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Explorer Foundation Update

Geoscience education is essential to the AAPG Foundation. In fact, it’s promised right there in the Foundation’s mission statement, to “… support(ing) education and scientific activities in the field of geology.” Also crucial to the Foundation: engaging and informing the general public about the importance of energy, geology and the world in which we all reside. That’s why there are many, many Foundation programs supporting all those goals. But some Foundation-backed projects exist to do both at the same time – and one, in particular, is making a big impact on both students and the public by merging geology, geosciences and video production techniques into one informative, often timely and always accessible package.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

Listening to “King of the Mountain” by Midnight Oil, a song about a foot race up the wickedly steep Mount Cooroora in Australia, prompted me to think about whether it is good to be the king, or to be in a position to just help others get to the top of the mountain. We do not need royal powers or superhuman running ability to make a difference for people participating in AAPG activities. Making a difference can be much simpler and just requires the will to make the climb and help others along the way.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

The challenges in acquiring quality laboratory flow measurements in very low-permeability reservoir rock samples has furthered the development of image-based rock physics simulations of multiphase transport properties. The concept of “digital rocks” originated 50 years ago and has become more widespread recently with advances in imaging technology, computing power and robust algorithms for representing complex multiphase flow behavior at the pore scale. Simulation results based on high-resolution images have the dual role of complementing laboratory measurements on conventional reservoirs and acting as a stand-alone predictive tool for unconventional reservoirs where the very low permeability values limit what can be measured in the laboratory.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

There are two main oil and gas producing sedimentary areas in France: the Paris Basin and the Aquitaine Basin. The presence of oil seeps and bitumen deposits has been known since ancient times in the western part of the Aquitaine basin, a 35,000-square-kilometer triangular polygon bordered to the north by the city of Bordeaux, to the east by Toulouse and to the south by the Pyrenees Mountain chain separating France from Spain. These hydrocarbon shows were observed close to surface anticlinal structures such as the Sainte-Suzanne dome, southwest of Pau or in the caprocks of salt diapirs at Salies de Bearn and Dax to the north.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the first part of this series, we showed the energy transition will follow an “all of the above” trajectory, irrespective of aspirational messages. Our conclusions are based on the inherent limitations of wind and solar low-density energy machines for generating base-load power: low-density energy machines would cover hundreds of millions of acres. Also in part 1, we discussed Princeton University’s Net Zero America report, an outstanding, 18-author study of five models to de-carbonize the United States by 2050. The report does not mention environmental impact of LDEMs.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

While it is evident that the world will rely on oil and gas for years to come, some industry geoscientists are paving a path toward a future in alternative energy and other geoscience-related careers. Geoscientists are needed for research and development in areas of geothermal science, minerals and mining, and carbon and energy storage. They also are needed for projects that require knowledge of geology, subsurface imaging, reservoir development, satellite mapping, geotraining, multiphysics and smart data solutions.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

What seemed like excellent news for the oil and gas jobs outlook turned into something less positive for companies in the first months of 2022. Hiring increased, but a few areas saw more openings than applicants. However, job hunters and even those already employed in oil and gas got some welcome security and relief, as recent cycles of industry layoffs finally turned into a round of rehires and new hires. Analysts expect this job growth to continue for the foreseeable future.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Located in the Orange Basin, along the passive west coast of the continental margin that straddles the borders of South Africa, there has been a discovery of an oil province in Namibia – the offshore Graf and Venus fields – that likely contains billions of barrels of oil resources. That’s according to Robin Sutherland, an exploration manager for Monitor Exploration, a UK-based private exploration company involved in oil and gas exploration in Africa. Of equal importance, he said, is the recent drilling by ReconAfrica, which “clearly proves” that the Ovambo Basin, a large pre-Cambrian basin in the far north of Namibia, is oil bearing with very significant potential. “Both of these events represent major changes to our understanding of the potential of Namibia,” said Sutherland.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

This is the story of two tragedies – one in Nepal, one in India – but more importantly, how humanitarian projects by Geoscientists without Borders may help prevent the devastation of the next two. And the tragedies after that. In 2015, an earthquake struck near Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, which is in the central part of the country. Almost 10,000 people were killed, many thousands more injured and more than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and other nearby towns were either damaged or destroyed. Václav Kuna, a postdoctoral geophysics researcher was moved to do something about it.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Foundation Update

