The 2014 Applied Geodynamics Laboratory Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday–Friday, November 13–14 in the Commons Center at the JJ Pickle Research Campus in Austin.

Slide Set 32 from the 2013 Applied Geodynamics Laboratory Annual Meeting is available in the Member's Area.

Salt animation updates - please see the slide set page in the Members' Area

June 2014

Maria Nikolinakou attended the 48th U.S. Rock Mechancis/Geomechanics Symposium in Minneapolis MN June 1-4, 2014 and presented the talk: "Comparison of evolutionary and static modeling of stresses around a salt dome: "The importance of modeling the past". Maria was co-organizer for the career center and student trivia contest events, as well as the “how to give an effective presentation” workshop. She represented the ARMA Future Leader during the Board meeting. She also participated in the Soudan Mine technical tour. 7/14

Link to paper.

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New publication:

Quantifying drag on wellbore casings in moving salt sheets: Geophysical Journal International 198, 965-977, doi:10.1093/gji/ggul174

Weijermars, R., Jackson, M.P.A., Dooley, T.P. 7/14

 

May 2014

May 1 - AGL is pleased to announce three job openings:

Position #1: Early-career salt tectonics. We are looking for expertise in structural geology or stratigraphy with interests in structure. The research scientists will study the evolution of salt structures using 3D seismic data and section restoration to determine principles governing their behavior. Experience with workstation seismic interpretation is required, and experience in salt basins or section restoration would be beneficial. We hope to fill this position either with a postdoc or with somebody having 0–10 years of work experience. We will begin reviewing applications on June 1. More information and instructions for application are available on-line at https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/140509030708.

Position #2: Mid-career salt tectonics. We are looking for expertise in structural geology or stratigraphy with interests in structure. The research scientists will study the evolution of salt structures using 3D seismic data and section restoration to determine principles governing their behavior. Experience with workstation seismic interpretation is required, and experience in salt basins or section restoration would be beneficial. Qualified individuals should have 10–25 years of experience. We will begin reviewing applications on June 1. More information and instructions for application are available on-line at https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/140509010708.

Position #3: Early-career geomechanics. We are looking for expertise in geomechanical numerical modeling and soil/rock mechanics, and experience modeling fluid flow in conjunction with large deformations. The candidate will be part of an integrated team of geologists and engineers and use state-of-the-art numerical modeling to couple complex soil behavior with geological-scale deformation in settings ranging from salt basins to thrust belts. We hope to fill this position either with a postdoc or with somebody having 0–10 years of work experience. We will begin reviewing applications on June 1. More information and instructions for application are available on-line at https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/140509020708.

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Maria Nikolinakou spent two weeks in Boston at MIT in order to finalize her PhD papers. 7/14

On May 23 Mike Hudec met with filmmaker Wendy Taylor from the Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration to film a series of podcasts on the salt-tectonics model for the origin of Upheaval Dome, Utah. ASU is building a series of web-based virtual field trips with funding through the NASA Astrobiology Institute. The virtual field trip will present both the meteor-impact and salt-dome-pinchoff models for the evolution of the enigmatic structure. 5/14

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May 30 – AL bids a regretful farewell to Gang Luo, who leaves us to accept a faculty position at the University of Chinese National Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Gang joined AGL in 2009, and (with Maria Nikolinakou) was instrumental in re-inaugurating AGL’s finite-element-modeling program in collaboration with Peter Flemings’ UTGeoFluids consortium. Gang’s expertise and sense of humor will be sorely missed, but we wish him all the best in his new assignment. 5/14

New publication:

Predicting the depth of viscous stress peaks in moving salt sheets: Conceptual framework and implications for drilling: AAPG Bulletin, v. 98, No. 5, p. 911-945 7/14

Weijermars, R., Jackson, M.P.A.

Link to paper.

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April 2014
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Tim Dooley attended the 2014 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, Texas from April 6-9. Whilst there Tim presented a poster entitled "Squeezing a Large Canopy on a Slope:  Suturing Patterns, Subsalt Thrusting and Suprasalt Extension and Salt Expulsion", coauthored by Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec.

Link to abstract.

Chris Jackson visited AGL on April 28 – May 9 to complete work on two papers associated with Chris’ sabbatical in AGL in 2012–13. The papers deal with salt tectonics and regional evolution of the Santos Basin, Brazil. 5/14

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March 2014
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Mike Hudec visited the offices of CGG, WesternGeco, ION, and PGS in Houston on March 10–11 to discuss salt tectonics in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of ION’s and Pemex’s memberships in the AGL consortium. 5/14

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Maria Nikolinakou was invited to present at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Pore Pressure Workshop in San Antonio, Texas on March 10-12, 2014. She presented a talk on the "Impact of salt diapir evolution on stress and pressure". 7/14

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of PGS on March 24 to discuss salt tectonics in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of PGS’s membership in the AGL consortium. 5/14

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New publication:

Breakout of squeezed stocks: dispersal of roof fragments, source of extrusive salt and interaction with regional thrust faults
T.P. Dooley, M. P. A. Jackson and M. R. Hudec
5/14

New publication:

 Modeling stress evolution around a rising salt diapir, Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 51, p. 230-238, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.11.021.

Nikolinakou, M.A., Flemings, P.B., and Hudec, M.R

Click image for link. 7/14

 

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February 2014
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Maria Nikolinakou visited the offices of Hess on February 25, 2014 and presented a talk titled "modeling stress evolution around a salt dome". 7/14

Mike Hudec visited Pemex’s offices in Villahermosa on February 17–20. While in Villahermosa, Mike taught a short course on salt tectonics and consulted on salt structural styles in the southern Gulf of Mexico. 5/14

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On Feb. 12, 2014 Maria Nikolinakou presented a talk titled "Modeling stress evolution around a rising salt dome" at the Houston Geomechanics series. 7/14

Mike Hudec visited Marathon’s Houston office on February 25 to discuss salt tectonics in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium. 5/14

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Mike Hudec visited BHP’s offices in Houston on February 26–28. During the visit Mike taught a short course in salt tectonics and discussed salt structures in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Part of the visit was provided as part of BHP’s membership in the AGL consortium. 5/14

January 2014

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On January 10, Mike Hudec gave a presentation entitled “Salt-sheet emplacement and drilling hazards” at the January meeting of the Operators’ Geohazards Forum (OGF) in Houston. AGL researchers Maria Nikolinakou, Tim Dooley, Martin Jackson, and Gang Luo were all coauthors on the talk. 5/14

On January 13, 2014, Maria Nikolinakou visited the offices of Cobalt and presented a talk on stress redistribution around salt bodies. 7/14

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Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of Noble Energy on January 23 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Noble’s membership in the AGL consortium. 5/14

New publication:

Sawyer, D. E., Flemings, P. B., and Nikolinakou, M. A., 2013, Continuous deep-seated slope failure recycles sediments and limits levee height in submarine channels: Geology, v. 42, no. 1, doi: 10.1130/G34870.1.

