as number 1 on the top 25 list of downloads for the Journal of Structural Geology January to March 2013. Statistical tests of scaling relationships for geologic structures, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 48, March 2013, p. 85-94 | by Schultz, R.A., Klimczak, C., Fossen, H., Olson, J.E., Exner, U., Reeves, D.M., Soliva, R.

Gale AAPG Distinguished Lecture tour

Julia F.W. Gale has been named an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer. Her lectures will describe the SD initiative’s work in shale/mudstone fracture systems worldwide. This recognition marks six distinguished lecture tours by SD initiative scientists that have been sponsored by a professional society (and 7 overall) since initiation of the SDI program | Julia’s slides can be found on the FRAC website | Tour information

Mechanics & Diagenesis

Notable Papers 2005-2009

The AAPG Bulletin recently instituted recognition of notable papers published between 2005 to 2009. The top ten list for each year is based in part on a review of citation counts three years after publication of the paper and on content review by the Bulletin’s Editorial Board.

Six SD initiative papers are listed, including the top paper for 2009: Natural fracture characterization in tight gas sandstones: Integrating mechanics and diagenesis: Jon E. Olson, Stephen E. Laubach, & Robert H. Lander, AAPG Bulletin, v. 93, Issue: 11, Pages: 1535-1549, DOI: 10.1306/08110909100 | Initiative papers are listed on the Publications page.

SEG Workshop 2013

The geology of natural fractures: What we need to detect and characterize, S.E. Laubach, leadoff talk: at SEG meeting, Houston. Workshop: ‘Are we able to detect and characterize natural fractures?’ organized by Sayers, Tura, and  Gaiser | September 27 | Slides on FRAC Reports

AAPG Petroleum Structural Geology & Geomechanics

AAPG is considering forming a new technical division. Read Steve Laubach’s comments as a member of the AAPG Executive Committee on the initiative in the February 2013 The Delegate’s Voice (pdf) | Petroleum Structure & Geomechanics | Congratulations on the foundation of AAPG’s newest technical division!

AAPG Charles Taylor Fellows Lecture

Rob Lander presented the first annual AAPG Charles Taylor Fellowship Award Lecture in Houston on February 4. The lecture and dinner were open to the public. For more information see the January issue of AAPG Explorer. The  title of Rob’s talk was The Message is the Medium: Reconciling Petrology and Rock Physics Models. More information on Rob’s meditation on petrophysics, structural diagenesis, reservoir quality and the future of soft rock geology can be found on the FRAC site.

New students in SDI program 2013 | See Dissertation & Thesis

2012 Highlights

Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis

Geological Society Special Publication 370, edited by Garland, Neilson, Laubach and Whidden, is now online in GSL’s Lyell Collection.

Unconventional Resources Technology Conference

S.E. Laubach  is a Theme Chair for AAPG’s  Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC). 12-13 August 2013 in Denver. Abstracts were due 12 December 2012.

AAPG Distinguished Lecture 2011-12

S.E. Laubach  presented AAPG Distinguished Lectures on Structural Diagenesis. For more  information see the AAPG web site | See Laubach’s talk at CSPG

Calgary CSPG Lecture 2011-12 | Jon Olson’s talk at CSPG

FRAC Marcellus field trip | Field guide & photos

2012 Pratt Award for best paper in the AAPG Bulletin To Rob Lander and Linda Bonnell for their 2010 paper in AAPG Bulletin, vol. 94, p. 1161-1187, entitled A model for fibrous illite nucleation and growth in sandstones. Rob and Linda are co-founders of Geocosm LLC and Research Fellows with the Structural Diagenesis Initiative.
SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering | S. E. Laubach has been appointed an Associate Editor for this journal.

Most viewed: Ellis et al. 2012 Journal of the Geological Society | Maggie Ellis’ paper has been climbing the ‘Most Viewed’ list for the Journal of the Geological Society, London, and in December was number 10 on the list, which is based on downloads from the Geoscience World site. View Maggie’s paper at GSW.

2011 Highlights

2011 Bureau of Economic Geology Publication Award

Recipients of the 2011 award are Gale, J.F., Lander, R.H., Reed, R.M., and Laubach, S.E., 2010, for “Modeling fracture porosity evolution in dolostone,” Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 9, p. 1201-1211. The award recognizes exemplary publication of scientific or economic impact.

SD Initiative paper recognized by publisher for top citations

Top-50 most cited articles published in Tectonophysics January 2006 – February 2011.
Diagenesis in porosity evolution of opening-mode fractures, Middle Triassic to Lower Jurassic La Boca Formation, NE Mexico by S.E. Laubach and M. Ward
Tectonophysics 419, Issue 1-4 (2006), p. 75-97. | View at Publisher>>

Two SD Initiative papers named in ScienceDirect Top 25 Articles based on downloads

Top 25 Hottest Articles: Journal of Structural Geology, October to December 2010
No. 4: Structural diagenesis Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, 2010, p. 1866-1872, Laubach, S.E.; Eichhubl, P.; Hilgers, C.; Lander, R.H.
No. 20: Determining brittle extension and shear strain using fault-length and displacement systematics: Part I: Theory Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, 2010, p. 1960-1977, Twiss, R.J.; Marrett, R

GCAGS Annual Meeting, Veracruz 2011

S. E. Laubach and Faustino Monroy chair the session “New perspectives in fractured reservoirs” October 16-19 in Mexico.

2010 Highlights

Structural Diagenesis Theme Issue

Structural diagenesis is the theme of the December 2010 issue of Journal of Structural Geology (v. 32, no. 12, pp. 1865-2092). S.E. Laubach and P. Eichhubl edited the volume. See the issue

Laubach Elected AAPG Editor & Member, Executive Committee

Stephen E. Laubach is the 30th elected editor of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for a three year term. The Editor serves as a member of the AAPG Executive Committee and is responsible for all of the Association’s technical publications, including the AAPG Bulletin and the book series.

Announcing the Stephen E. Laubach Structural Diagenesis Research Award Fund

This new GSA Foundation Fund promotes research combining structural geology and diagenesis and curriculum development in structural diagenesis. More info >>

Underground Science report

Underground Science

S. E. Laubach has been named a Member of the Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, National Research Council, 2010–2012.

2009 Highlights

On the cover of the May 2009 issue of AAPG Bulletin

The cover of the May 2009 issue of AAPG Bulletin features an image from a paper that discusses project results; Eichhubl, P., Davatzes, N.C., Becker, S.P., 2009, Structural and diagenetic control of fluid migration and cementation along the Moab Fault, Utah. AAPG Bulletin, v. 93.

Key Paper in International Coalbed & Shale Gas Symposium

“Natural Fractures in the New Albany Shale and Their Importance for Shale-gas Production” by Julia Gale and others is a Key Paper that will open the technical sessions for this international symposium on Wednesday, May 20. The paper reports results of our RPSEA-supported project on the New Albany Shale. Steve Laubach and Julia Gale are PIs.

Olson to lead Austin modeling short course

Jon Olson will lead a short course on modeling the growth on natural and artificial fracture systems and their effects on fluid flow in connection with the Fracture Research & Application Consortium meeting, tentatively scheduled for November 2009 in Austin.

Special Issue of Journal of Structural Geology

The Journal of Structural Geology has invited us to organize a special issue on the topic of chemical and mechanical interactions, with a focus on structures formed during diagenesis. Papers for the special issue will be due this summer. Contact Steve Laubach for more information.