Hands-on-training makes a lesson unforgettable. Immerse yourself and advance your understanding of the petroleum geosciences by registering for one of the field trips presented here.
|Pre-convention field trips
Pre-Convention Field Trip 1 Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
Central Belize Mixed Margin: Long-Lived Isolated Carbonate Platforms, Young Barrier
Reef on Siliciclastics and Atolls on Karst SOLD OUT!
Dates: Monday, 4 April, 8:55 a.m. – Saturday, 9 April, 7:15 p.m. (departs from Houston
International Airport 8:55 a.m. and departs from Belize 3:45 p.m., arriving at the Houston International Airport at 7:15 p.m.)
Leaders: Dr. André W. Droxler (Rice University, Houston, Texas) and Dr. Timothy M. Dellapenna (Texas A&M University, Galveston, Texas)
Fee: Professionals and Students $3,800
Includes: Round trip flights from Houston to Belize, flight over the main visited areas, five
nights’ lodging based on double/triple occupancy at Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye and Dangriga, meals, refreshments, chartered boat, chartered flight, guidebook and national preserves park entrance fees.
Limit: 20 people
Content: 32 PDH, 3.2 CEU
This trip will be beneficial to geologists, geophysicists, engineers and anyone else interested in enhancing their understanding of modern mixed shallow water carbonate and coarse– to fine-grained siliciclastic depositional environments as analogs for subsurface studies and in the context of well-established Plio- Pleistocene sea level fluctuations. The central Belize margin is an ideal field trip destination because of its relatively compact size and scale, the high diversity of reef systems (barrier and back barrier reefs and atolls) thriving in close proximity to a siliciclastic coastal zone, and the existence of industry and academic data sets and recent studies upon which the field trip has been organized.
Observations of marine modern mixed carbonate and siliciclastic shallow depositional environments will be discussed throughout the field trip in the newly developed context that modern barrier reefs and atolls are relatively "young," mostly stacked, late Brunhes transgressive and early highstand carbonate systems. Globally, modern Barrier reefs were established during the mid Brunhes on top of early Brunhes mostly lowstand siliciclastic coastal deposits, whereas modern atolls formed over early Brunhes karstified carbonate islands.
Notes: This trip includes extensive boating, swimming, snorkeling, moderate hiking and a flight over the main visited areas, all weather permitting. Individuals should be in good physical condition for these activities. During the four days in the field, transects through the barrier reef and back barrier reef (Day 1), Glovers Atoll (Day 2), the shelf lagoon Rhomboid Reefs (Day 3) and along the siliciclastic coast (Days 4 and 5) will be examined mostly on boats and by snorkeling.
Important visa information: A visa to enter Belize is required for some countries. A U.S. passport valid for six months after the departure on 9 April 2011 is the single requirement for U.S. citizens to enter Belize.
Pre-Convention Field Trip 2 Houston Geological Society (HGS) CANCELED
Holocene Geology and Hurricane Effects on the Chenier Plain, Southwestern Louisiana, and Bolivar Peninsula, Southeastern Texas
Dates: Friday, 8 April, 8:00 a.m.– Saturday, 9 April, 6:00 p.m.
Leaders: Donald E. Owen (Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas) and Richard A. Ashmore (Consultant, Houston, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $460, Students $230 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, one night’s lodging in the dormitory at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, lunch on 8 and 9 April, dinner on 8 April, breakfast on 9 April
Limit: 20 people
This field trip will travel from Houston to the worldfamous Chenier Plain of southwestern Louisiana and the Bolivar Peninsula of southeastern Texas, both of which have been devastated by hurricanes recently. The purpose of the trip is two-fold: (1) to observe and understand how sand/shell chenier ridges develop from erosion of shoreline mudflats during transgression and to compare cheniers with regressive beach ridges; (2) to observe and understand the effects of geologically frequent hurricane storm surges and cold-front passages on development of cheniers and beach ridges as well as on human structures.
For example, the Rita-destroyed town of Holly Beach and Hurricane Ike-destroyed town of Gilchrist will be visited. After an overnight stay in the dormitory at the remote Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on the coast, participants will observe the transition from chenier to transgressive strand-plain to barrier-island coast along the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas during the return trip to Houston.
Note: The smallest available rooms have four twin beds; others have six or eight. A men's and a women's restroom/shower are down the hall from the rooms. The dorm is on stilts above ground level, assessable only by stairs.There are no handicapped facilities or elevator.
