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Explorer Historical Highlights

In 1949 an historic oil field was discovered under the Caspian Sea. The field was named “Neft Dashlari, which in Azerbaijani means “Oil Rocks,” and it was a milestone in the development of the global oil industry. Oil Rocks, an iconic “city in the sea,” pointed the way to modern offshore drilling as we know it today.

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

Controversy can be a good thing, and sometimes, the more contentious things are, the better. Many great examples of this were discussed in my first geologic graduate course, the subject of which was “The History of the Science of Geology.” It was the controversy and debate itself that provided the greatest contribution to the science of geology – not the theories. Why is it important to recognize that controversy can be a good thing – important for AAPG and a good subject for my column in the EXPLORER? The answer is that controversy can also lead to the growth and improvement of a scientific society.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Some aspects of seismic interpretation, such as picking horizons and well-imaged faults, can be easily explained to a new interpreter. Other aspects, such as recognizing carbonate buildups, karst collapse, mass transport processes or volcanic intrusions, require not only an understanding of the underlying geologic processes, but also an understanding of their 3-D seismic data response. Although an experienced interpreter might be adept in using seismic data to map each of these features, they might also be challenged in explaining to the novice interpreter in a quantitative manner how they constructed their map or geobody.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Readers Forum

We often see calls for the elimination of all petroleum products, including natural gas. As long as coal and biomass – which emit two-to-four-times more carbon than natural gas – are major components of electricity generation, it makes no sense to eliminate natural gas. Why would we blow up one of our cheapest, cleanest bridges toward the energy evolution when we are just starting to set foot on that bridge?

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Depleted horizontal oil and gas wells could have a second life storing renewable energy, according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Because renewable forms of electricity generation like solar and wind require low-cost energy storage, the NREL researchers propose using depleted hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells to store electrical energy in the form of compressed natural gas to be released to spin an expander/generator when electrical demand is high.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Are years of upstream oil and gas underinvestment and under-exploration finally catching up with the world? Is the hope of avoiding a climate catastrophe now a lost cause? Can the global energy industry deliver adequate, affordable energy to meet the world’s future needs? Is the word in an energy crisis? Annually at midyear, a number of organizations publish overviews of the global energy picture. Based on those reports, there is good news. And bad news.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Mention energy from the Middle East and most people automatically think of crude oil production. But today, geopolitics and supply challenges have put an increased focus on global natural gas resources. Consequently, energy developments in the Middle East are shifting toward natural gas production and export, driven by an increasing international appetite for gas supply and questions about longer-term oil demand. Right now, the bottom line is that natural gas looks like a long-term growth industry and crude oil doesn’t.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently exploring the delta front of Jezero Crater on Mars. It has traveled 7.4 miles and drilled twelve core samples. For Katie Stack Morgan, geologist and deputy project scientist for the Perseverance Mars rover, the first close-up image of layered rocks at the base of Jezero Crater’s ancient river delta grabbed her imagination. “These are the layered rocks that we came for!” she said.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Question: If the science of predicting the risks and mitigation of induced seismicity, figuratively speaking, was a glass of hydraulic fracturing injection fluid, would it be half full or half empty? The answer is . . . yes. One on hand, geoscientists are getting better about predicting the when and where of seismicity; on the other, there is a lot more seismicity in a lot more places that have to be predicted.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

