You would expect a kind of avant-garde
forum like an interactive e-poster session to have a suitably hip
The session scheduled in Salt Lake City for Tuesday
afternoon, May 13, at the AAPG Annual Meeting definitely meets this
criterion. Indeed, it takes on a kind of wave-of-the-future aura:
"3-D Interpretation Techniques Using 3-D Visualization Software."
Still, there are two sides to this techno happening:
- It has all the makings of the kind of
event designed to cause many a savvy geoscientist to salivate.
- There's more than a handful of folks
standing on the sidelines wondering just what the heck is going
Visualization has crept into the vernacular of most
industry participants, whether they have latched on to the technology
or not. Still, many of them might ask what, exactly, is an e-poster
-- and why does it matter?
As a relatively new forum at professional meetings,
this kind of event falls somewhere between the standard lecture
presentation and the now-familiar "usual" poster session.
It offers some distinct advantages, however:
- Presenters usually are allotted more time
than the standard 20-minute lecture.
- Besides the opportunity for one-on-one
discussion, as with a typical poster session, the e-poster material
is available via computer following the presentation for those
convention attendees who either missed the talk because of a schedule
conflict or else just want to review the material further at their
"Ordinarily if you miss a talk, there's no way to
review what was said or done," said Bill Keach, chair of this year's
session. "This way, if you missed a couple of points, or even the
whole talk, you can come in at your leisure and scroll through the
"We have nine authors participating this year," Keach
said. "Each half-hour talk will be documented and posted as a PDF
file, including images and verbiage, in addition to the verbal presentation."
The setup will be altered somewhat from last year,
he noted. Rather than using a theater with computers off to the
side, the equipment and presentations will be housed in one large
room, more like an oral session but with the computer document advantage.
This year's topic is viewed by those in-the-know as
"Visualization is the wave of the future," Keach said.
"We've been talking about it for six years or so,
and over the last two or three years people have started taking
it up," he noted. "Not a lot of people are willing or able to talk
yet about how they're implementing it, but more and more talks are
being given on the business value of 3-D visualization."
To really pick up on visualization interpretation
is a big change for the interpreter, according to Keach.
"Three-D visualization software demands that you change
the way you work" Keach said. "You must look at all the data or
some subset in a volume approach as opposed to a line-by-line approach
used in traditional interpretation methods. When you use the whole
volume, you immediately focus your efforts."
Both excitement and curiosity are evident among the
presenters at the 2003 event.
"This type of session is new for me," said presenter
Bill Galloway, "and I'm curious to see how it works.
"With more time and a smaller, more intimate audience
there will be a better chance to talk about the subject rather than
just lecture," he said. "This should make it more interesting for
the participants and the presenters."
Galloway's presentation, which is co-authored by D.A.
Sylvia and R. Combellas, is billed as "Evolution of the Northern
Gulf of Mexico Through the Cenozoic -- a 3-D Visualization Tour."
The delivery will include a suite of 2-D and 3-D images
that relate major depocenter evolution to the paleostructure and
paleobathymetry of the northern GOM.
"The most dramatic 3-D aspect is a series of surfaces
that basically reflect a quantitative paleobathymetry, which was
contoured as a derivative of the standard paleontologic-base depth
zonation," Galloway said.
Paleobathymetric surfaces were constructed for 13
time steps during the Cenozoic. The reconstructions show how 3-D
visualization can be used to evaluate the impact of events such
as continental climate change and tectonics on the sedimentation
history of the Gulf basin.