wisdom provided by 50 years of hindsight, perhaps we can benefit
by another look at the status of geologic science a half-century
published papers carried the weight of authority that publication
in the BULLETIN bestows; some were great; some now look like nonsense.
is an acquired trait, perhaps a review of the past may make us better
geologists in the future.
Aspects of Abnormal Reservoir Pressures in Gulf Coast Louisiana,"
by George Dickinson; AAPG BULLETIN Vol. 37, #2, 1953.
abnormal pressures occur commonly in isolated porous reservoir beds
in thick shale sections developed below the main sand series. Their
locations are controlled by the regional facies change in the Gulf
Coast Tertiary province, and they appear to be independent of depth
and geologic age of the formation.
pressures are caused by compaction of the shales under the weight
of the overburden, which is equivalent to approximately one pound
per square inch per foot depth."
remember what a significant paper this was? It provided a well-documented
geologic basis for understanding the physics of excessive pressure
caused by rapid sediment loading on the fluids contained in discontinuous
I had several
classes under Dickinson in the late 1950s, and admired him.
being called out of his class for a brief meeting with a Shell accountant
to discuss my first expense account. He pointed out that the idea
of a table of expenses (by categories and dates) ... was that the
rows of figures ought to total exactly the same as the columns of
figures. Close ... wasn’t acceptable.
independent geologist, presented 'New Exploration Possibilities
on Piercement Type Salt Domes, Boling Salt Dome, Wharton County,
Texas,’ before the Houston Geologic Society, May 11, 1953."
that was another great Halbouty paper; Mike is fighting cancer now
in his usual tenacious manner ... and I think you should send him
a letter, to remind him of the affection in which he is held by
our profession. (The address is Halbouty Energy, 5100 Westheimer
Road, Suite 500, Houston, TX 77056-5507).