Vision Quest: Delivering the Goods

Last month my wife, Mary, and I took the kids to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. It was hot, overcrowded and extremely expensive. It was so packed it’s hard to believe there is a problem with the economy – especially with everybody buying $15 cheeseburgers that you can buy outside the park for less than $5.

On the morning of the last day the lines were so long Mary and I told the kids to search for something to ride while we found a place to cool off. We were at the Hollywood Studios part of the park and we noticed a marquee that said, “The Life of Disney.” Ironically, it was not crowded, so we went in to cool off.

Inside it showed the struggles Walt Disney encountered in making his dreams into reality. He reminded me of a geologist who would go boom and bust several times in their career looking for oil and gas. I was especially interested in some of the technology he developed to make his cartoons more 3-D and colorful. Sound familiar?

At the end of the tour they showed a movie about his life with clips of Disney talking. In one clip he mused on his vision of a theme park where parents could have a great (affordable) experience with their kids.

It’s funny how “visions” can sometimes be lost – even with success.


Headquarters staff has been in the process of reviewing AAPG’s strategic plan in preparation of updating our business plan. It was good to see that AAPG members and staff have been very successful in reaching many of the goals set in the original strategic plan.

Nevertheless, it is important to keep focusing on the primary goal of developing, finding and delivering “the best science” to our membership and the professional community – and keeping it affordable.

AAPG’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee is working on that vision and the ultimate design by considering AAPG’s future corporate structure. Please be sure and read their regular updates in the EXPLORER and you can be part of the discussion online.

In the meantime, everybody is working diligently on the “science” – we have a number of new books that will be distributed this fall that I will discuss in my October column.

In addition, the committees, divisions and staff are developing many excellent educational opportunities, including new Geoscience Technology Workshops.

The AAPG Fall Education Conference will be held in Houston Sept. 21-25. This year’s topic is on the Business of Petroleum Exploration, with a focus on developing unconventional reservoirs.

By the time you read this article the first Hedberg of this fiscal year will have been held. Held in Vancouver, this was a joint AAPG, SPE, SEG workshop on Geological Carbon Sequestration.

AAPG’s next Hedberg is scheduled for Oct. 4-9 in Tirrenia, Italy, on the theme “Deep Water Fold and Thrust Belts.”

Of course, the second half of the calendar year is a big opportunity to be part of the dissemination of science as stated in the bylaws.

The Sections start first:

  • The Eastern Sectionmeeting will be held in Evansville, Ind., on Sept. 20-22.
  • The GCAGSmeeting in Shreveport, La., will be held Sept. 27-29.
  • The Mid-Continent Sectionmeeting will be held in Tulsa Oct. 11-13.

All have great science with programs on regional plays especially shale gas. Also, Section meetings are a great value in regard to cost.

And coming soon:

  • AAPG’s new Polar Petroleum Potential conference, or “3P,” will be held in Moscow Sept. 30-Oct. 3. With the European Region as host, this new meeting will explore the geoscience of the Arctic and examine the challenges in exploring in this new play.
  • A short time after the 3P conference, on Nov. 23-24, the European Regionwill hold its annual meeting in Paris.
  • The grand finale for this calendar year is the AAPG International Conference and Exhibition(ICE) at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 15-18.

This will be a fantastic event and I encourage all members to consider it a great opportunity to learn and discuss global science and E&P. Of course, the new sub-salt plays of offshore Brazil will be a key topic at this meeting. And the Brazilian climate and hospitality are some of the best in the world.

Like all major AAPG ICE meetings there are opportunities for professional development through short course, field trips and special session.

A full e-version of the RIO ICE 2009 technical program announcement and exhibition guide can be viewed.


Walt Disney’s vision seems to have been lost a little once Mickey Mouse became a publicly-traded entity.

At AAPG, we are doing everything possible to follow the vision set by the membership – and still keep it affordable.

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - Rick Fritz
Richard D. “Rick” Fritz, an AAPG member since 1984 and a member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Division of Professional Affairs, served as AAPG Executive Director from 1999 to 2011.

The Director's Corner covers Association news and industry events from the worldview perspective of the AAPG Executive Director.

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We present a method of using fault displacement-distance profiles to distinguish fault-bend, shear fault-bend, and fault-propagation folds, and use these insights to guide balanced and retrodeformable interpretations of these structures. We first describe the displacement profiles associated with different end-member fault-related folding models, then provide examples of structures that are consistent with these model-based predictions. Natural examples are imaged in high-resolution two- and three dimensional seismic reflection data sets from the Niger Delta, Sichuan Basin, Sierras Pampeanas, and Cascadia to record variations in displacement with distance updip along faults (termed displacement-distance profiles). Fault-bend folds exhibit constant displacement along fault segments and changes in displacement associated with bends in faults, shear fault-bend folds demonstrate an increase in displacement through the shearing interval, and fault-propagation folds exhibit decreasing displacement toward the fault tip. More complex structures are then investigated using this method, demonstrating that displacement-distance profiles can be used to provide insight into structures that involve multiple fault-related folding processes or have changed kinematic behavior over time. These interpretations are supported by comparison with the kinematics inferred from the geometry of growth strata overlying these structures. Collectively, these analyses illustrate that the displacement-distance approach can provide valuable insights into the styles of fault-related folding.

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