University of Texas at Austin

2015 News

December 2015

AGU

Oliver Duffy presented a poster entitled: "The growth and interaction of faults in multiphase rifts: Horda Platform, Norwegian North Sea" at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 14-18, 2015.


November 2015

AGL meeting

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AGL welcomed 291 registered delegates to the 27th AGL Annual Review Meeting, held in Austin on November 12-13. Attendees listened to 22 presentations on salt tectonics in the Precaspian basin, Santos basin, and Gulf of Mexico, as well as physical and numerical models. Presentations by AGL staff members Tim Dooley, Olly Duffy, Maggie Ellis, Naiara Fernandez, Mahdi Heidari, Mike Hudec, and Maria Nikolinakou were joined by presentations from AGL collaborators Chris Jackson, Brandon Minton, David Mohrig, Frank Peel, and Clara Rodriguez.

To see other photos taken at the meeting, please click here.


GSAB

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New publication:

Jackson, C. A.-L., Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2015, Understanding the kinematics of salt-bearing passive margins: a critical test of competing hypotheses for the origin of the Albian Gap, Santos Basin, offshore Brazil: GSA Bulletin, v. 127, p. 1730-1751. doi: 10.1130/B31290.1


October 2015

Rock mech

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New publication:

Nikolinakou, M., Flemings, P., Hudec, M., 2015, Modeling of Shales in Salt-Hydrocarbon Systems Rock Mechanics Rock Engineering; Springer Vienna; doi:10.1007/s00603-015-0863-2


September 2015

PGS

Mike Hudec visited the offices of PGS in Houston on September 1 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of PGS' membership in the AGL consortium.


Ecopetrol

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Ecopetrol on September 2 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Ecopetrol's membership in the AGL consortium.


Murphy

Mike Hudec visited the offices of Murphy Oil in Houston on September 3 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Murphy's membership in the AGL consortium.


Apache

Mike Hudec visited Apache's Houston office on September 15 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Apache's membership in the AGL consortium.


Shell

Mike Hudec visited Shell's Woodcreek office on September 16 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Shell's membership in the AGL consortium.


Murphy

Mike Hudec and Maggie Ellis visited Murphy Oil in Houston on September 17 to discuss salt tectonics in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.


PGS

Mike Hudec was the luncheon speaker at PGS Technology Day in Houston on September 22.


Moab

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Mike Hudec led a salt tectonics field trip near Moab, Utah, from September 27-October 2.  The field trip, entitled "Salt and extensional tectonics in the Paradox Basin, Utah", was attended by 20 geoscientists from 7 companies.


Tectonophysics

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New Publication:

Corti, G., Dooley, T. P., 2015, Lithospheric-scale centrifuge models of pull-apart basins, Tectonophysics, in press, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.09.004


JSG

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New Publication:

Duffy, O. B., Bell, R. E., Jackson, C. A-L., Gawthorpe, R. L., Whipp, P. S., 2015, Fault Growth and Interactions in a Multiphase Rift Fault Network: Horda Platform, Norwegian North Sea.Journal of Structural Geology, 80, 99-119. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2015.08.015.


August 2015

XIV intern workshop

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Naiara Fernandez attended the XIV International Workshop on Modelling of Mantle and Lithosphere Dynamics in Oleron France, from August 31-September 5, 2015. She presented a poster titled "Pattern formation in 3D numerical models of down-built diapirs initiated by a Rayleigh–Taylor instability" by Fernandez & Kaus. Her attendance was supported by a travel grant from the Computational Infrastructure from Geodynamics. She also presented the same poster at 3rd Annual Bureau Research Symposium at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas.


CGG

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of CGG on August 31, to conduct research on Gulf of Mexico salt tectonics.


Tectonics

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New publication:

Collignon, M., Fernandez, N., and Kaus, B. J. P., 2015, Influence of surface processes and initial topography on lateral fold growth and fold linkage mode: Tectonics, v. 34, doi:10.1002/2015TC003843


July 2015

CGG

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGG on July 13-17. While in Houston, Mike taught a short course in salt tectonics, discussed structures in the Gulf of Mexico, and worked on acquiring data for several regional profiles across the Gulf of Mexico basin. Parts of the visit were provided as part of CGG's membership in the AGL consortium.


Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson and family arrived at AGL on July 13. Chris, a professor at Imperial College, London, will be working with AGL staff on seismic interpretation in the PreCaspian basin for five weeks this summer. Welcome back, Chris!


Frank Peel

Frank Peel of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, visited AGL on July 20 to discuss ideas for collaborative research. We look forward to stimulating interactions with Frank in years to come.


TACC

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) renewed Naiara Fernandez's startup project "3D modelling of salt minibasin initiation and propagation" on their super-computer Stampede.