An innovative animated series aimed at young children that tells the story of the Indian subcontinent’s epic tectonic history in creative and even entertaining ways is now closer to reality, thanks to the AAPG Foundation. Trustees have approved initial support for “The Ocean on the Top of Our Mountain,” which graphically tells the story of the region’s 5,000-mile migration northward from Gondwana to its collision with Asia.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday, 2 October Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

AAPG and EAGE have teamed up to deliver the upcoming New Discoveries in Mature Basins workshop to be held from 2-3 October 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Save the date! Registration to open soon.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 27 November Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars and save the date to attend the 5th edition of the AAPG Siliciclastic Reservoirs of the Middle East GTW which will be held for the first time in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia from 27-29 November 2023. We look forward to having you on board for the new edition of these popular series.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 13 November Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Exciting announcement for all geoscientists interested in structural styles. The 3rd edition of the AAPG Structural Styles of the Middle East is coming back to Oman from 13-15 November 2023. Come join us to learn all the latest developments on the topic!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 9 October Wednesday, 11 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for the 4th Edition of: "Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East" workshop. The workshop will be hosted by AAPG in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia 9-11 October 2023.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 8 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

“Wait! There is a short cut. Turn right from here”. That’s probably the sound of an electric current bypassing the resistive hydrocarbons, in a maze or network of porous media, when traveling from transmitter to receiver. This workshop will serve the participants need with the up to date advancements in describing and characterizing low resistivity and low contrast pay, and eventually, maximize resources.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 21 June Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Secure energy supply and energy immediate availability are key subject for a peaceful and sustainable growth in developed countries and in particular in Europe. This workshop will bring together professionals working in industry and in academia to share experiences, present-day work and future visions related to all geo-subjects involving exploration and development of energy sources in the subsurface.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Paramaribo, Suriname
Thursday, 2 November Friday, 3 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Barranquilla, Colombia
Wednesday, 8 February Thursday, 9 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Join technical experts, industry leaders and government representatives for an interactive in-person workshop highlighting onshore and offshore E&P opportunities, new technologies and sustainable development strategies working in Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tuesday, 9 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working to help Brazil maintain its E&P capacity while transitioning to a decarbonized economy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, 1 March Thursday, 2 March 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-day, in-person course describes the range and variability in deepwater sedimentary systems and equips participants to build predictive models of subsurface geology for more successful exploration and development. A primary goal of this course is to enable subsurface teams to more effectively characterize and rank deepwater/offshore projects on a regional and global scale.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 16 January Wednesday, 18 January 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The sedimentary basins of the Middle East have been proved to contain vast hydrocarbon reserves, sourced by some of the most prolific petroleum systems in the world. This is the product of a range of factors, not least the long-lived, relative stability of the Arabian Plate and the presence of multiple, prolific organic source rocks. This workshop will address these and other subjects and to discuss the main challenges present in our current understanding of petroleum systems in the Middle East.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lviv, Ukraine
Thursday, 21 September Friday, 22 September 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for a workshop where experts will  explore the Carpathian foreland and the Dnieper-Donetsk rift basins with a focus not only on hydrocarbons, but the utilization of geothermal resources, hydrogen exploration and CCUS.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 21 June Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-day conference brings together diverse experts working on modern and ancient turbidite, MTDs, contourite and hybrid/mixed systems in order to improve the present-day knowledge, models and predictive power.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Friday, 1 November 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

This presentation demonstrates how 3D seismic data will contribute significantly to the understanding of the Marcellus.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 12 November 2020, 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

Contourites have come of age – both scientifically and economically. These deepwater sedimentary systems, driven by long-slope bottom-current processes, are a fundamental component of many continental margin successions. They are inter-bedded with and interact with down-slope systems, pelagic systems, and deep tidal processes. The contourite play clearly works – now we need to make it a primary target in future deepwater exploration.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 7 June 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Unger Field, discovered in1955, has produced 8.6 million barrels of oil from a thinly (several ft) bedded, locally cherty dolomite containing vuggy and intercrystalline porosity.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Friday, 24 April 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