Pre-Convention Field Trip 3 Houston Geological Society (HGS)
Behind the Scenes Tour of NASA Space Center with Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, Apollo 17 Moonwalker, and Space Shuttle Geoscientist Astronaut Jim Reilly
Departs at 8:15 a.m., Saturday, 9 April from the George R. Brown Convention Center, Lobby D
Date: Saturday, 9 April, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Leaders: Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt (Apollo 17 astronaut, Houston, Texas) and James Reilly (former shuttle astronaut STS 89, 104, and 117, Houston, Texas)
Organizers: Charles Sternbach (Star Creek Energy, Houston, Texas), Linda Sternbach (2011 AAPG Convention Technical Program Committee Chair, Houston, Texas) and Bill Ambrose (BEG and co-chair AAPG Astrogeology Committee, Austin, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $195, Students $98 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, lunch, guidebook, entrance fee
Limit: 44 people
A tour of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is always popular for technical conventions in the Houston metroplex. The great majority of such events are more entertainment events rather than field trips, such as this one.
For the AAPG 2011 convention, we are fortunate to have Apollo 17 Astronaut and former U.S. Senator Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt joining our NASA trip. Dr. Schmitt was the only geologist to walk on the moon and collect samples for analysis. He later served as a United States Senator from New Mexico and continues to be an avid supporter of our space program. In addition, Jim Reilly (former space shuttle astronaut) and Andrew Feustel (space shuttle astronaut) plan to be in attendance and will share their experiences during lunchtime discussions.
Participants will travel to the NASA complex by chartered bus. Once at NASA, their staff will organize the group for the day’s activities and set the schedule for both the tour and talks focusing on planetary geology and space exploration. Walking will be light with trams provided between stops and mostly indoor activities.
Our tour of the NASA complex in Clear Lake will begin by visiting the Apollo 17 space capsule and Moon rock labs and displays. Later, the group will gather for talks on topics including the geology of the Earth, Moon and Mars. Discussions will include "geology from space" drawing upon the personal experiences of Jim Reilly, geoscientist and space shuttle astronaut.
In the afternoon we will visit Mission Control and have a tour of the Saturn V rocket display (Apollo “18”) with Dr. Schmitt giving narration. We'll also stop to see the pool training center for space shuttle astronauts.
As you would expect, many spectacular NASA displays and photographs will be included in these presentations. We will see historical artifacts, like the podium from where President John F. Kennedy gave his speech to “reach the moon within this decade.”
A similar version of this trip sold out at the AAPG 2006 Houston convention and was very popular. This event will be open to both convention attendees and their spouses/guests.
Pre-Convention Field Trip 4 AAPG Student Chapter (AAPG-SC/SEPM)
Was Hurricane Ike the Big One? Effects and Aftermath of a Giant Storm
Departs at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, 9 April from the George R. Brown Convention Center, Lobby D
Date: Saturday, 9 April, 8:00 a.m.– 8:00 p.m.
Leaders: Chris Barker and LaRell Nielson (Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas) and Robert Clarke (Consultant, Irving, Texas)
Fee: Students/Faculty $25
Includes: Transportation, lunch, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 35 people (students and faculty only)
This trip is presented for all geoscience students and faculty advisors as an opportunity to study the effects of Hurricane Ike on the area around Galveston, Texas. Hurricane Ike was the third costliest storm to ever hit the U.S. coast and the largest and most intense hurricane of 2008.
Our focus will be on damage done by Ike to buildings and roads, the effectiveness of erosion control structures, patterns of rapid erosion and deposition during the giant storm and sedimentological changes since the hurricane.
Our first stops will be at Galveston Island State Park, which was extensively damaged by Ike, to look at deposition since the hurricane and the Park’s efforts to rebuild. We will see both sides of this thin barrier island as we examine beaches, dunes, marshes and tidal flats. From the park we travel to Galveston’s massive seawall, built after the deadly hurricane of 1900, and discuss its effectiveness during Hurricane Ike. Buildings immediately behind the seawall survived with little damage, but hundreds of low-lying structures in the city were flooded by a ‘back bay’ storm surge.
After crossing Galveston Bay on the ferry, we will drive along Bolivar Peninsula where devastation from Hurricane Ike was almost total and entire communities were swept into the bayside lagoon. We will examine the positive and negative effects of geo-tubes, the undercutting of roads and structures and study the relocation of sediments during and after the hurricane. We will also look at High Island Salt dome and oil production associated with it.