As geoscientists try to determine their future roles in the oil and gas industry as well as in the energy transition, some discover that there is a solid bridge between the two in a doctoral research and training program in the United Kingdom. GeoNetZero is part of the UK’s Centre for Doctoral Training program, led by professor John Underhill and established in 2014 to help train geoscientists through a partnership of universities and industry for today’s energy challenges.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Palermo, Italy
Thursday, 25 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Time: TBC Attendee Limit: Minimum 15 - Maximum 50 People Fee: TBC Registration Deadline: TBC Field Trip Rendezvous Point Hotel nH Palermo This one-day field trip will provide an introduction to a Miocene-Pliocene succession of southern Sicily, which includes outcrops of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC), as well as the Messinian-Zanclean GSSP (Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Point) and Zanclean stratotype. The MSC sedimentary record consists of an evaporitic-carbonate unit at the base (the Basal Limestone), overlain the Lower Gypsum unit, in turn overlain by the Upper Gypsum unit, and sealed by transgressive chalk deposits of the Trubi Fm. The Lower Gypsum unit (massive gypsum with cm-sized selenite crystals) will be visited along the beach of Siculiana Marina (about 15 km NW of Agrigento). Next, we will visit near Capo Rossello (about 10 km NW of Agrigento) an outcrop of the Upper Gypsum unit consisting of clay-gypsum cycles and overlain by the Trubi Fm. The latter, at Scala dei Turchi beach, consists of chalk deposits arranged in a spectacular thick succession (~120 m thick) interpreted as astronomically-controlled depositional cycles. The uppermost interval of the MSC sedimentary record, including the Messinian-Zanclean GSSP, will be observed along the beach of Eraclea Minoa located about 20 km NW of Capo Rossello. Field Trip Leaders Antonio Caruso University of Palermo Attilio Sulli University of Palermo

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Palermo, Italy
Sunday, 21 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Time: TBC Attendee Limit: Minimum 15 - Maximum 45 People Fee: TBC Registration Deadline: TBC This one-day field trip will focus on Mesozoic (Jurassic to Cretaceous) carbonates outcropping in the fold and thrust belt of western Sicily and equivalent to the aquifer complex of the Sciacca Geothermal Field located in the southwestern part of the island. Participants will have the opportunity to visit in the first stop a spectacular “drowned” carbonate-platform succession at Mt. Maranfusa located in an inactive quarry about 50 km SW of Palermo. The succession consists of Lower Jurassic peritidal cycles overlain by Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous pelagic limestone (e.g. ammonitic limestone, “chalk”) and marked by an unconformity with locally hardground. Syn-depositional Mesozoic tectonic is characterized by neptunian dykes and normal faults, whereas reverse faults, strike-slip faults, and joints are related to subsequent Cenozoic deformation. In the second stop, at Mt. San Calogero, adjacent to the picturesque coastal town of Sciacca (about 100 km south of Palermo), we will visit the surface expression of an extensive karst system linked to uprising geothermal fluids. Furthermore, we will discuss main characteristics of the Sciacca Geothermal Field and its connection to deep mantle-derived fluids. Outcrop data will be integrated with both 2D seismic lines and exploration well logs showing the stratigraphy and structure of the deep aquifer. Another topic, given the presence of faults and joints in the outcrops, this field trip can provide the participants with valuable insights into naturally fractured reservoirs at the sub-seismic scale. Field Trip Leaders Gianni Mallarino MOL Group Attilio Sulli University of Palermo