In 2011 and 2015, I presented an assessment of the yet-to-find (YTF) oil potential in the Brazilian pre-salt region, utilizing an exploration modeling tool and a stochastic simulation method (Monte Carlo) for estimating potential accumulations discovered and remaining to be discovered. Despite the robust methodology used, it is understandable that in light of the new, much lower oil prices in effect currently, the YTF oil assessment may be questioned regarding how realistic it may be in a protracted low oil price environment. In 2016 I presented such an assessment, for oil prices below US$50/bbl. Now, given even lower oil prices that may represent a new lower-for-longer scenario, I again revisit past assessments. The results are presented in the context of important geopolitical implications for assessments that point to regions in the world where oil and gas resources will likely continue to be viable despite low oil prices, and the geopolitical rearrangements this implies.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 August 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The goal of this e-symposium is to review the status of the Mexican upstream sector, and to provide a review of the most prolific and prospective areas in Mexico, with a focus on opportunities for international participation, given the upcoming energy reform in Mexico.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 22 October 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Join us to hear Jean-Jaques Biteau talk about key parameters controlling pressure regimes, trap sealing at the level of both the basin and the prospect, as well as areas of uncertainty. Webinar will be presented on Thursday 22 October at 15:00 SGT (UTC+8) Singapore time zone.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Sustainability-Focused Opportunities'. A webinar to explore investment trends, new opportunities, and strategies for pivoting for new revenue and diversification in today's times. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7:00pm - 8:30pm CDT 17 June 2020.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 March 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

On July 15th, Raffaele Di Cuia and other members ouf the committee for our upcoming Workshop 'Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A Global Perspective' will be joining the Let's Connect webinar. The call for abstracts for this workshop, to be held in November in Barcelona is open until July 30th. Join this webinar and learn more about how to tackle the issues of Thrust Belt Settings! Register for the webinar and learn more about the face to face GTW!

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 13 August 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Geologic interpretations are the basis of most exploration workflows, whether building a 3-D framework, a geocellular model, or modeling HC basins and estimating HC reserves. All these workflows rely on the most realistic and accurate interpretation in order to produce high-confidence results. Join us to hear from Catalina Luneburg, founder and director of TerraEx Group and specialist in the validation of HC basins and structural geology modeling.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Local sea-level changes are not simply a function of global ocean volumes but also the interactions between the solid Earth, the Earth’s gravitational field and the loading and unloading of ice sheets. Contrasting behaviors between Antarctica and Scotland highlight how important the geologic structure beneath the former ice sheets is in determining the interactions between ice sheets and relative sea levels.

Request a visit from Alex Simms!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Around 170 million years ago, the Gulf of Mexico basin flooded catastrophically, and the pre-existing landscape, which had been a very rugged, arid, semi-desert world, was drowned beneath an inland sea of salt water. The drowned landscape was then buried under kilometers of salt, perfectly preserving the older topography. Now, with high-quality 3D seismic data, the salt appears as a transparent layer, and the details of the drowned world can be seen in exquisite detail, providing a unique snapshot of the world on the eve of the flooding event. We can map out hills and valleys, and a system of river gullies and a large, meandering river system. These rivers in turn fed into a deep central lake, whose surface was about 750m below global sea level. This new knowledge also reveals how the Louann Salt was deposited. In contrast to published models, the salt was deposited in a deep water, hypersaline sea. We can estimate the rate of deposition, and it was very fast; we believe that the entire thickness of several kilometers of salt was laid down in a few tens of thousands of years, making it possibly the fastest sustained deposition seen so far in the geological record.

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Request a visit from Frank Peel!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

Production from unconventional petroleum reservoirs includes petroleum from shale, coal, tight-sand and oil-sand. These reservoirs contain enormous quantities of oil and natural gas but pose a technology challenge to both geoscientists and engineers to produce economically on a commercial scale. These reservoirs store large volumes and are widely distributed at different stratigraphic levels and basin types, offering long-term potential for energy supply. Most of these reservoirs are low permeability and porosity that need enhancement with hydraulic fracture stimulation to maximize fluid drainage. Production from these reservoirs is increasing with continued advancement in geological characterization techniques and technology for well drilling, logging, and completion with drainage enhancement. Currently, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Egypt, USA, and Venezuela are producing natural gas from low permeability reservoirs: tight-sand, shale, and coal (CBM). Canada, Russia, USA, and Venezuela are producing heavy oil from oilsand. USA is leading the development of techniques for exploring, and technology for exploiting unconventional gas resources, which can help to develop potential gas-bearing shales of Thailand. The main focus is on source-reservoir-seal shale petroleum plays. In these tight rocks petroleum resides in the micro-pores as well as adsorbed on and in the organics. Shale has very low matrix permeability (nano-darcies) and has highly layered formations with differences in vertical and horizontal properties, vertically non-homogeneous and horizontally anisotropic with complicate natural fractures. Understanding the rocks is critical in selecting fluid drainage enhancement mechanisms; rock properties such as where shale is clay or silica rich, clay types and maturation , kerogen type and maturation, permeability, porosity, and saturation. Most of these plays require horizontal development with large numbers of wells that require an understanding of formation structure, setting and reservoir character and its lateral extension. The quality of shale-gas resources depend on thickness of net pay (>100 m), adequate porosity (>2%), high reservoir pressure (ideally overpressure), high thermal maturity (>1.5% Ro), high organic richness (>2% TOC), low in clay (<50%), high in brittle minerals (quartz, carbonates, feldspars), and favourable in-situ stress. During the past decade, unconventional shale and tight-sand gas plays have become an important supply of natural gas in the US, and now in shale oil as well. As a consequence, interest to assess and explore these plays is rapidly spreading worldwide. The high production potential of shale petroleum resources has contributed to a comparably favourable outlook for increased future petroleum supplies globally. Application of 2D and 3D seismic for defining reservoirs and micro seismic for monitoring fracturing, measuring rock properties downhole (borehole imaging) and in laboratory (mineralogy, porosity, permeability), horizontal drilling (downhole GPS), and hydraulic fracture stimulation (cross-linked gel, slick-water, nitrogen or nitrogen foam) is key in improving production from these huge resources with low productivity factors.