Click image for link to publication.

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December 2013

New publication:

Carruthers, D., Cartwright, J., Jackson, M. P. A., & Schutjens, P. (2013). Marine and Petroleum Geology. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 48(c), 130–148. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.08.001

Click image for link to publication

On December 9, Mike Hudec visited Shell’s Houston office to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Shell’s membership in the AGL consortium. 5/14

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Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of TGS on December 10 to discuss salt interpretation in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of TGS’ membership in the AGL consortium. 5/14

November 2013

Mike Hudec visited ExxonMobil’s Houston office on November 20 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of ExxonMobil’s membership in the AGL consortium.11/13

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of Maersk Oil on November 19 to discuss salt tectonics in West Africa. 11/13

Mike Hudec visited Baylor University in Waco, TX on November 15 to give a presentation on the geologic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico. Mike’s youngest daughter is currently a senior at Baylor. 11/13

More than 360 delegates from 36 companies registered to attend the 25th annual AGL Industrial Associates Meeting, held in Austin on November 12–13. Attendees heard 20 presentations on salt tectonics from around the world, as well as physical, analytical, and numerical modeling. AGL’s Dan Carruthers, Tim Dooley, Mahdi Heidari, Mike Hudec, Chris Jackson, Martin Jackson, Gang Luo, Maria Nikolinakou, and Ruud Weijermars all gave presentations, along with George Burg of Condor Petroleum and Charlie Kergaravat of Université de Pau et des Pays de L’Adour. 11/13

October 2013

Mike Hudec received two awards for a presentation given at the 2012 GCAGS annual meeting. Mike won the 2012 A. I. Levorsen Memorial Award, recognizing the best paper presented, with particular emphasis on creative thinking toward new ideas in exploration. Hudec also received the 2012 GCAGS/GCSSEPM Thomas A. Philpott Excellence of Presentation Award for his paper, "Explanation for Differences in Deepwater Salt Tectonics between the North-Central and Northwestern Gulf of Mexico." 10/13

On October 9, Martin Jackson visited the Houston office of Cobalt International Energy to discuss salt tectonics in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Cobalt’s membership in the AGL consortium. 10/13

Mike Hudec visited Woodside’s offices in Perth, Australia on October 7-11. During the visit Mike taught a short course in salt tectonics, and discussed salt tectonics in a variety of African salt basins. Portions of the visit were provided as part of Woodside’s membership in the AGL consortium. 10/13

New Publications:

Hudec, M. R., Norton, Ian, Jackson, M. P. A., and Peel, Frank, 2013, Jurassic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico salt basin: AAPG Bulletin, v. 97, no. 10, p. 1683–1710.

Hudec, M. R., Jackson, M. P. A., and Peel, Frank, 2013, Influence of deep Louann structure on the evolution of the northern Gulf of Mexico: AAPG Bulletin, v. 97, no. 10, p. 1711–1735.

Dooley, T. P., Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2013, Coeval extension and shortening above and below salt canopies on an uplifted, continental margin: Application to the northern Gulf of Mexico: AAPG Bulletin, v. 97, no. 10, p. 1737-1735.

September 2013
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Mike Hudec led a Paradox Basin field trip for CGGVeritas on September 21–23. 09/13

Ruud Weijermars visited AGL in Austin on September 30-October 2 to discuss ongoing collaborative research. Ruud's work is focused on analytical models for salt-sheet emplacement, and will be presented at the 2013 AGL annual meeting 09/13

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Maria Nikolinakou attended the MIT Leadership Conference September 27-28, 2013. Sessions included topics on volunteering for regional high school students as well as training for interviewing and guiding local students interest in attending MIT.7/14

Tim Dooley attended the 1st International Workshop on Advances in Quantitative Analog Modeling at GFZ Potsdam, Germany from September 22-26th. He visited the tectonic modeling laboratories at GFZ with lab director, Matthias Rosenau, and Juergan Adam from Royal Holloway. 09/13

Mike Hudec led a Paradox Basin field trip for Statoil on September 16-20, along with Statoil geoscientists Rob Hunsdale, Jamie Vinnels, Scott Young and Mike Cogan. Heavy rains washed out some of the field stops, but all involved adjusted to the conditions and enjoyed the trip. Left: Repairing a washed-out stream crossing on the road into Onion Creek. Photograph by Mike Cogan. 09/13

On September 12-22, Martin Jackson visited the Sivas basin in central Turkey for a field trip of well-exposed evaporite diapirs and minibasins. The trip was sponsored by Total and led by PhD students, Charlie Kergaravat and Charlotte Ribes (Université de Pau et des Pays de L’Adour) and by Haluk Temiz (University of Sivas), and joined by Jean-Claude Ringenbach (Total) and Jean-Paul Callot (Université de Pau et des Pays de L’Adour). 09/13

Mike Hudec visited Maersk Oil’s Houston office on September 11–12 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Portions of the visit were provided as part of Maersk’s membership in the AGL consortium. 09/13

Mike Hudec visited Marathon’s Houston office on September 9–10 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. 09/13

August 2013

On August 22, Martin Jackson joined 75 other faculty, researchers, and graduate students from UT’s Jackson School of Geosciences and Department of Petroleum Engineering on a Statoil-sponsored field trip to the fjords of Spitsbergen, the principal island in Svalbard. This six-day multidisciplinary trip was ship-based on the MS Expedition and featured daily excursions to outcrops and to a sumptuous ship’s dining room. See here for more details. 08/13

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of WesternGeco on August 13 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of WesternGeco’s membership in the AGL consortium. 08/13

