Two-Way Street: Making a Connection That Counts

Here in Oklahoma, the month of July delivers the beginning of summer, kids out of school and a unique blend of oppressive heat and sweltering humidity that makes you feel like you're in a slow-cooker.

At headquarters it's the beginning of a new year. On July 1 a fresh Executive Committee led by President Randi Martinsen took the reins, approved a budget for the new fiscal year and is beginning its work to lead the Association.

Veteran EC members Secretary Richard Ball, Vice President-Regions John Kaldi and Editor Mike Sweet are joined by President-Elect John Hogg, Treasurer Jim Tucker and Vice President-Sections Steve Brachman in this endeavor.

These are your leaders, and I encourage you to reach out and communicate with them during the coming year.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank past president Lee Krystinik for his leadership of the Association and Executive Committee, and most emphatically for his wise counsel to me over the past two years that he's served on the Executive Committee.

As past president, Lee's work isn't done yet. He now rides over to lead the Advisory Council further down the trail blazed by past president Ted Beaumont.

(You'll note the riding-themed metaphors I'm using in this column. Having incoming and outgoing presidents who are both accomplished equestrians is forcing me to learn a new vocabulary.)

When I first began to work for AAPG, back in Washington, D.C., in 2006, one of the first people I met was Deborah Sacrey, our out-going treasurer who has been involved in our policy work since the very beginning. We've worked closely over the years, and the perspective and advice she's given me both at GEO-DC and as executive director have helped me do my job immeasurably better.

Thankfully, she's still only a phone call away.

I've known Tom Ewing, who departs as vice president-Sections, almost as long as I've known Deborah. And Tom brought a wonderful balance of thoughtfulness, perceptiveness and practicality to a host of EC discussions over the past two years.

Even into the final weeks of his term he was providing me counsel on matters related to the Sections and affiliated societies.

Having the opportunity to work directly with our EC members to grow AAPG is one of the perks of my job. And it's important to recognize that they are volunteers.

Volunteerism is at the heart of AAPG and permeates our organization. It includes those who volunteer to help us advance science by giving a talk or writing a journal article, those who work on committees to build specific programs or services, and those who serve in leadership and governance roles.

When you get involved with AAPG you're serving other members and the profession. This engagement also builds your professional network and can help you develop specific skill sets, particularly interpersonal skills - after all, in a volunteer organization you don't dictate, you can only persuade.

Yes, volunteering is about "giving back." But I'd argue it's much more than that.

It is, in fact, an investment in yourself - both as a person and as a professional. And that's what being a member of a professional organization is about - helping you advance and succeed.

It's summertime here in Oklahoma. And many of us in this part of the world will be taking time this month with family and friends to vacation, to relax and recharge both physically and emotionally.

As you climb that mountain trail, cast a fly along the riverbank, listen to the waves break on the shore or simply sit on your back porch at dusk listening to the crickets chirping in the grass, take a few minutes to reflect on your career and professional life.

Where are you and where are you going?

Can you describe what it would look like to take your career to the next level?

What are the skills or contacts that you need to get there?

Is there an AAPG program or committee or group that you could get involved with to gain those skills or contacts?

If so, consider getting plugged in.

And if you don't see a program that will help you, then I’d ask you to send me an email through the website. Let me know what kind of program you'e looking for, what you believe you need to be successful, and let's talk about it. Maybe we can build it together.

This is your year to take the reins, saddle up, and steer your career into an even brighter future.

Giddy up!

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - David Curtiss

David Curtiss is an AAPG member and was named AAPG Executive Director in August 2011. He was previously Director of the AAPG GEO-DC Office in Washington D.C.

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

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See Also: Bulletin Article

Select lacustrine and marine depositional settings show a spectrum of styles of carbonate deposition and illustrate the types of carbonates, with an emphasis on microbialites and tufa, to be expected in early rift settings. Early rift lake examples examined in this review article are all from East Africa: Lakes Turkana, Bogoria, Natron and Magadi, Manyara, and Tanganyika. Other lake examples include four from the western United States (Great Salt Lake and high lake level Lake Bonneville, Mono Lake and high lake level Russell Lake, Pyramid Lake and high lake level Lake Lahontan, and Searles Lake) and two from Australia (Lakes Clifton and Thetis). Marine basin examples are the Hamelin Pool part of Shark Bay from Australia (marginal marine) and the Red Sea (marine rift).