Geophysical Journal

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New publication:

Fernandez, N., and Kaus, B. J. P., 2015, Pattern formation in 3D numerical models of down-built diapirs initiated by a Rayleigh–Taylor instability: Geophysical Journal International, v. 202, no. 2, p. 1253-1270, doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggv219.


June 2015

MIT

Maria Nikolinakou, former UT graduate Dr. David Niño, and Professor Joel Schindall. Photo courtesy of Maria Nikolinakou.

Maria Nikolinakou attended the MIT short course "Engineering Leadership for Early Career Professionals" on the MIT campus, Cambridge, MA from June 8-12, 2015.


Maggie Ellis

AGL welcomed new postdoctoral fellow Maggie Ellis to the BEG on June 17. Maggie joins an active group of young researchers in AGL, and will be working on regional restorations in the Gulf of Mexico basin. Welcome, Maggie!


CGG

On June 18-19, Mike Hudec taught a short course in salt tectonics at CGG's Houston office. AGL's Olly Duffy, Maggie Ellis, and Naiara Fernandez were also in attendance as part of their new-hire training.


San Francisco

Maria Nikolinakou, Professor Andreassen from Denmark Technical University, and Professor Latham from Imperial College stepping with one foot on the North American Plate and their other foot on the Pacific plate, over the creeping San Andreas Fault. Photo courtesy of Maria Nikolinakou. Click to view larger.

Maria Nikolinakou attended the 49th Rock Mechanics and Geomechanics Symposium in San Francisco, California from June 27-July 1, 2015. Maria chaired a session on petroleum-related salt tectonics, presented a talk, "Stress changes associated with the evolution of a salt diapir into a salt sheet," and organized and presented a student trivia event called "Rock Jeopardy".

Maria just finished a three year tenure as a member of the ARMA Future Leaders and was inaugurated as a member of the ARMA Board.

Maria also participated in a field trip, "Faulting in San Francisco Bay Area Tour" with Andy Rathbun.


Cobalt

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of Cobalt International Energy on June 29-30, to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic. Part of the visit was provided as part of Cobalt's membership in the AGL consortium.


Venari

We welcome new member company Venari Resources to the AGL consortium. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Venari.


Geosphere

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New publication:

Ellis, M. A., and Barnes, J. B., 2015, A global perspective on the topographic response to fault growth: Geosphere, v. 11, no. 4, doi:10.1130/GES01156.1


May 2015

Book cover

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New publication:

Bleamaster, L. F., III, and Jackson, M. P. A., 2015, Canyon, in H. Hargitai and A. Kereszturi, Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms: New York, Springer Science and Business Media, p. 216-221.


Montreal

Photo provided by Maria Nikolinakou,
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Maria Nikolinakou attended the 2015 International Society of Rock Mechanics Congress held in Montreal, Canada May 10-13, 2015.  Maria was Junior Keynote speaker on the 13th and presented the talk "Modeling of Shales in Salt-Hydrocarbon systems".


Perth

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Mike Hudec visited Woodside's offices in Perth, Western Australia on May 11-15. Mike taught a short course on salt tectonics and discussed salt structures in the South Atlantic. Portions of the visit was provided as part of Woodside's membership in the AGL consortium.


NSF
workshop
UMASS

Tim Dooley was an invited speaker at an NSF-funded workshop that took place from May 13-15 at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst entitled "Analog Modeling of Tectonic Processes." Tim gave a 50-minute-long talk called "Modeling Salt Tectonics". This was followed by a lively 20-minute Q&A session.


ARMA

On May 27, 2015 the American Rock Mechanics Association announced that Maria Nikolinakou was elected to their board. She will be officially seated on the board during the upcoming 2015 Symposium in San Francisco at the end of June. 6/15


ExxonMobil

Rod Myers of ExxonMobil visited AGL on May 28 to discuss ideas for collaborative research.


AAPG 2015

Oliver Duffy and Tim Dooley attended the AAPG Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado (May 31st-June 3rd). Oliver presented posters entitled "The Growth and Interaction of Faults in Multiphase Rift Fault Networks: Horda Platform, Norwegian North Sea" and "The Topology of Evolving Rift Fault Networks: Implications for Reservoir Compartmentalization." Tim presented a poster entitled "Formation, Rotation, and Translation of Thrust Systems Formed at Basement Ramps During Early-Stage Salt Flow: Application to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico".

Oliver was also co-author on posters presented by Rebecca Bell, Antje Lenhart, and Thomas Phillips, researchers from the Basins Research Group at Imperial College London, on aspects related to the structural evolution of multiphase rift basins.


April 2015

Georgia Tech

Maria Nikolinakou visited the Geosystems Department at Georgia Tech on April 3, 2015 and presented a seminar titled "Geomechanical modeling near salt systems".


Calgary

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Mike Hudec visited Nexen's Calgary office on April 13-14 to discuss salt structures in the South Atlantic.


Verges

Halokinetic sequence on the flank of the Tafraout diapir, Morocco. Click photo to view larger.