July 2013

On July 9-12, 2013 Maria Nikolinakou attended the 5th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, in Vienna, Austria, and presented the talk: "Pore pressure and stress around dipping structures". The conference was a big reunion for the poromechanical community, as it celebrated 50 years from Terzaghi's death, and featured a visit to Terzaghi's laboratory, which includes his original device on measuring pore pressure during triaxial loading, and his original notes on the theory of consolidation. 07/13

Maria Nikolinakou became a member of the MIT Educational Council for Central Texas. 07/13

Ruud Weijermars visited AGL in Austin on July 8-10 to discuss ongoing collaborative research. Ruud’s work is focused on analytical models for salt-sheet emplacement, and will be presented at the 2013 AGL annual meeting. 07/13

June 2013

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of BHPBilliton on June 27 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of BHPBilliton’s membership in the AGL consortium 06/13

Maria Nikolinakou attended the 47th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, in San Francisco, CA; and presented the talk: Geomechanical modeling of the Mad Dog salt, Gulf of Mexico (paper 13-234, downloadable from the one-petro website). Maria was member of the organizing committee for ARMA 2013, chair of the paper awards committee, and co-organizer for the career center and student trivia contest events. She also participated in "The Geysers" technical tour. 06/13

On June 5, the Geological Society of London awarded the William Smith Medal (For outstanding research in applied geology”) to Martin Jackson and the Bigsby Medal (“For work of great merit”) to Chris Jackson at Burlington House, London. 06/13

Mike Hudec participated in a field project in the Sivas Basin, Turkey, from May 31-June 14. The field party was organized by the University of Pau and Total, and featured as many as 15 faculty, students, Total geoscientists, and consultants. The fieldwork is aimed at understanding the salt tectonics, minibasin stratigraphy, and compressional deformation affecting a spectacularly exposed but hitherto-unknown salt basin in central Turkey. [image to left: Mike Hudec, Rod Graham, and Jean Letouzey eating lunch in the field.] 06/13

May 2013

Mike Hudec led a salt-tectonics field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah on May 21-25. The trip was attended by representatives from Apache, Maersk, Marathon, Nexen, Nobel, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, and Statoil. 05/13

On may 8th Maria Nikolinakou visited Schlumberger in Houston and presented her work on "Modeling stress evolution around a rising salt dome". She later gave a late-night webminar on the same topic for the Far-East Schlumberger offices. 05/13

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on May 7 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 05/13

Peter Flemings and Maria Nikolinakou visited Anadarko in Houston. Maria presented her work on "Modeling stress evolution around a rising salt dome". 05/13

April 2013

Mike Hudec presented a salt-tectonics short course and led a Paradox Basin field trip to staff from Cairn Energy on April 26-May 3. Cairn is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. 04/13

March 2013

Mike Hudec presented a short course on seismic interpretation of salt structures in CGGVeritas’ Houston office on March 25-26.

Mike Hudec gave a presentation on volcanic eruptions and other geologic processes at Blazier Elementary School on March 6. The presentation was attended by more than 200 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Right: Mike demonstrates the law of superposition, in preparation for using a leaf-blower to demonstrate erosion. Kudos to Tim Dooley for the colored sand! 03/13

February 2013

Mike Hudec visited Marathon’s Houston office on February 25-26 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the visit were provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium. 02/13

Chris Jackson began his tour as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer in February, visiting Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, California and Nebraska. He returned in one piece. 02/13

Ruud Weijermars visited AGL in Austin on February 18-20 to discuss ongoing collaborative research. Ruud’s work is focused on analytical models for salt-sheet emplacement, and will be presented at the 2013 AGL annual meeting. 02/13

Dan Carruthers began his postdoctoral position at AGL on February 18 after graduating with a PhD from Cardiff University in January 2013. Dan worked with Joe Cartwright and Tiago Alves in Cardiff University’s 3D Seismic Lab where he studied salt-related fault families in the UK Central Graben and Espírito Santo Basin (SE Brazil). Dan is currently working on salt tectonics in the deepwater Campos basin, offshore Brazil. The project is focused on; 1) structural styles and origin of mini basins within fallen diapirs, and 2) complex evolution and zonation of salt-related structural domains. 02/13

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of Noble Energy on February 1 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Noble’s membership in the AGL consortium. 02/13

January 2013

In January Martin Jackson spent a week in Rabat, presenting a short course and consulting on salt tectonics in offshore Morocco for the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM). 01/13

Mike Hudec presented a talk entitled “Explanation for differences in deepwater salt tectonics between the north-central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico” for the New Orleans Geological Society on January 7. The talk was part of the Society’s monthly luncheon series. 01/13

December 2012

Martin Jackson visited Condor Petroleum in Calgary to consult on salt tectonics in the Precaspian basin (Kazakhstan) on 17-19 December. 12/12

Mike Hudec visited TGS’ Houston office on December 6 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of TGS’ membership in the AGL consortium. 12/12

Mike Hudec visited PGS in Houston on December 4-5 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the visit were provided as part of PGS’ membership in the AGL consortium. 12/12

Mike Hudec visited Apache Corporation in Houston on December 3 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Apache’s membership in the AGL consortium. 12/12

November 2012 Highlights

On November 28 Martin Jackson attended a conference on” Industrial Structural Geology: principles, techniques and integration” at the Geological Society of London. He presented a keynote lecture entitled, “Coeval extension and shortening above and below salt canopies on an uplifted continental margin: application to the northern Gulf of Mexico “. 11/12

More than 300 delegates from 34 member companies attended the 2012 AGL Annual Meeting, held in Austin on November 13-14. Attendees heard 18 presentations on salt tectonics, based on work by AGL researchers Dan Carruthers, Tim Dooley, Mike Hudec, Chris Jackson, Martin Jackson, Gang Luo, Maria Nikolinakou, and Ruud Weijermars, along with a guest presentation by Jean-Paul Callot from the University of Pau, France. Especially key to the success of the meeting was support provided by BEG staff Nancy Cottington, Sammy Jacobo, Amanda Masterson and David Stephens. Click here for photo gallery of the event. 11/12

Chris Jackson, Statoil Reader in Basin Analysis at Imperial College, London, began a one-year sabbatical at AGL, carrying out research on deepwater salt tectonics in the Santos basin, Brazil. 11/12

October 2012 Highlights

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson gave talks at the annual conference of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies in Austin. Their talks were entitled "Internal deformation of layered evaporites: flow profiles and deformation styles" (Jackson and Dooley) and "Explanation for differences in deepwater salt tectonics between the north-central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico" (Hudec). 10/12

Martin Jackson visited Murphy Oil’s Houston office on October 18 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Murphy’s membership in the AGL consortium. 10/12

New publication:

Dooley, T.P., and Schreurs, G., 2012, Analogue modelling of intraplate strike-slip tectonics: A review and new experimental results: Tectonophysics, v. 574-575, p. 1–71.