Landsat images and digital elevation models for each example are used to delineate present and past lake-basin margins based on published lake-level elevations, and for some examples, the shorelines representing different lake levels can be compared to evaluate how changes in size, shape, and lake configuration might have impacted carbonate development. The early rift lakes show a range of characteristics to be expected in lacustrine settings during the earliest stages of continental extension and rifting, whereas the Red Sea shows well advanced rifting with marine incursion and reef–skeletal sand development. Collectively, the lacustrine examples show a wide range of sizes, with several of them being large enough that they could produce carbonate deposits of potential economic interest. Three of the areas—Great Salt Lake and high lake level Lake Bonneville, Pyramid Lake and high lake level Lake Lahontan, and the Red Sea—are exceedingly complex in that they illustrate a large degree of potential depositional facies heterogeneity because of their size, irregular pattern, and connectivity of subbasins within the overall basin outline.

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Sandstone pressures follow the hydrostatic gradient in Miocene strata of the Mad Dog field, deep-water Gulf of Mexico, whereas pore pressures in the adjacent mudstones track a trend from well to well that can be approximated by the total vertical stress gradient. The sandstone pressures within these strata are everywhere less than the bounding mudstone pore pressures, and the difference between them is proportional to the total vertical stress. The mudstone pressure is predicted from its porosity with an exponential porosity-versus-vertical effective stress relationship, where porosity is interpreted from wireline velocity. Sonic velocities in mudstones bounding the regional sandstones fall within a narrow range throughout the field from which we interpret their vertical effective stresses can be approximated as constant. We show how to predict sandstone and mudstone pore pressure in any offset well at Mad Dog given knowledge of the local total vertical stress. At Mad Dog, the approach is complicated by the extraordinary lateral changes in total vertical stress that are caused by changing bathymetry and the presence or absence of salt. A similar approach can be used in other subsalt fields. We suggest that pore pressures within mudstones can be systematically different from those of the nearby sandstones, and that this difference can be predicted. Well programs must ensure that the borehole pressure is not too low, which results in borehole closure in the mudstone intervals, and not too high, which can result in lost circulation to the reservoir intervals.

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The influence of moisture, temperature, coal rank, and differential enthalpy on the methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) sorption capacity of coals of different rank has been investigated by using high-pressure sorption isotherms at 303, 318, and 333 K (CH4) and 318, 333, and 348 K (CO2), respectively. The variation of sorption capacity was studied as a function of burial depth of coal seams using the corresponding Langmuir parameters in combination with a geothermal gradient of 0.03 K/m and a normal hydrostatic pressure gradient. Taking the gas content corresponding to 100% gas saturation at maximum burial depth as a reference value, the theoretical CH4 saturation after the uplift of the coal seam was computed as a function of depth. According to these calculations, the change in sorption capacity caused by changing pressure, temperature conditions during uplift will lead consistently to high saturation values. Therefore, the commonly observed undersaturation of coal seams is most likely related to dismigration (losses into adjacent formations and atmosphere). Finally, we attempt to identify sweet spots for CO2-enhanced coalbed methane (CO2-ECBM) production. The CO2-ECBM is expected to become less effective with increasing depth because the CO2-to-CH4 sorption capacity ratio decreases with increasing temperature and pressure. Furthermore, CO2-ECBM efficiency will decrease with increasing maturity because of the highest sorption capacity ratio and affinity difference between CO2 and CH4 for low mature coals.

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See Also: Environmental Geosciences Article

We use sediment ages and mercury (Hg) concentrations to estimate past and future concentrations in the South River, Virginia, where Hg was released between 1930 and 1950 from a manufacturing process related to nylon production. In a previous study, along a 40 km (25 mi) reach, samples were collected from 26 of 54 fine-grained deposits that formed in the lee of large wood obstructions in the channel and analyzed for grain size, Hg concentration, and organic content. We also obtained radiometric dates from six deposits. To create a history that reflects the full concentration distribution (which contains concentrations as high as 900 mg/kg [900 ppm]), here, we treat the deposits as a single reservoir exchanging contaminated sediments with the overlying water column, and assume that the total sediment mass in storage and the distribution of sediment ages are time invariant. We use reservoir theory to reconstruct the annual history of Hg concentration on suspended sediment using data from our previous study and new results presented here. Many different reconstructed histories fit our data. To constrain results, we use information from a well-preserved core (and our estimate of the total mass of Hg stored in 2007) to specify the years associated with the peak concentration of 900 mg/kg. Our results indicate that around 850 kg (1874 lb) of Hg was stored in the deposits between 1955 and 1961, compared to only 80 kg (176 lb) today. Simulations of future Hg remediation suggest that 100-yr timescales will be needed for the South River to remove Hg-contaminated sediments from the channel perimeter through natural processes.
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See Also: Online e Symposium

Technical Writing Triage is a condensed course which identifies the key professional and technical writing in today’s workplace, discusses the most common problems/issues, and provides quick, easy-to-implement solutions for producing high-quality, effective communications.

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