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Explorer Geophysical Corner

Steeply dipping bedforms and bed sets often develop where sediment accumulates and migrates, and are expressed as clinoform patterns on seismic data. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) provides ultra-high-resolution images of the internal structure of these sediment accumulations.


The technical program has been finalized and registration is open for this year’s AAPG International Conference and Exhibition (ICE), set Sept. 14-17 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Explorer Emphasis Article

The time-worn phrase "everything old is new again" is an apt description for much of the revved-up activity in the oil patch these days.

Energy Policy Blog

During the recent AAPG Congressional Visits Day, staff for the House Natural Resources Committee expressed interest in receiving input on issues and potential legislation from knowledgeable stakeholders. Here is an easy way to get involved in the process of informing Washington, D.C., decision makers: send a quick comment to the committee members in response to a particular hearing.

Energy Policy Blog

BOEM has just issued its programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for comment--through April 7. In announcing the decision, BOEM stated, that its review of geological and geophysical surveys in the Mid- and South-Atlantic planning areas "...establishes multiple mitigation measures designed to minimize the impacts to marine life while setting a path forward for survey activities that will update nearly four-decade-old data on offshore energy resources in the region."

Explorer Article

Energized by the recent Statoil ASA-operated Bay du Nord light oil discovery in Newfoundland’s offshore Flemish Pass Basin, earth scientists are gearing up to host the fourth Atlantic Realm Conjugate Margins Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Aug. 20-22.

Explorer Article

Oklahoma! As-yet unlocked SCOOP and STACK plays have plen’y of room for maturation and development.

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.

 SONAR, historical and aerial photographs, and vibracoring were used to assess the type and thickness distribution of sediments impounded by Gold Ray Dam on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. From these data, a volume of about 400,000 cubic yards (

Equation EG13006eq1

) of sediment was determined for the inundated area of the reservoir.

Overall, sediment volumes in the impounded part of the reservoir were less than expected. There are three possibilities that may explain the perceived absence of sediment: (1) the gradient of the Rogue River in this stretch is less, and therefore sediment yields are less; (2) the extraction of gravels and/or other impediments upstream decreased the availability of sediments delivered into the reservoir; and/or (3) sediment was deposited by a prograding delta that filled in the inundated area of the floodplain upstream from Gold Ray Dam. The amount of sediment deposited on this inundated floodplain may have been as much as 1,800,000 cubic yards (Equation EG13006eq2), bringing the total amount of sediment impounded by Gold Ray Dam to Equation EG13006eq3 yards (Equation EG13006eq4).

Applied sedimentology is not only vital to developing a depositional model for the filling of a reservoir, but also providing insights into depositional and erosional changes that will occur upon the removal of a dam. In particular, the processes of delta formation, reoccupation of abandoned channels, and avulsion are paramount in determining sediment accumulation and distribution in reservoirs.


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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In-Person Training
Houston Texas United States 10 November, 2014 10 November, 2014 10401
Houston, Texas, United States
10 November 2014

A one-day series of lectures covers the basic architecture of particulate sedimentary rocks, methods for petrologic characterization, grain assemblages, and diagenesis, including compaction, cementation, grain replacement, and fracturing. Examples of the nature and causes of reservoir quality variations in sandstones at low and high temperatures are provided with a focus on using the character of the primary grain assemblage as a predictive guide to what will happen in the subsurface.

Houston Texas United States 12 November, 2014 12 November, 2014 10570
Houston, Texas, United States
12 November 2014

This course is designed to present the concepts of sedimentary geochemistry and biogeochemistry, along with the framework to interpret elemental and mineralogical records in such organic rich mudstone sequences.

Houston Texas United States 27 January, 2015 28 January, 2015 8997
Houston, Texas, United States
27-28 January 2015

Reserve your space now to learn how and where new knowledge and technology geology, engineering, and geophysics come together to make deepwater and shelf exploration and development more successful. 

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7816
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7813
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7815
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7812
Online Training
24 October, 2013 24 October, 2013 1499
24 October 2013

This e-symposium will be introducing signal processing techniques as a means to maximize extracting geomechanical data from petrophysical logs.

07 November, 2013 07 November, 2013 1500
7 November 2013

This e-symposium presentation places the interpretation of deep-water turbidites discernible in 3-D seismic inversion data within a geological context.

08 December, 2011 08 December, 2011 1480
8 December 2011

This e-symposium focuses on methods for predicting connectivity within clastic fluvial systems.

13 December, 2012 13 December, 2012 1494
13 December 2012

The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).

01 January, 2013 01 January, 9999 1459
1 January 2013 - 1 January 9999

There are more approximately 1,000 oil and gas fields in the world that have been classified as "giant," containing more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil and /or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

28 April, 2011 28 April, 2011 1471
28 April 2011

The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.

17 February, 2011 17 February, 2011 1469
17 February 2011

This presentation is designed for exploration/production geologists and geological managers or reservoir engineers.

11 November, 2010 11 November, 2010 1465
11 November 2010

This e-symposium is ideal for geologists, geophysicists, engineers and other geoscientists who are involved in gas shale exploration and production.

29 April, 2010 29 April, 2010 1457
29 April 2010

This presentation will focus on the seismic stratigraphic and seismic geomorphologic expression of deep-water deposits, including both reservoir and non-reservoir facies.

22 October, 2009 22 October, 2009 1452
22 October 2009

This course can help you gain the ability to describe the complex and highly variable reservoirs, which are typified by complex internal heterogeneity.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817
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