September 2012

Martin Jackson visited the Dallas office of Kosmos Energy to consult on salt tectonics in offshore Morocco on September 25-26. 09/12

Martin Jackson presented a short course and consulted on salt tectonics in the North Sea for Maersk North Sea in Aberdeen (Scotland) on September 3-5. 09/12

June 2012 Highlights

New publication:

Gang Luo and Mian Liu, Multi-timescale mechanical coupling between the San Jacinto fault and the San Andreas fault, southern California, Lithosphere, v.4, no.3, p.221-229, doi:10.1130/L180.1 06/12

Mike Hudec visited Noble’s Houston office on June 28 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 06/12

On June 24-28, 2012 Maria Nikolinakou and Gang Luo attended the 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium held in Chicago. Maria presented two talks. One was titled "Stress changes at the crest of dipping structures" (paper 12-254) and the second "Soil model for rock properties prediction in exploration settings" (paper 12-143). The latter is part of Maria's postdoc work with Shell. Gang presented a poster titled "Near-salt stress and wellbore stability: A finite-element study and its application" (paper no. 12-309). The papers will be eventually downloadable from the OnePetro website. 06/12

Maria Nikolinakou was elected member of the first class of Future Leaders of the American Rock Mechanics and Geomechanics Association (ARMA). Maria is also a member of the Organizing committee for 47th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, in San Francisco, June 2013. 06/12

On June 14 Tim Dooley and Martin Jackson hosted a tour of the AGL experimental lab for visiting state geologists during the annual meeting of the Association of American State Geologists in Austin, Texas.06/12

Martin Jackson visited the Houston offices of Nexen Petroleum on June 12 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 06/12

On June 9-11, Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah for employees of CGGVeritas. 06/12

Right: Field-trip participants at the overview stop for the Cane Creek salt anticline, Deadhorse Point State Park, Utah. Click for larger image.

On June 3-8, Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah. The trip entitled “Salt and extensional tectonics in the Paradox Basin”, and was attended by 26 people from 7 companies. 06/12

Left: field trip delegates study fault-relay structures near Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah. Click for larger image.

Dr. Ruud Weijermars, Director Delft Unconventional Gas Research Program at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, began part-time work as a consultant on June 1, working with AGL researchers to study the role of stress in salt flow. 06/12

New publication:

Dooley, T. P., Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2012, The structure and evolution of sutures in allochthonous salt: AAPG Bulletin, v. 96, no. 6, p. 1045-1070.

 

Left: Cover of the June 2012 issue of the AAPG Bulletin. Click for larger image.

April 2012 Highlights

Tim Dooley attended the 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Long Beach, California from April 22-25. Whilst there Tim presented a poster entitled "Coeval shallow extension and deep shortening above and below a salt canopy: a model for the ultradeep Miocene of the northern Gulf of Mexico", coauthored by Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec. 04/12

Dr. Christopher Jackson, Statoil Reader in Basin Analysis, at Imperial College, London, U.K. visited AGL on April 18 to discuss research topics for his sabbatical stay, which begins in October. 04/12

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson were presented an award at the 2012 BEG Author Award Banquet, held in Austin on April 12. The award was given “In special recognition by the director for your landmark publication The Salt Mine”. 04/12

Right: BEG Director Scott Tinker presents award for The Salt Mine to Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec. Click for larger image.

Mike Hudec visited Statoil’s Houston office on April 10 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Statoil’s membership in the AGL consortium. 04/12

New publications:

Wu, J. E., McClay, K. R., Whitehouse, P., and Dooley, T., 2012, Chapter 25. 4D analogue modelling of transtensional pull-apart basins, in Roberts, D. G., and Bally, A. W., eds., Regional geology and tectonics phanerozoic passive margins, cratonic basins, and global tectonic maps: Amsterdam, Elsevier, p. 701–726.

Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2012, De Re Salica: fundamental principles of salt tectonics, in Roberts, D. G., and Bally, A. W., eds., Regional Geology and Tectonics: Phanerozoic Passive Margins, Cratonic Basins, and Global Tectonic Maps, Volume 1C: Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 19-41.

March 2012 Highlights

Maria Nikolinakou and Gang Luo spent a month in Swansea, Wales, UK at Rockfield Software, learning Elfen.
PhD students Dan Roberts and Dan Carruthers showed us what welsh hospitality stands for. Dan Carruthers is joining AGL this fall as a postdoctorate fellow.
While in Wales, Maria gave a talk at the 3D Lab, Cardiff University (run by Professor Joe Cartwright). The title of the talk was:" How does salt affect stresses and pore pressures? From simple geometries to salt-sheet advance". 03/12

Berta Lopez Mir arrived on March 28 for a two-month stay as Visiting Scientist at AGL. Berta is a graduate student at Geomodels Research Institute, Department of Geodynamics and Geophysics, Faculty of Geology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain. Her PhD research focuses on the Cotiella area of the southern Pyrenees. During her stay at AGL, Berta focused on restoring the extensional history of rafting, later exhumed by orogenic shortening. 03/12

Mike Hudec visited Marathon’s Houston office on March 28-30 to conduct research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 03/12

On March 26-27, Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office to conduct research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 03/12

Martin Jackson taught a three-day short course on salt tectonics at the Houston office of ConocoPhillips on March 20-22 and spent a further day discussing salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico as part of ConocoPhillips’ membership of the AGL consortium. 03/12

Mike Hudec visited Noble’s Houston office on March 1 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Noble’s membership in the AGL consortium. 03/12

New publications:

Cartwright, J. A., Jackson, M., Dooley, T., and Higgins, S., 2012, Strain partitioning in gravity-driven shortening of a thick, multilayered evaporite sequence, in Alsop, G. I., Archer, S. G., Hartley, A. J., Grant, N. T., and Hodgkinson, R., eds., Salt tectonics, sediments and prospectivity: London, Geological Society, Special Publications, 363, p. 449–470.