As we traverse the coast, we will ask, “Was Ike the Big One? Was it a storm large enough to prove that Galveston’s erosion barriers are adequate for all future hurricanes?” The answers to these questions have serious implications for the island community’s safety and plans. We will also address the question, “How do shoreline processes rebuild a barrier island after a major storm event?”
Pre-Convention Field Trip 5 Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) and Energy Minerals Division (EMD)
Impact of Active Faults on Land-Based Engineered Structure in the Gulf Coastal Zone
Departs at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, 9 April from the George R. Brown Convention Center, Lobby D
Date: Saturday, 9 April, 8:30 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Leaders: Dr. Carl E. Norman (Professor Emeritus, University of Houston, Houston, Texas) and Richard G. Howe (Terra Cognita Geological Services, Houston, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $100, Students $50 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, boxed lunch, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 22 people
Approximately 450 active normal faults are confirmed on land in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coastal Zone. Although all are generally aseismic, slip rates reach as high as 1.5 inches per year across deformation zones a few tens of feet wide. Field trip stops in western and northwestern Houston will include a variety of settings where engineered structures are currently undergoing fault-related deformation. Field discussion will include a review of surface and subsurface methods for locating and mapping the faults, determination of fault zone widths and rates of slip. As time permits, working hypotheses for the origin of the faults and their recently high slip rates will be discussed.
Notes: Dress is casual and comfortable shoes are recommended. There will be little walking as the vans have good access to points of interest.
|Post-convention field trips
Post-Convention Field Trip 6 Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) and Energy
Minerals Division (EMD)
Nonconventional Mudstone Reservoirs Field Seminar: South Texas
Departs at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, 13 April from the George R. Brown Convention Center, Lobby C
Dates: Wednesday, 13 April, 2:30 p.m. – Friday, 15 April, 7:00 p.m.
Leaders: Dr. Art Donovan, Scott Staerker, Tony McClain, Dr. Jonathan Evenick, Angeni Agrawal and John Freeman (BP, Houston, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $500, Students $100 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, two nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, lunches, refreshments
Limit: 40 people
Content: 16 PDH, 1.6 CEU
Probably some of the best exposures of a major source rock/nonconventional mudstone reservoir in the U.S. can be found in Eagle Ford (Boquillas) outcrops along and near U.S. Highway 90 just north of Del Rio, Texas, in Val Verde and Terrell counties. In these outcrops, organic-rich calcareous mudstones similar in age and facies to the strata being exploited in the subsurface of Webb, LaSalle and McMullen counties to the southeast can be studied. With thousands of feet of lateral continuity and hundreds of feet of vertical relief these Eagle Ford exposures provide a unique opportunity to examine the lateral continuity and vertical variability of nonconventional mudstone reservoirs, their facies, mechanical properties, as well as sequence stratigraphic setting at a scale similar to completions in the subsurface.
The purpose of this field seminar is to use the Eagle Ford exposures of south Texas as props to facilitate discussions on the geologic, engineering, petrophysical, geochemical and geophysical challenges associated with exploring and exploiting oil and gas resources from nonconventional mudstone reservoirs. The field seminar leaders’ specialties span a wide variety of geoscience and engineering disciplines. All have worked the Eagle Ford and other nonconventional mudstone plays in the subsurface of North America and thus bring a wealth of multi discipline expertise, knowledge and experience to the subject of nonconventional mudstone reservoirs.
Many of the key localities that will be visited during this field trip are on private property with restricted access, making this field trip a very unique opportunity to study many of the classic Eagle Ford localities in south Texas which have been inaccessible to over a generation of geoscientists.
Notes: There will be moderate hiking with strong bootsand hard hats required.
Post-Convention Field Trip 7 Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) SOLD OUT
Quaternary Depositional Systems of the East Texas Coast and Shelf
Departs at 7:30 a.m., Thursday, 14 April from the George R. Brown Convention Center, Lobby D
Date: Thursday, April 14, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Leader: Dr. John B. Anderson (Rice University, Houston, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $280, Students $100 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, lunch, refreshments, trip notes
Limit: 18 people
Content: 10 PDH, 1.0 CEU
The East Texas coast and adjacent continental shelf is an ideal natural laboratory for examining depositional processes and facies of shallow water coastal and marine environments. During this field trip we will visit and/or discuss several depositional systems and examine sediment cores and high resolution seismic records from these and other offshore environments. The objective is to understand the facies architecture of these environments, the distribution of these facies on the continental shelf during the last glacial eustatic cycle and their preservation potential. We will also discuss how to predict the occurrence, shape and internal character of different sand bodies on the continental shelf given a sequence stratigraphic framework.