Jaume Vergés of the Spanish National Research Council, Barcelona visited AGL on April 22 along with Grégoire Messager of Statoil to discuss ideas for collaborative research on salt structures in the High Atlas of Morocco.


Certificate

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In April, Maria Nikolinakou, Mike Hudec and Peter Flemings were awarded the 2015 Tinker Family Bureau of Economic Geology Publication Award in recognition of exemplary publications of scientific or economic impact for novel numerical approaches in the geomechanics of rising salt diapirs.


March 2015

Oliver Duffy

AGL welcomed new research scientist Oliver Duffy to Austin on March 2. Olly recently completed a post-doc at Imperial College working on quantitative analysis of normal-fault populations on the Horda Platform in the North Sea, and before that did a Ph.D. at the University of Manchester on interaction of stratigraphy with salt tectonics. Olly brings strong skills in seismic interpretation, stratigraphy, and salt tectonics. To begin his career at AGL, he will be working on projects in the Precaspian basin and Gulf of Mexico.


Anadarko

Mike Hudec visited Anadarko's Houston office on March 24 to discuss salt tectonics in offshore Brazil. This visit was provided as part of Anadarko's membership in the AGL consortium.


BP

On March 24, 2015 Maria Nikolinakou visited the offices of BP with Mahdi Heidari and Peter Flemings. Maria gave a series of  talks titled (a) "Stress, strain, and potential failure in upturned flaps around salt domes", (b) "Geomechanical modeling of diaper-to-salt-sheet transition with concurrent sedimentation" and (c) "Pore-pressure prediction based on seismic velocities coupled with geomechanical modeling".


February 2015

Statoil

On February 2, 2015 Maria Nikolinakou visited the offices of Statoil in Austin to discuss upturned flaps near salt domes, salt dome to salt sheet transitions, and salt welds.


Marathon

Mike Hudec visited Marathon's Houston office to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico on February 9. The visit was provided as part of Marathon's membership in the AGL consortium.


Moghadam
Maria

Mahdi Heidari and Maria Nikolinakou each gave two presentations at the 2015 GeoFluids Consortium Annual Meeting on February 26-27. Mahdi's talks concerned pore pressure near rising salt walls and stresses around salt welds, whereas Maria described stress changes occurring during diapir-to-sheet transition and the influence of salt-related stresses on seismic velocities.


JSG cover

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New publication:

Jackson, C.A.-L., Jackson, M.P.A., Hudec, M.R, Rodriguez, C.R., Enigmatic structures within salt walls of the Santos Basin–Part 1: Geometry and kinematics from 3D seismic reflection and well data, Journal of Structural Geology (2015), doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2015.01.010


JSG cover

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New publication:

Dooley, T.P., Jackson, M.P.A., Jackson, C.A-L., Hudec, M.R., Rodriguez, C.R., Enigmatic structures within salt walls of the Santos Basin–Part 2: Mechanical explanation from physical modelling, Journal of Structural Geology (2015), doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2015.01.009


January 2015

CGG

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGG on January 6 and 8 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the visit were provided as part of CGG's membership in the AGL consortium.


Murphy

Mike Hudec visited Murphy Oil in Houston on January 7 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Murphy's membership in the AGL consortium.


Freeport McMoran

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Freeport-McMoRan on January 9 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Freeport-McMoran's membership in the AGL consortium.


Fernandez

AGL welcomed new postdoc Naiara Fernandez to Austin on January 12. Naiara brings skills in structural analysis and finite-element modeling. Over the next two years, Naiara will be working on projects in the Precaspian basin and Gulf of Mexico.


Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson from Imperial College London visited AGL for two weeks from January 12, 2015 - January 23, 2015. Chris was here to discuss future collaborative research projects.


SEG

On January 21, 2015 Maria Nikolinakou gave a talk titled "Geomechanical modeling of stresses adjacent to salt bodies" at the SEAM Pore pressure prediction project meeting in Houston.


Anadarko

On January 27, 2015 Maria Nikolinakou visited Anadarko's offices in the Woodlands presenting a seminar on evolutionary salt modeling.


Tectonophysics

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New publication:

Weijermars, R., 2015, Analytical models of suture formation in salt canopies for safer well planning: Tectonophysics, v. 640-641, p. 1–19. doi: 10.1016.j.tecto.2014.11.009


Tectonophysics

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New Publication:

Weijermars, R., 2015, Sheet coalescence in the Walker Ridge region (Gulf of Mexico): Insights from analytical models: Tectonophysics, v. 640-641, p. 39–52. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2014.11.018


Basin Research

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New publication:

Dooley, T. P., Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2015, Breakout of squeezed stocks: dispersal of roof fragments, source of extrusive salt and interaction with regional thrust faults: Basin Research, v. 27, p. 3-25, doi: 10.1111/bre.12056


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