A joint study with the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University, Wales.

Ferrer, O., Jackson, M. P. A., Roca, E., and Rubinat, M., 2012, Evolution of salt structures during extension and inversion of the offshore Parentis Basin (Eastern Bay of Biscay), in Alsop, G. I., Archer, S. G., Hartley, A. J., Grant, N. T., and Hodgkinson, R., eds., Salt tectonics, sediments and prospectivity: London, Geological Society, 363, p. 361–379.
A joint study with GEOMODELS Research Institute, Departament de Geodinamica i Geof?sica, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.

Graham, R., Jackson, M., Pilcher, R., and Kilsdonk, B., 2012, Allochthonous salt in the sub-Alpine fold–thrust belt of Haute Provence, France, in Alsop, G. I., Archer, S. G., Hartley, A. J., Grant, N. T., and Hodgkinson, R., eds., Salt tectonics, sediments and prospectivity: London, Geological Society, Special Publications, 363,p.  595–615.
A joint study with Hess Corporation, London, England.

February 2012 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited Marathon Houston office on February 9-10 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the visit were provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium. 02/12

On February 2, Mike Hudec visited Blazier Elementary School in South Austin, where he gave a talk on geological processes to 175 students from the 2nd and 4th grades. Students especially appreciated the leafblower-and-sand demonstration of erosional processes, although the janitorial staff were rumored to be less pleased. 02/12

January 2012 Highlights

New publications:

Luo, G., Nikolinakou, M. A., Flemings, P. B., and Hudec, M. R., 2012, Geomechanical modeling of stresses adjacent to salt bodies: Part 1—uncoupled models: AAPG Bulletin, v. 96, no. 1, p. 43–64.

Nikolinakou, M. A., Luo, G., Hudec, M. R., and Flemings, P. B., 2012, Geomechanical modeling of stresses adjacent to salt bodies: Part 2—poroelastoplasticity and coupled overpressures: AAPG Bulletin, v. 96, no. 1, p. 65–85.

December 2011 Highlights

On December 17th Tim Dooley got married..... 12/11

On December 16, representatives of Pinnacle Potash International visited AGL's offices in Austin to discuss aspects of their potash mining program in the Paradox Basin, Utah. 12/11

Left - potash ponds near Moab, Utah. Photo by Nelson Minar.

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of ION/GXT on December 8 to review some of their newly acquired and processed regional seismic data in the Gulf of Mexico. The seismic lines are part of the latest phase in GXT's GulfSPAN/FloridaSPAN project. 12/11

Mike Hudec visited Noble Energy in Houston on December 7 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. 12/11

November 2011 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited BP's Houston office on November 15 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of BP's membership in the AGL consortium. 11/11

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Apache on November 14 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 11/11

On November 10, Tim Dooley and Mike Hudec hosted a delegation of ConocoPhillips employees on a tour of the AGL physical modeling laboratory. The ConocoPhillips contingent was in Austin to attend a three-day workshop entitled Direct Observation of Deepwater Sedimentation, run by David Mohrig of UT's Department of Geosciences. 11/11

The AGL Annual Meeting also served as the launch party for AGL’s new book, entitled “The Salt Mine: A Digital Atlas of Salt Tectonics”. More than 230 complimentary copies were distributed to AGL member companies, with an addition 170 copies sold at the meeting. The book and accompanying DVD represent more than 10 years of work, and an investment of more than $1 million. The Salt Mine was co-authored by Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson, with heavy involvement from AGL’s Tim Dooley (modeling and animations), Nancy Cottington (drafting), Sara Clough (HTML authoring), and Cari Breton (GIS database). AGL alumni Bruno Vendeville and Dan Schultz-Ela also contributed large numbers of images to the project. All involved profess great relief that the project is complete. 11/11

Image on top left – the BEG’s Amanda Masterson presents another satisfied customer with a copy of The Salt Mine.

Image on bottom left – Meeting attendees Fred Diegel and Tat Banga examine a display copy of The Salt Mine.

The 24th AGL Annual Meeting was held in Austin on November 3–4. A record 355 delegates from 31 companies and 3 academic institutions registered to attend the meeting. Delegates heard 19 presentations on salt rock mechanics, neotectonics, allochthonous salt tectonics, and regional salt tectonics. 11/11
Below – Martin Jackson addresses delegates at the start of the 2011 AGL Annual Meeting. Click image for more photographs of the event.

October 2011 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Shell on October 7 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part ofShell’s membership in the AGL consortium.

On October 3–4, Mike Hudec taught a two-day short course in salt tectonics in Fugro’s Houston office. This was followed by another two-day short course on October 5–6 for GEMS (Geotechnical Engineering and Marine Surveys). 10/11

New AGL member company, Korea National Oil Corporation visited the Bureau, and Martin Jackson consulted on West African salt tectonics and techniques for structural restoration. 10/11

During the week of October 2nd, Maria Nikolinakou attended the GeoPressure 2011 conference in Galveston, TX. She presented a talk titled "Stresses and Pore pressures at the crest of dipping structures", co-authored with Peter Flemings. The conference icebreaker was held aboard The ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum (right). 10/11

September 2011 Highlights

On September 18–23, Mike Hudec led a salt tectonics field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah. 32 people from 7 companies attended the trip, which enjoyed spectacular weather in Utah’s scenic wonderland. 09/11

Right – the view from Dead Horse Point. Photograph by Maitri Erwin. Click image for enlarged view.