Notes: There will be moderate hiking around water bodies. Light boots recommended.
Post-Convention Field Trip 8 Houston Geological Society (HGS) CANCELED
A Brief Geologic History of Central Texas
Dates: Thursday, 14 April, 6:00 a.m. – Friday, 15 April, 8:30 p.m.
Leaders: Tom Miskelly (Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado), Alex Pachos (College of the Mainland, Texas City, Texas) and Maik Pertermann (San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $275, Students $138 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, one night’s lodging in Fredericksburg based on double occupancy, 1 lunch and 2 breakfasts
Limit: 50 people
Only a few hours from Houston, the relatively small geographic area of Central Texas captures an amazing sweep of Texas’s geologic history across time, from the Pre-Cambrian to the Eocene. Experienced petroleum industry professionals and students will be able to ‘walk back in time’ and explore the geologic history of Texas.
The field trip aims to inspire anyone new to the industry and will also offer an opportunity for students, geoscience educators and industry professionals to learn the essentials about the geologic history of Central Texas. We will see Earth’s story unfold, beginning with the crystalline rocks emplaced during the Proterozoic Grenville Orogeny and then examine the rich deposits of clastics and carbonates that reveal cyclic sea-level transgressive-regressive depositional sequences laid down from the Cambrian to the Tertiary.
Everyone will be invited to contribute their expertise to group discussions that will focus on the wide range of petrologic characteristics and geologic structures we will observe in the field. Everyone will return to his or her office or classroom with a renewed appreciation for the “big picture” of geology.
Post-Convention Field Trip 9 Houston Geological Society (HGS) SOLD OUT
Microbial Carbonates in the Upper Cambrian of Central Texas
Departs at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, 14 April from the HYATT REGENCY HOTEL (1200 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX)
Dates: Thursday, 14 April, 12:00 p.m. – Saturday, 16 April, 6:30 p.m.
Leaders: Wayne Ahr (Texas A&M, College Station, Texas), André Droxler (Rice University, Houston,Texas) and William A. Morgan (ConocoPhillips, Houston, Texas)
Fee: Professionals $405, Students $203 (limited)
Includes: Transportation, kayak rental, two nights’ lodging in Hill Country Inn in Mason based on double occupancy, boxed lunch on 15 April, guidebook
Limit: 23 people
Field Trip Day One (Friday)
The first day trip by kayak will start at White's Crossing near Mason, Texas, and we will see famous exposures of microbial buildups in the Point Peak Member, Wilberns Formation. As we paddle downstream, we will have close-up views of microbial bioherms that have fallen into the river from cliffs alongside. As we pass gradually up-section through the Point Peak, we will have a chance to get out on the riverbank to see a variety of sedimentary structures including mud cracks and flatpebble conglomerates, some of which are "edgewise" conglomerates formed by strong eddy currents that spun the flat pebbles into accumulations that look like "pinwheels." Our lunch stop will provide an opportunity to walk over a continuous exposure of stromatolitic and thrombolitic biostrome microbialites. After lunch we will see microbial bioherms with superbly preserved stromatolite accumulations at water level. This location offers a chance for close-up photos of stromatolites in cross-section. As we near the end of our float, we will be passing out of the Point Peak and through the San Saba Member of the Wilberns Formation.
Field Trip Day Two (Saturday)
Day two of our trip is a half-day excursion to the U.S. Highway 87 crossing on the San Saba River. After arriving, we will walk along the river on both sides of the bridge to examine large ripple marks in grainstones of trilobite-brachiopod hash and microbial bioherms in vertical succession, some with well-developed stromatolitic "capping sequences." Thrombolitic and laminar macrostructures also occur in the buildups at this location.
Discussions will place this area in the context of the stratigraphy, depositional settings and hydrocarbon reservoirs of the Canbrian-Ordovician Great American Carbonate Bank.
Physical conditions: Modest physical exertion — paddling a kayak most of Day One. Day Two is easy walking for a few hundred yards but the ground is uneven. Not recommend for handicapped persons because of required paddling and portaging (a few meters distance) kayaks on Day One and walk on uneven ground on Day Two.
Note: Need shoes for wading (will get wet).