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Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis

Explorer President’s Column

We have been through a month of lockdown due to the coronavirus, and in that time, we have seen oil prices go into negative numbers. This is paper barrels! The commodity market has a place in our business and it’s helpful to understand the history and how the commodity market has changed our industry.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Rocky Mountain Section of AAPG is pleased to announce the winners of its Presentation Awards for the section’s 2019 Annual Conference which was held in Cheyenne, Wyo. The Presentation Awards are given to those who present the best technical papers at the annual meeting. Authors gave more than 125 oral and poster presentations on the geology of the Rocky Mountain region at the Cheyenne meeting. Judging on technical merit and presentation determined the winners.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Shale resource plays are associated with low permeability, so hydraulic fracturing is required for their stimulation and production. In order to enhance the flow of fluids with hydraulic fracturing, it is vital to understand the stress field distribution. The efficiency and effectiveness of a hydraulic fracture stimulation are predicated on adequate horizontal well placement in the subsurface. For that purpose, the horizontal wells are usually drilled in the direction of minimal horizontal stress so that hydraulic fracturing takes place in the direction of maximal stress that ensures better reservoir contact and production, which also depends on how a complex fracture network is created by induced fractures.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The maturing carbon market is a major driver for carbon capture, utilization and storage projects. Both the subsurface technical knowledge and related data sets of the petroleum industry are major inputs required for the world to successfully move toward a carbon-neutral and sustainable energy future. To that end, one of the goals of the Division of Environmental Geosciences in representing AAPG is to promote what petroleum geologists can offer during an evolving energy future.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

In 1994, while chairman and CEO of Barrett Resources, I got a call from my good friend Ray Thomasson, who said, “Bill I have a prospect Larry McPeek has worked up in the Wind River Basin that you might find interesting.” I’d worked every feature of geology in Wyoming’s Wind River Basin and was familiar with about every well drilled there during my career, so I frankly considered myself somewhat of an expert on the basin ... The Cave Gulch Prospect was located along the Owl Creek Thrust in a geologically complex area.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing in the United States have drawn a wide range of responses from analysts, with projected effects ranging from cataclysmic to trifling. Legislation to phase out fracturing was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this year. That turned up the heat on the controversy, as did the emergence of Sen. Bernie Sanders as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders and Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a bill titled the “Ban Fracking Act” in January.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
wwwUpdate Blog

The Honors and Awards programs provide a means for recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions by professional geologists, especially in the area of exploration for petroleum and energy mineral resources, and by other professionals who further the goals and objectives of the industry's science, profession, and this Association. The motivation toward scientific and professional achievement which such recognition stimulates is much to be desired.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

I was involved in the 2006 discovery of Parshall Oil Field in the Bakken reservoir of North Dakota, one of the largest oil fields in North America. My prospect idea was based on meager geologic data that included two key wells and used the potential of new horizontal drilling technology.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

As basins such as the Permian have crushed the concept of “peak oil” by doubling past production rates using new ideas and technology, their newly dubbed “super basin” status is inspiring operators on practically every continent to do the same.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Now referred to as a “super basin,” the Gulf of Mexico Basin has joined other top super basins in the world that, despite their maturity, have the potential or have proven to be significant new plays all over again. The driving force behind this renaissance is, for a large part, the evolution of technology over the last two decades that has jumpstarted both offshore and onshore basins.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Palermo, Italy
Thursday, 25 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

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. Pricing Fee: €50 Attendee Limit: Min 15 - Max 50 People Registration Deadline: 11 April 2024 Field Trip Rendezvous Point Hotel nH Palermo 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.

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. 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. Pricing Fee: €50 Attendee Limit: Min15 - Max 45 People Registration Deadline: 11 April 2024 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)
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)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 25 August 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium provides highlights of the hydraulic fracturing mechanics, analysis, and design, and is derived from a two and one-half (2-1/2) day course which is designed for drilling, completion, production engineers, engineering technicians, geologists, well-site and completion supervisors, and managers, who desire to possess a comprehensive and integral knowledge of Hydraulic Fracturing.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 21 May 2020, 9:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Henry W. Posamentier discusses the application of 3-D seismic stratigraphic analyses to the mitigation of risk associated with lithology prediction prior to drilling – workflows and techniques. Principles and workflows of seismic stratigraphy and seismic geomorphology will be discussed and numerous examples will be shown from a variety of different depositional settings.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 28 April 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Em 2011 e 2015, apresentei uma avaliação do potencial de petróleo ainda por descobrir (YTF – Yet to Find) na região brasileira do pré-sal, utilizando uma ferramenta de modelagem de exploração e um método de simulação estocástica (Monte Carlo) para estimar as acumulações potenciais já descobertas e as restantes para ser descobertas. Embora da metodologia robusta usada, é compreensível que, à luz dos novos preços do petróleo, muito mais baixos, a avaliação do óleo YTF possa ser questionada sobre o quão realista poderia ser, num cenário prolongado de preço baixo do petróleo. Em 2016, apresentei essa avaliação, para preços do petróleo abaixo de US$ 50/bbl. Agora, com os preços do petróleo ainda mais baixos que podem representar um novo cenário de redução por mais tempo, volto a revisar as avaliações anteriores. Os resultados são apresentados no contexto de importantes implicações geopolíticas para em regiões do mundo onde os recursos de petróleo e gás provavelmente continuarão viáveis, apesar dos preços baixos do petróleo, e os rearranjos geopolíticos que isso implica.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 10 September 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The goal of this e-symposium is to review an important dimension in the ways geologist can build and update geological models using information from performance data.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 30 October 2014, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Cross disciplinary workflows play an important part of successful characterization of shale reservoirs. This course discusses how the artificial kerogen maturity of organic-rich Green River shale affects the petrophysical, micro-structural, geochemical and elastic properties.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 30 June 2020, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Juan Pablo Lovecchio reviews general aspects of rifting, rifts and passive margin formation and evolution through time, as well as elements of petroleum system development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Imaging Technologies'. Panelists will discuss new ways to acquire data that is then processed into interpretable images, and they will discuss the technologies as well as the techniques. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 26 May 2021.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 24 September 2020, 8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.

In the past 3 decades the sequence stratigraphy jargon has proliferated, resulting in multiple definitions of the same surface or new surfaces and units based on drawings of deposition in response to relative changes in sea level. The close association between base-level changes, the formation of surfaces, and specific stratal stacking that define systems tracts are at the heart of the confusion. This webinar is proposed a back-to-basics approach, emphasizing key observations that can be made from any geologic data: lithofacies, lithofacies association, vertical stacking, stratal geometries, and stratal terminations.

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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)
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

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

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)
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

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

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)
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)
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

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)

Related Interests

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