AGL hosted a 5-person delegation from PetroChina on September 16. The visitors were from PetroChina’s research lab in Beijing, and were interested in visiting Tim Dooley’s physical modeling lab. 09/11

Mike Hudec visited Marathon in Houston on September 8–9 to discuss Gulf of Mexico salt tectonics. Portions of the visit were provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium. 09/11



Mike Hudec visited ENI’s Houston office on September 7 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 09/11

Martin Jackson gave a keynote lecture on pillow fold belts in the northern Gulf of Mexico to TGS’s annual Inforum conference in Houston. 09/11

Martin Jackson visited Murphy in Houston to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. 09/11

August 2011 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on August 23 to lead a workshop on salt interpretation. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 08/11

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Samson on August 22 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Samson’s membership in the AGL consortium. 08/11

Mike Hudec visited PGS’ Houston office on August 17–19. During the visit, Mike taught a two-day short course in salt tectonics and conducted research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 08/11

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGGVeritas on August 15–16 to conduct research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 08/11

Martin Jackson visited Anadarko in the Woodlands to present lectures and discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Appalachian Plateau. 08/11

July 2011 Highlights

Martin Jackson gave a talk in Austin about AGL’s research program to a visiting group from BP. 07/11

Mike Hudec visited Woodside’s Houston office on July 11 to discuss salt structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Woodside’s membership in the AGL consortium. 07/11

June 2011 Highlights

Geologists from Marathon’s Gulf of Mexico group visit AGL in Austin on June 30 to discuss structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 6/11

Maria Nikolinakou attended the 45th US Rock Mechanics and Geomechanics Symposium (ARMA) in San Francisco, CA.. After attending a number of geophysical or geological meetings where she knew very few people, Maria was excited to be at a conference where she was acquainted with a large number of the attendees, either from her Rock-Mechanics past, or from her current work with Exploration Geomechanics, Reservoir Geomechanics, Salt Tectonics and Basin Pore Pressures.
Maria presented a talk on the geomechanical modeling of stresses and pore pressures in mudstones around salt bodies and wrote a paper which can be found in the conference proceedings (Paper #271)
Maria has been a reviewer for ARMA the last 2 year. 06/11

Mike Hudec was abroad in Saudi Arabia and Turkey from June 8–25, visiting the offices of Saudi Aramco in Dhahran and Turkish Petroleum in Ankara. While overseas, Mike taught two short courses in salt tectonics, and consulted on salt structures in the Red Sea and the Antalya, and Mersin, and Cankiri basins. 6/11

Left - Mike visited the Hagai Sophia in Istanbul (built in 537 AD) over the weekend between the Aramco and TPAO visits. Click on image for enlarged view.

May 2011 Highlights

Tim Dooley, along with co-authors Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec received an award of excellence for his poster presentation "Canopy Evolution: Deformation Processes and Subsidence Patterns" which was judged as a top 10 poster presentation during the 2011 AAPG Annuall Convention in Houston, Texas. 05/11

Martin Jackson visited Condor Petroleum in Calgary (Canada) to teach a short course on salt tectonics and consult on the Precaspian basin (Kazakhstan). 05/11

On May 15-20, Mike Hudec led a field trip entitled “Salt and Extensional Tectonics in the Paradox Basin, Utah”. 32 delegates from BP, Encana, Fugro, Nexen, Repsol, Samson, and Saudi Aramco attended the trip. All involved enjoyed the outstanding scenery and geology in the area, despite the unseasonably cold and wet conditions. 05/11

Click image for a larger view

On May 2, Mike Hudec met with Andy LeRoy, Bob Klein and Bob Hudson from Samson to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The trio were in Austin to attend Shirley Dutton’s Deep-Shelf Gas consortium meeting, and stopped by to visit during a break. 5/11

On May 2, Tim Dooley visited the Earth Sciences Department at Royal Holloway University of London to view a digital image correlation (DIC) system installed in their physical modeling laboratories. 05/11

April 2011 Highlights

Gang Luo received a 2011 Author Achievement Award from BEG Director Scott Tinker for senior authorship of a peer-reviewed publication in 2010:

Luo G. and Liu, M., 2010, Stress evolution and fault interactions before and after the 2008 great Wenchuan earthquake, Tectonophysics, VOL. 491, p. 127-140, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2009.12.019. 05/11

Mike Hudec visited Pemex in their Ciudad del Carmen office on April 11–15 to conduct a workshop on salt tectonics in the southern Gulf of Mexico salt province. Portions of the visited were conducted as part of Pemex’s membership in the AGL consortium. 4/11

 

Tim Dooley, Martin Jackson, Maria Nikolinakou, Gang Luo, and Ian Norton presented a poster and talks at AAPG’s Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, Texas. Click the links for the abstract.

Dooley, T.P., Jackson, M.P. and Hudec, M.R. Canopy Evolution: Deformation Processes and Subsidence Patterns.

Jackson, M.P., Dooley, T.P., Hudec, M.R. and McDonnell, A. The Pillow Fold Belt: A Key Subsalt Structural Province in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Nikolinakou, M.A., Luo, G., Hudec, M.R. and Flemings, P.B. Geomechanical Modeling of Stresses Adjacent to Salt Bodies: Poro-Elasto-Plasticity and Coupled Overpressures.

Luo, G., Nikolinakou, M.A., Flemings, P.B. and Hudec, M.R. Geomechanical Modeling of Stresses Adjacent to Salt Bodies: Uncoupled Models.

Norton, I. and Dinkelman, M. Synrift Tectonic Domains in South Atlantic Salt Basins: Observations from Long-Offset Deep Seismic Data Combined with Plate Reconstructions Allow for Comparisons of Regional Extension Along West Africa and Brazil Continental Margins

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Apache on April 5 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of Apache’s membership in the AGL consortium. 4/11

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGGVeritas on April 4 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 4/11

March 2011 Highlights

On March 24, Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of WesternGeco to conduct research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 3/11

On March 23, Mike Hudec visited Noble Energy’s Houston office to discuss salt interpretations in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Noble’s membership in the AGL consortium. 3/11

Martin Jackson taught a short course on contractional salt tectonics for Maersk Oil in Cardona (Spain) and participated in field excursions in the Ebro foreland basin in the Pyrenean foothills led by Jaume Vergés, visiting exposures in Cardona salt mine, the frontal anticlines, and the footwall growth strata of Sant Llorenç de Morunys. 3/11


Jaume Vergés, Maura Sans, and Martin Jackson at Cardona castle. Click to enlarge.

