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

Diagenesis significantly impacts mudstone lithofacies. Processes operating to control diagenetic pathways in mudstones are poorly known compared to analogous processes occurring in other sedimentary rocks. Selected organic-carbon-rich mudstones, from the Kimmeridge Clay and Monterey Formations, have been investigated to determine how varying starting compositions influence diagenesis.

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The fact that velocity models based on seismic reflection surveys commonly do not consider the near-surface geology necessitates filling the gap between the top of a velocity model and the surface of the Earth. In this study, we present a new workflow to build a shallow geologic model based exclusively on borehole data and corroborated by laboratory measurements. The study area is in Chemery (France), located at the southwestern border of the Paris Basin, where a large amount of borehole data is publicly available. The workflow starts with identifying lithologic interfaces in the boreholes and interpolating them between the boreholes. The three-dimensional (3-D) geometry of the lithologies then allows interpretation of the position, orientation, and offset of fault planes. Given the importance of the fault interpretation in the modeling process, a combination of different approaches is used to obtain the most reasonable structural framework. After creating a 3-D grid, the resulting 3-D structural model is populated with upscaled velocity logs from the boreholes, yielding the final near-surface P-wave velocity model. To better constrain the velocity model, we conducted laboratory measurements of P- and S-wave velocities in dry and water-saturated conditions on all lithologies in the model. The laboratory data were used to populate the 3-D near-surface model with VP/VS ratio values. The presented workflow accounts for one-dimensional borehole data and is much more iterative and time-consuming than workflows based on two-dimensional seismic sections. Nevertheless, the workflow results in a robust 3-D near-surface model allowing for structural interpretations and revealing the 3-D seismic velocity field.
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Using diverse geologic and geophysical data from recent exploration and development, and experimental results of analysis of gas content, gas capacity, and gas composition, this article discusses how geologic, structural, and hydrological factors determine the heterogeneous distribution of gas in the Weibei coalbed methane (CBM) field.

The coal rank of the Pennsylvanian no. 5 coal seam is mainly low-volatile bituminous and semianthracite. The total gas content is 2.69 to 16.15 m3/t (95.00–570.33 scf/t), and gas saturation is 26.0% to 93.2%. Burial coalification followed by tectonically driven hydrothermal activity controls not only thermal maturity, but also the quality and quantity of thermogenic gas generated from the coal.

Gas composition indicates that the CBM is dry and of dominantly thermogenic origin. The thermogenic gases have been altered by fractionation that may be related to subsurface water movement in the southern part of the study area.

Three gas accumulation models are identified: (1) gas diffusion and long-distance migration of thermogenic gases to no-flow boundaries for sorption and minor conventional trapping, (2) hydrodynamic trapping of gas in structural lows, and (3) gas loss by hydrodynamic flushing. The first two models are applicable for the formation of two CBM enrichment areas in blocks B3 and B4, whereas the last model explains extremely low gas content and gas saturation in block B5. The variable gas content, saturation, and accumulation characteristics are mainly controlled by these gas accumulation models.

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In this study, seismic models and a Starfak and Tiger Shoal fields data set in the Gulf of Mexico Basin are used to investigate uncertainties caused by the frequency dependence of seismic data and solutions for avoiding pitfalls in seismic-stratigraphic and facies interpretation. Seismic amplitude and instantaneous attributes, along with stratigraphic interpretation of these attributes, are controlled by seismic interference, or tuning, between thin geologic units. Seismic-tuning effects include thickness tuning and frequency tuning, which cause nonlinear variations of reflection amplitude and instantaneous seismic attributes with thickness and/or data frequency. Seismic modeling shows that, whereas thickness tuning determines seismic-interference patterns and, therefore, occurrence of seismic events and seismic facies in layered rock, frequency tuning may further influence the nature of the correlation of seismic data and geologic time and modify seismic facies. Frequency dependence offers a new dimension of seismic data, which has not been fully used in seismic interpretation of geology.

Field-data examples demonstrate that a stratigraphic formation is typically composed of lithofacies of varying thicknesses, and a broadband, stacked seismic data set is not necessarily optimal for stratigraphic and facies interpretation. Although it is difficult to predict correct frequency components for interpretation of not-yet-known geologic targets, local geologic models and well data can be used to optimize the frequency components of seismic data to a certain degree and intentionally modify seismic-interference patterns and seismic facies for better seismic interpretation of geologic surfaces, sediment-dispersal patterns, geomorphology, and sequence stratigraphy.

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AAPG IBA 2014 during Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, Texas.

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