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Banff, Canada
Saturday, 11 May 2024, 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm Fee: $300 AAPG members $350 Nonmembers $200 Academic/AAPG Emeritus Members $50 discount for workshop registrants Fee Includes: Transportation Insurance Field guide Entrance fee to Banff National Park Registration available during workshop registration This field trip will focus on the structural geology of the foothills and Front Ranges of Banff. Participants will be able to view excellent field examples of structures very similar to the producing oil and gas fields in the foothills to the west of Calgary and to learn about the complexities of sub-seismic-scale deformation. The field trip starts with an introduction to the interaction between thrust front with foreland basins and the interaction of basement trends with thrust belt geometries and (conventional) hydrocarbon fields. During the 1-day trip participants will follow a dip transect from the undeformed foreland basin, the eastern edge of the foothills marked by the triangle zone, the Front Ranges boundary and end at the Main Ranges west of Banff. Field Trip Itinerary Depart from Calgary – 8:00 a.m. Stop 1: Cochrane Retreat Road Overlook Trip overview and introduction; safety and logistics comments; interaction of thrust front with foreland basin; interaction of basement trends with thrust belt geometry and (conventional) hydrocarbon field distribution; appreciation of scale for subsurface play fairway. Stop 2: Scott Lake Stop 3: The Stony Nakoda Tim’s Classic stop, with historical importance for understanding the thrust belt and thrust geometry. Part 1 of displacement gradient on a large thrust. Most importantly, toilet stop after all the Tim’s coffee and driving. Review of Mt Yamnuska from a different perspective; preview of drive through McConnell damage zone and change in HW stratigraphy.. Stop 4: Lac des Arcs Imbricate thrust sheets in the Front Ranges and Banff Formation. Stop 5: Canmore T-junction Observe complexities of sub-seismic-scale deformation in mechanically layered rocks in the footwall of a large thrust Stop 6: Canmore strike view of the Rundle thrust Exposed strike view analogous to a cut-away of a giant conventional Foothills hydrocarbon field such as Turner Valley. Cross faults within the thrust sheet offset potential reservoir units at sub-seismic scale. Cross faults are arguably part of a regional trend associated with deeper, basement-rooted NE-SW structures. Stop 7: Mt Norquay Overlook Stop 8: Bow Falls Fracture systems in the Vega Siltstone Mbr of the Triassic Sulphur Mtn Fm. This outcrop of Vega Member siltstone of the Sulphur Mtn Fm is considered equivalent to upper Montney Fm. We will focus on the outcrop adjacent to the steps up to the Falls overlook.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 26 March 2024, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Presenting ExCaliber, a novel approach for fast iterations on basin / earth models so that more time can be spent on the final technical & economic integration. ExCaliber is based on an interactive thermal framework, powered at its core by a ML-based basin simulator which can compute in seconds high-resolution basin-scale temperature and Standard Thermal Stress results.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This course course will explore the design of new plays, optimized for the goals and constraints of CO2 sequestration, and to develop the tools to de-risk and sell those plays to investors and regulators. It will be of particular interest to subsurface geoscientists and engineers with an interest in CO2 storage in saline reservoirs.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The development and application of a fit-for-purpose CO2 injection model is presented in the context of a front-end engineering design for a new Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) project targeting a depleted gas reservoir in the North Sea. This course will provide an understanding of the impact of CO2 impurities on casing and tubing load cases. The course provides the background and results of the Fit-for-Purpose Casing and Tubing Analysis Program that was developed in collaboration with Harbour Energy for the UK Viking CCS Project.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This half-day short course will familiarize attendees with the planning and execution of a whole core project. It's intended for those who plan to take core on CCUS projects including Geologists and drilling engineers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Sunday, 10 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

As part of the international effort to combat global warming, significant attention is being given to ways to sequester (store for the long-term) carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. This one-day course will look at some of the ways in which carbon dioxide can be stored and provide a detailed review of the SRMS framework prepared by the Society of Petroleum Engineers to classify and categorize the storage quantities.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 4 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Trip Leader Saeed Tofaif, Saudi Aramco Pre-Workshop Field Trip Date: 4 March Registration Deadline: 4 February Attendee Limit: 12-Min. / 25-Max. --> Fee: $200 Note: Registration for this field trip is now closed. The Hadrukh Formation of eastern Saudi Arabia was deposited in early Miocene in tidal, restricted lagoon and sabkha settings with fresh water incursions. Deposition in these non-marine, semi-arid coastal plains resulted deposition of varying lithologies in short lateral extent. This field trip to Hadrukh Formation outcrops in Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia offers observation of internal stratigraphy of the Hadrukh Formation and lithological changes in the lateral extent, which is a key component in defining stratigraphic traps in the subsurface.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thursday, 29 February 2024, 7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Palermo, Italy
Monday, 22 April Wednesday, 24 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This Symposium marks a collaborative event that brings together AAPG Europe and AAPG Middle East, with a central focus on carbonates and mixed carbonate systems worldwide, while highlighting their significance within these two regions. The primary objectives are an overview of controls that govern the evolution of these systems in time and space and the characterization and prediction of their properties across scales.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Monday, 27 May Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