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of PGS on March 21-22 to conduct research on salt tectonics in the western Gulf of Mexico. 3/11

A team of geoscientists from Encana’s Dallas office visited AGL on March 14 to discuss salt interpretations in onshore Louisiana. 3/11

February 2011 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited Nexen Petroleum’s Dallas offices on February 22 to discuss prospects for joint research in the Gulf of Mexico. 2/11

More than 70 delegates from 11 member companies attended the UT GeoFluids Annual Industrial Associates review meeting in Austin on February 17-18. The UT GeoFluids consortium, directed by Peter Flemings, is collaborating with AGL to build an understanding of stresses and fluid pressures around salt structures. AGL scientists Gang Luo, Maria Nikolinakou, and Mike Braunsheidel gave a total of 6 presentations at the meeting. These presentations covered topics including pressures at the crest of dipping structures, near-salt borehole stability, development and dissipation of pore pressures around salt, overpressure development associated with salt-sheet advance, and the role of overpressures in the development of a canopy-margin imbricate wedge near Mad Dog field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 2/11

Click image to enlarge

Mike Hudec visited ExxonMobil’s Houston office on February 11 to discuss salt interpretations in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of ExxonMobil’s membership in the AGL consortium. 2/11

On February 10, Mike Hudec visited Marathon Oil’s Houston office to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium. 2/11

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of ENI Petroleum on February 7-9. During the visit Mike taught a salt-tectonics short course entitled “Principles and Applications of Salt Tectonics” and also discussed salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Portions of the visit were conducted as part of ENI’s membership in the AGL consortium. 2/11

January 2011 Highlights

On January 30 AGL welcomed Sara Clough to the group. Sara will be spending the next few months building the html pages for the final edition of The Salt Mine, AGL’s digital atlas of salt tectonics. The final edition, which will comprise an all-color hardback book with DVD in apocket on the inside back cover, is expected to be completed in late summer of 2011. 1/11

Mike Hudec spent the week of January 24-28 at CGGVeritas’ Houston office conducting research on Gulf of Mexico salt tectonics. Results of the work will contribute to ongoing projects concerning the origins of the Gulf of Mexicosalt basin, comparison of central and western parts of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, and writing of a salt-tectonics textbook. 1/11

On January 4, Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec signed a memorandum of agreement with Cambridge University Press to write a new textbook on salt tectonics. The book, tentatively titled Salt Tectonics: Principles and Practice, is scheduled to be delivered to the publisher in June 2013. Current plans are that the book will be roughly 500 pages in length, with 350 color illustrations. 1/11

On January 1, AGL draftsperson Nancy Cottington was promoted to Senior Computer Illustrator. This promotion reflects recognition of Nancy’s major contributions to the AGL consortium over the last 10 years, including thousands of illustrations created plus an increasing load of administrative and organizational responsibilities. Congratulations, Nancy! 1/11

New publications:

 

Jackson, M. P. A., Adams, J. B., Dooley, T. P., Gillespie, A. R., and Montgomery, D. R., 2011, Modeling the collapse of Hebes Chasma, Valles Marineris, Mars: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 2011, doi:10.1130/B30307.1 1/11

Left - diapirs and flows of viscous materials within Hebes Chasma, Mars. Click for larger image.

New Scientist magazine also featured a short piece on the Hebes Chasma paper in February. Click for PDF.

Jackson, M. P. A., Hudec, M. R., and Dooley, T. P., 2010, Some emerging concepts in salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico: intrusive plumes, canopy-margin thrusts, minibasin triggers and allochthonous fragments: The Geological Society, London, Petroleum Geology Conference Series, v. 7, p. 899–912. doi: 10.1144/0070899 1/11

December 2010 Highlights

Angela McDonnell and her husband Wayne Wright bade farewell to the Bureau to start a new life in Oslo (Norway), where they work for Statoil. We all wish her well in her new position. 12/10

Mike Hudec visited PGS’ Houston office on December 9 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of PGS’ membership in the AGL consortium. 12/10

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGGVeritas on December 7-8 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 12/10

Martin Jackson consulted for McMoRan Exploration on salt tectonics in the ultradeep shelf, northern Gulf of Mexico. 12/10

On December 2, Mike Hudec presented a talk entitled “Influence of basement structure on the evolution of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico” at the monthly meeting of the Austin Chapter of SIPES (Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists). Participants enjoyed an excellent barbeque lunch while learning about the Jurassic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. 12/10

November 2010 Highlights
Attendees listen to a presentation of Tim Dooley's physical models of deformation in a layered salt sequence.

A record 325 delegates from 35 companies attended the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory's 23rd Annual Industrial Associates Review Meeting on November 18 and 19. The meeting included 20 presentations on regional salt tectonics, small-scale salt structures, stresses and overpressures around salt, allochthonous salt tectonics, and AGL' technology transfer. Presentations by AGL scientists Mike Braunscheidel, Tim Dooley, Mike Hudec, Martin Jackson, Gang Luo, Angie McDonnell, Maria Nikolinakou, and Ian Norton were joined by guest lectures from Nexen employee (and AGL alumnus) Bryce Wagner and Hess' Robin Pilcher. Click here for photographs taken during the meeting. 11/10

October 2010 Highlights

Angela McDonnell and Martin Jackson presented talks at a Gulf of Mexico workshop organized by Global Geophysical Services on October 28 in Missouri City, Texas. The talks were entitled “Characteristics of the ultra-deep Paleogene, northwestern Gulf of Mexico" and “The pillow fold belt: A key subsalt structural province in the northern Gulf of Mexico”. 10/10

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGGVeritas on October 13-14 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 10/10

Mike Hudec visited Fugro’s Houston office on October 12 to conduct research on Gulf of Mexico salt tectonics. 10/10

On October 1, Mike Hudec presented a talk entitled “Influence of basement structure on evolution of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico” as part of the BEG’s weekly technical seminar series.

 

 

Right: Schematic evolution of the deepwater north-central Gulf of Mexico.

September 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec led a field trip entitled “Salt and Extensional Tectonics in the Paradox Basin, Utah’ on September 19-24. Delegates included 32 people from 10 companies.

Left: Field-trip participants pose in front of the Onion Creek diapir, Paradox Basin.

