Structural Diagenesis Field Symposium

Research Progress through Discussion in the Field

Held as time and support permit. The Structural  Diagenesis Field Symposium brings together a small group of key scientists in the area of fracture and diagenesis research to discuss cutting edge research issues on the outcrop. The 2014 and 2007 expeditions were supported by grants from the private GDL Foundation.

The aim is to support  cross-disciplinary scientific dialog on problems having an important societal impact.

Participants include select scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and from other universities and institutions, industry, and a small group of outstanding students holding Field Symposium Fellowships. Fellowship students can be from any college or university. Preference is given to upper level undergraduates.

Contact Steve Laubach for information.

Field Symposium (concept stage)

A future symposium is being proposed and if the proposal is successful will be organized by Esti Ukar, S. E. Laubach, and Randy Marrett. The aim is to explore fracture growth in folds. The planned field locations are in Argentina. If you are interested in participating contact Esti Ukar or Steve Laubach.

Field Symposium, 2023 – New York

Planned for Fall 2023 based out of Plattsburgh, NY, this field symposium will investigate fracture patterns found in geothermal targets.

Field Symposium, 2018 – Wyoming

Held in September 2018, the event included a two-day, 40 km transect of the Teton Range on foot to view fracture patterns in rarely visited settings at high elevations. Featuring evidence of structural diagenesis in basement and cover rocks, and fracture patterns distant from and adjacent to major crustal structures, the expedition reviewed early results from two recently started PhD projects. Participants included scientists from Austria, Brazil, China, California, Houston and The University of Texas.

Field Symposium, 2014 – Utah

This field seminar, sponsored by a grant from the GDL Foundation, investigated field examples of coupled brittle deformation and chemical alteration at Valley of Fire (NV), San Rafael Swell (UT), and Moab (UT) in October 2014.

Alteration fronts in Aztec Sandstone at Valley of Fire, reflecting paleo-fluid flow associated with Sevier thrusting

Alteration fronts in Aztec Sandstone at Valley of Fire, reflecting paleo-fluid flow associated with Sevier thrusting.

The field team included Peter Eichhubl (instructor and leader), Jon Major (co-leader), Sara Elliott (co-leader), Andras Fall, Chris Landry, Zhiqiang Fan, and students Nike Tokan-Laval, Casey O’Brien, Erick Wright, Mint Doungkaew, and Peter Laciano.

Slides from the field seminar are posted on the JSG site under the Photos tab [link].

Contact Peter Eichhubl for more information about the symposium or about the follow up work.

Field Symposium, 2007 – Scotland

The 2007 symposium, organized by Jon  Olson, was held in NW Scotland.The aim of the expedition was to explore the use of the exceptionally large, pristine bed-parallel pavements and the fracture patterns within them for understanding the mechanics of fracture size evolution. Students Pete Hargrove and Maggie Ellis, then at Ohio Wesleyan University, and John Hooker, UT, along with Wayne Narr (Chevron), Rob Lander and Linda Bonnell (Geocosm) and scientists from UT spent a week hiking the bogs between outcrops and debating fracture mechanics on spectacular outcrops.

Slides of the 2007 expedition

Scotland field program

Student research opportunities

Results of 2007 Field Expedition

The 2007 field excursion led to Ellis and Hargrove M.S. thesis projects at UT, contributed to Kira Diaz-Tushman’s thesis project, and to part of Hooker’s dissertation research, as well as contributing to several publications including:

  • Laubach, S.E., Eichhubl, P. Hargrove, P., Ellis, M.A., Hooker, J.N., 2014, Fault core and damage zone fracture attributes vary along strike owing to interaction of fracture growth, quartz accumulation, and differing sandstone composition. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 68, Part A, 207-226. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.08.007 | view at publisher
  • Hooker, J.N., Laubach, S.E., and Marrett, R., 2014, A universal power-law scaling exponent for fracture apertures in sandstone. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 126, no. 9-10, p. 1340-1362. doi: 10.1130/B30945.1 | view at publisher | view at GSW
  • Ellis, M.A., Laubach, S.E. Eichhubl, P., Olson, J.E. & Hargrove, P., 2012, Fracture development and diagenesis of Torridon Group Applecross Formation, near An Teallach, NW Scotland: millennia of brittle deformation resilience? Journal of the Geological Society, London. v. 169, no. 3, p. 297-310. doi: 10.1144/0016-76492011-086. | request reprint | view at GSW
  • Hooker, J.N., Laubach, S.E., Gomez, L., Marrett, R., Eichhubl, P., Diaz-Tushman, K., and Pinzon, E., 2011, Fracture size, frequency, and strain in the Cambrian Eriboll Formation sandstones, NW Scotland. Scottish Journal of Geology, v. 47, no. 1, 45-56.| request reprint | view at publisher
  • Laubach, S.E. and Diaz-Tushman, K., 2009, Laurentian paleostress trajectories and ephemeral fracture permeability, Cambrian Eriboll Formation sandstones west of the Moine thrust zone, northwest Scotland. Journal of the Geological Society (London), v. 166, part 2, p. 349-362. | view at GSW