Division Column: DEG

Share the Facts About Energy

In this, my farewell column, I want to thank the people who have made my service as president of the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) so rewarding.

A list of names would be too long, so I will try to cover my bases in categories.

  • My fellow officers have worked hard to move us forward and expand our membership; those who have agreed to run for office for the coming year also have my gratitude.
  • Our advisers from across the country, and from the few Regions for whom we have advisers, have given valuable advice and direction.
  • The Region presidents who are working right now to help DEG find an adviser for every Region will make our Advisory Council even stronger.
  • Those who have worked to produce the Environmental Geosciences journal have produced an outstanding set of issues – thanks to the top-level editors, all of the associate editors and, of course, all who have submitted articles for publication. Keep them coming!
  • Committee chairs have been responsive, helping to bring DEG sessions and short courses to the upcoming Denver convention and for the New Orleans convention next year. We even have a head start on the Houston convention – we already have four sessions set for 2011.
  • Finally, many thanks to the AAPG headquarters staff for helping to upgrade our Web site; for keeping us on track and at least close to meeting deadlines; for their support in convention planning; and for the many other ways in which they support our efforts.

The DEG was established in 1992, when “the House of Delegates of the Association indicated support for the concept that basic environmental issues be addressed from a geological point of view, thereby transferring the profession’s understanding of geological, geochemical, geophysical and hydrogeological principles and methodologies to the solutions of environmental problems.”

It seems that basic environmental issues are often divorced from scientific reasoning of any kind, at least in the popular media. U.S. President Obama has vowed to bring science into the forefront of environmental issues, and we need to vigorously step forward and offer our perspectives and our expertise.

We need to gain recognition for the fact that the petroleum industry is investing billions in developing new energy technologies and carbon mitigation technologies, as well as in energy efficiency, advanced technology vehicles and non-hydrocarbon fuels – far more than is being invested by the federal government.

All this at the same time our industry is taxed at a far higher rate than other industries, while our earnings are in line with the average of U.S. manufacturing industries!

Getting these messages out should be a priority for anyone who has access to an audience. I highly recommend that you read the new April 2009 American Petroleum Institute publication “Energizing America: Facts for Addressing Energy Policy”.

Share these facts about energy – I spent an entire lecture on this material in my Environmental Science class last week.


I hope to see many of you in Denver, and I hope that you choose to attend our sessions, which include:

  • Imagining a Carbon Constrained World: EOR Using Anthropogenic CO2and Other Options.
  • Near-Surface Geophysical Applications for Environmental Solutions, Groundwater and Site Remediation.
  • Carbon Dioxide Capture and Geologic Sequestration.
  • Our Energy Forum (held jointly with DPA and EMD).

We also are offering the forum concerning Global Climate Change – Anticipating a Carbon Constrained Future: Implications for the Fossil Fuel Industry (DEG/AAPG/GCCC), and our luncheon speaker will address the Cooperative Aquifer Restoration Project, Fort Peck Indian Reservation – a Multi-Agency Success Story.

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Division Column-DEG

Division Column-DEG Rebecca Dodge

Rebecca Dodge, of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, is DEG President for 2008-09.

Division Column DEG

The Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG), a division of AAPG, is concerned with increasing awareness of the environment and the petroleum industry and providing AAPG with a scientific voice in the public arena. Among its objectives are educating members about important environmental issues, supporting and encouraging research on the effects of exploration and production on the environment, and communicating scientific information to concerned governmental agencies.

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See Also: Book

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See Also: Bulletin Article

A series of short and steep unidirectionally migrating deep-water channels, which are typically without levees and migrate progressively northeastward, are identified in the Baiyun depression, Pearl River Mouth Basin. Using three-dimensional seismic and well data, the current study documents their morphology, internal architecture, and depositional history, and discusses the distribution and depositional controls on the bottom current–reworked sands within these channels.

Unidirectionally migrating deep-water channels consist of different channel-complex sets (CCSs) that are, overall, short and steep, and their northeastern walls are, overall, steeper than their southwestern counterparts. Within each CCS, bottom current–reworked sands in the lower part grade upward into muddy slumps and debris-flow deposits and, finally, into shale drapes.

Three stages of CCSs development are recognized: (1) the early lowstand incision stage, during which intense gravity and/or turbidity flows versus relatively weak along-slope bottom currents of the North Pacific intermediate water (NPIW-BCs) resulted in basal erosional bounding surfaces and limited bottom current–reworked sands; (2) the late lowstand lateral-migration and active-fill stage, with gradual CCS widening and progressively northeastward migration, characterized by reworking of gravity- and/or turbidity-flow deposits by vigorous NPIW-BCs and the CCSs being mainly filled by bottom current–reworked sands and limited slumps and debris-flow deposits; and (3) the transgression abandonment stage, characterized by the termination of the gravity and/or turbidity flows and the CCSs being widely draped by marine shales. These three stages repeated through time, leading to the generation of unidirectionally migrating deep-water channels.

The distribution of the bottom current–reworked sands varies both spatially and temporally. Spatially, these sands mainly accumulate along the axis of the unidirectionally migrating deep-water channels and are preferentially deposited to the side toward which the channels migrated. Temporally, these sands mainly accumulated during the late lowstand lateral-migration and active-fill stage.

The bottom current–reworked sands developed under the combined action of gravity and/or turbidity flows and along-slope bottom currents of NPIW-BCs. Other factors, including relative sea level fluctuations, sediment supply, and slope configurations, also affected the formation and distribution of these sands. The proposed distribution pattern of the bottom current–reworked sands has practical implications for predicting reservoir occurrence and distribution in bottom current–related channels.

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Although the linkages among surface sediments, geomorphic forms, and hydrodynamics in Holocene ooid tidal sand shoals have been evaluated recently, how these factors are reflected in the geomorphic evolution and stratigraphic record of shoals is less constrained. Yet, such understanding is essential to developing meaningful predictive conceptual models of three-dimensional architecture of ancient reservoir analogs. Integrating remote-sensing imagery, high-frequency seismic data, and core characterization from Lily Bank, a modern tidally dominated Bahamian ooid shoal in which sedimentologic processes are well documented, reveals the stratigraphic record of geomorphic change. An irregular, gently dipping rocky surface (interpreted as the top Pleistocene) with no pronounced topographic high underlies the Holocene oolitic succession. A 6-m (20-ft)–thick poorly sorted, gravelly muddy sand with few ooids overlies this basal surface. This lower interval is overlain by sand with an upward increase in proportion of ooids, sorting, and grain size. The uppermost unit, present only under active bar forms, is well-sorted oolitic medium sand with accretionary foresets. Sediments vary stratigraphically and geomorphically; the lower unit is finer and less well sorted than the upper units, and in the oolitic upper unit, sediment size and sorting on bar crests are distinct from bar flanks. Collectively, these results suggest that a marked antecedent bump is not necessary for occurrence of ooid shoals and that the stratigraphic record of analogous ooid shoal systems may preserve clues of geomorphic position, as well as geobody size and orientation.
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See Also: CD DVD

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See Also: Short Course

This course is designed to enhance interpretation skill sets with regard to geologic interpretation of seismic data. The overall objective is to present methods for reducing risk with regard to prediction of lithology, reservoir compartmentalization and stratigraphic trapping potential in exploration and production.

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