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Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

In comparison with the known boundary conditions that promote salt deformation and flow in sedimentary basins, the processes involved with the mobilization of clay-rich detrital sediments are far less well established. This talk will use seismic examples in different tectonic settings to document the variety of shale geometries that can be formed under brittle and ductile deformations.

Request a visit from Juan I. Soto!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

President Biden has laid out a bold and ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050.  The pathway to that target includes cutting total greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and eliminating them entirely from the nation’s electricity sector by 2035. The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management will play an important role in the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by reducing the environmental impacts of fossil energy production and use – and helping decarbonize other hard-to abate sectors.

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Request a visit from Jennifer Wilcox!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

As oil and gas exploration and production occur in deeper basins and more complex geologic settings, accurate characterization and modeling of reservoirs to improve estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) prediction, optimize well placement and maximize recovery become paramount. Existing technologies for reservoir characterization and modeling have proven inadequate for delivering detailed 3D predictions of reservoir architecture, connectivity and rock quality at scales that impact subsurface flow patterns and reservoir performance. Because of the gap between the geophysical and geologic data available (seismic, well logs, cores) and the data needed to model rock heterogeneities at the reservoir scale, constraints from external analog systems are needed. Existing stratigraphic concepts and deposition models are mostly empirical and seldom provide quantitative constraints on fine-scale reservoir heterogeneity. Current reservoir modeling tools are challenged to accurately replicate complex, nonstationary, rock heterogeneity patterns that control connectivity, such as shale layers that serve as flow baffles and barriers.

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Request a visit from Tao Sun!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The carbonate sequences that were deposited in the now exhumed Tethyan Ocean influence many aspects of our lives today, either by supplying the energy that warms our homes and the fuel that powers our cars or providing the stunning landscapes for both winter and summer vacations. They also represent some of the most intensely studied rock formations in the world and have provided geoscientists with a fascinating insight into the turbulent nature of 250 Million years of Earth’s history. By combining studies from the full range of geoscience disciplines this presentation will trace the development of these carbonate sequences from their initial formation on the margins of large ancient continental masses to their present day locations in and around the Greater Mediterranean and Near East region. The first order control on growth patterns and carbonate platform development by the regional plate-tectonic setting, underlying basin architecture and fluctuations in sea level will be illustrated. The organisms that contribute to sequence development will be revealed to be treasure troves of forensic information. Finally, these rock sequences will be shown to contain all the ingredients necessary to form and retain hydrocarbons and the manner in which major post-depositional tectonic events led to the formation of some of the largest hydrocarbon accumulations in the world will be demonstrated.

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Request a visit from Keith Gerdes!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) seismic-reflection surveys provide one of the most important data types for understanding subsurface depositional systems. Quantitative analysis is commonly restricted to geophysical interpretation of elastic properties of rocks in the subsurface. Wide availability of 3D seismic-reflection data and integration provide opportunities for quantitative analysis of subsurface stratigraphic sequences. Here, we integrate traditional seismic-stratigraphic interpretation with quantitative geomorphologic analysis and numerical modeling to explore new insights into submarine-channel evolution.

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Request a visit from Jacob Covault!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The Betic hinterland, in the westernmost Mediterranean, constitutes a unique example of a stack of metamorphic units. Using a three-dimensional model for the crustal structure of the Betics-Rif area this talk will address the role of crustal flow simultaneously to upper-crustal low-angle faulting in the origin and evolution of the topography.

Request a visit from Juan I. Soto!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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