In order to support the energy transition, optimizing exploration and production from complex stratigraphic-diagenetic conventional and unconventional plays remains highly important. At the same time, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) poses new technological challenges that will impact both the industry and academia for decades to come. This 2nd edition will present reviews and discuss technology developments in geological process-based forward modeling achieved during the last 2 years. New perspectives for future technology developments and implementation in industry workflows will be discussed and with the additional focus on CO₂ storage and other sustainability-related applications, the scope of the workshop will be considerably extended.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, 5 March Thursday, 7 March 2024, 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 5-7 March 2024.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Sequence stratigraphy is a method for stratigraphic interpretation, pioneered by Vail and colleagues in the mid 70’s, which explains the complex geometries that sediments create as they fill accommodation in response to changes in rates of sedimentation, subsidence, uplift and eustasy. This method was developed based on observations and concepts developed as early as in the 1800’s. Based on this strong scientific foundation, pioneer work from Caster, Sloss, Wheeler, Campbell, and Asquith established the basis for the methodology. These researchers established a new way to correlate stratigraphic units, demonstrating the time-transgressive nature of lithostratigraphic formations.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 February 2011, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

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

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 15 March 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium presents techniques for predicting pore pressure in seals by examining case studies from the Gulf of Mexico and incorporating the relationship between rocks, fluids, stress, and pressure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 May 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium introduces you to the practical benefits of thermal profiling for a variety of unconventional oil and gas projects, including tight gas sands, oil shale, low-gravity oil.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 January 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This 1-hour web-cast will arm the G&G asset team professionals with a core-competency understanding of these critical field realities, with direct reference to recent documented field experience and learnings

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

This seminar focuses on the role geoscience leaders and mentors play in retaining top talent.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Join us for November’s AAPG Women's Network 2023 Short-Short Course Series on Wednesday, November 29th from 9-11 am (CT) with Dr. Alicia Kahn to discuss biostratigraphy and micropaleontology, largely as it pertains to oil and gas exploration.

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)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Renewable & Non-Renewable Resources is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for renewable energy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 23 July 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

As commodity prices have dropped, many shale plays have become uneconomical as statistical plays and have increasingly become recognized as geological plays demanding new insights from data.

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

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

Physics is an essential component of geophysics but there is much that physics cannot know or address. 

Request a visit from John Castagna!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Paleozoic North America has experienced multiple mountain building events, from Ordovician to Permian, on all margins of the continent. These have had a profound effect on the resulting complex basins and their associated petroleum systems. Subsequent uplift, erosion and overprinting of these ancient systems impedes the direct observation of their tectonic history. However, the basin sedimentary records are more complete, and provide additional insights into the timing and style of the mountain building events. In this study, we employ ~90 1D basin models, ~30 inverse flexural models, isopachs, and paleogeographic maps to better understand the Paleozoic history of North America.

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Request a visit from Kurt W. Rudolph!

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

For well over a century there have been conflicting indications of the strength of the crust and of faults and what controls them.  Much of our ignorance comes quite naturally from the general inaccessibility of the crust to measurement--in contrast with our understanding of the atmosphere, which is much more accessible to observation as well as more rapidly changing.  Crustal strength is best understood in deforming sedimentary basins where the petroleum industry has made great contributions, particularly in deforming petroleum basins because of the practical need to predict. In this talk we take a broad look at key issues in crustal strength and deformation and what we can learn from boreholes, earthquakes, active fault systems, and toy models.

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Request a visit from John Suppe!

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

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)
DL Abstract

Why H₂ is generated in subsurface? Which are the reactions and the promising geological setting? Example in countries where H₂ have already been found: Australia, Brazil. Kinetic reactions: i.e., Is the natural H₂ renewable? What we don't know yet about this resource and about the H₂ systems (generation/transport/accumulation). Overview of the current landscape (subsurface law, permitting, E&P activity)

Request a visit from Isabelle Moretti!

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)

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