Martin Jackson visited Hess Corporation in Houston on September 21-23 to teach a short course and discuss salt tectonics in the northern Gulf of Mexico as part of Hess’ membership in the AGL consortium. 09/10

Martin Jackson visited Maersk Oil in Houston on September 10 to discuss salt tectonics in the northern Gulf of Mexico and Brazilian basins as part of Maersk’s membership in the AGL consortium. 09/10

Mike Hudec taught a short course entitled “Principles and Applications of Salt Tectonics” at Fugro’s Houston office on September 1-2. 09/10

August 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas in Houston on August 25 to discuss salt structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 08/10

Martin Jackson was the subject of an AAPG Explorer feature entitled “ Researcher Follows His Interests.” The article surveyed key aspects of Jackson’s biography, career, and research perspectives while based in southern Africa and the United States. Click on image to read the article. 08/10

July 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited Shell’s offices in Houston on July 13-15 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the visit was conducted as part of Shell’s membership in the AGL consortium. 07/10

Members of the AGL team gathered together for a rare group photograph on July 7 in honor of a story about the consortium that will appear in an upcoming edition of the Jackson School of Geosciences newsletter. Team members are (from left to right) Nancy Cottington (drafting), Angela McDonnell (seismic interpretation), Tim Dooley (physical modeling), Gang Luo (geomechanical modeling), Mike Hudec (co-PI, structural geology), Martin Jackson (co-PI, structural geology), Ian Norton (plate restoration), Maria Nikolinakou (geomechanical modeling), and Mike Braunscheidel (MS student, structural geology). 07/10

June 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec spent the week of June 28-July 2 visiting the Pemex offices in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. During this visit Mike presented a two-day short course on salt tectonics, and then led a workshop on salt tectonics in the Campeche salt basin, Mexico. 06/10

Mike Hudec and AGL Master’s student Mike Braunscheidel visited BP’s Houston office on June 24 to present some of the result’s of Mike Braunscheidel’s MS thesis. Braunscheidel is conducting a detailed structural analysis along a portion of the Sigsbee Escarpment, deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 06/10

Left: Extensional styles along the Sigsbee Escarpment, Mad Dog area, deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Mike Hudec led a field trip entitled “Salt and Extensional Tectonics in the Paradox Basin, Utah”  on June 6-11. Delegates included 25 people from 8 companies. 06/10

Right: The La Sal Mountains overlooking salt structures in the Paradox Basin. Photograph by Elizabeth Powers.

May 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of WesternGeco on May 13-14. During the visit, Mike gave a presentation entitled “Influence of basement structure on evolution of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico”. 05/10

Mike Hudec visited ConocoPhillips offices in Houston on May 12 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. While there, Mike gave one presentation entitled “An analysis of salt welding” based on the dissertation research of AGL graduate student Bryce Wagner, and a second presentation developed by Martin Jackson entitled “Pillow fold belts: recognition, modeling and a hypothesis for the northern Gulf of Mexico”. The visit was conducted as part of ConocoPhillips’ membership in the AGL consortium. 05/10

Bryce Wagner III was awarded a PhD for his dissertation entitled “An analysis of salt welding,” co-supervised by Martin Jackson and Mark Cloos at the Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin. Mike Hudec and Frank Peel (BHP Billiton) also served on his committee. After graduating, Bryce joined Nexen in Dallas, Texas. 04/10

April 2010 Highlights

On April 29, Mike Hudec presented a talk entitled “A proposed subsalt foldbelt beneath the outer shelf, Central Gulf of Mexico” at the Deep Shelf Gas consortium spring 2010 meeting. The Deep Shelf Gas consortium is housed at the Bureau of Economic Geology, and focuses on understanding reservoir quality issues associated with the currently active deep- shelf gas play in the Gulf of Mexico. Mike was invited to address the meeting by Deep Shelf Gas Principal Investigator Shirley Dutton. The presentation was based on talks that Mike gave at AGL annual meetings in 2007 and 2008. 04/10

Above - Fugro seismic data in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (AAPG Explorer, April 2010)

Mike Hudec visited Fugro’s Houston office on April 22 to conduct research on autochthonous Louann structures in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. 04/10

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on April 20, 21 and 23 to advise on salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and to conduct research on basement structure in the area. Portions of the visit were conducted as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 04/10

New publication:


McDonnell, A., Jackson, M. P.A., Hudec, M. R., 2010, Origin of transverse folds in an extensional growth-fault setting: Evidence from an extensive seismic volume in the western Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Petroleum Geology (2010), doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2010.03.006 04/10

 

Click here for publication abstract

Tim Dooley also received a 2009 Author Achievement Award from BEG Director Scott Tinker for senior authorship of a peer-reviewed publication in 2009:


Dooley, T. P., Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2009, Inflation and deflation of deeply buried salt stocks during lateral shortening: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 31, no. 6, p. 582–600. 04/10

On April 19 Mike Hudec received a 2009 Author Achievement Award from BEG Director Scott Tinker. Mike was recognized for senior authorship of two peer-reviewed publications in 2009:

Hudec, M. R., Jackson, M. P. A., and Schultz-Ela, D., 2009, The paradox of minibasin subsidence into salt: clues to the evolution of crustal basins: GSA Bulletin, v. 121, no. 1/2, p. 201–221.

Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., Interaction between spreading salt canopies and their peripheral thrust systems: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 31, p. 1114-1129. 04/10

AAPG’s Robert R. Berg Award was presented to Martin Jackson for his career in salt-tectonics research. 04/10

 

Click here or on image for larger file

AGL scientists were well represented at the 2010 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, held in New Orleans on April 11–4. 04/10

*Dooley, Tim, Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2010, Roof breakup and extrusion of shallow salt stocks during lateral shortening (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention & Exhibition, v. 19, p. 61.
Hudec, M. R., and Peel, Frank, 2010, Influence of basement structure on evolution of the deepwater gulf of Mexico (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention & Exhibition, v. 19, p. 116–117.
Hudec, M. R., 2010, Is there a subsalt foldbelt in the central U.S. Gulf of Mexico? (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention & Exhibition, v. 19, p. 117.
Wagner, B., Evaluating Salt Weld Permeability and Migration Risk (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention & Exhibition, v. 19, p. 266.

* Tim used his iPad to present movies of the evolving models and serial sections. Attendees described the experience as "magical".

On April 1 Tim Dooley acquired an iPad, and everything changed. Forever. 04/10

March 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on March 24 to advise on salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 03/10

Mike Hudec presented an invited keynote presentation at the inaugural AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop, Deepwater and Ultra Deepwater Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting was held in Houston on March 16–17. Mike’s presentation was co-authored by Frank Peel of BHP, and was entitled “Influence of basement structure on evolution of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.” 03/10

On March 15, Mike Hudec gave a presentation in Houston as part of CGGVeritas University’s US Imaging Technical Presentation Series. The lecture was entitled “Seismic interpretation of allochthonous salt: Part 1 – top of salt.” 03/10

On March 12, Martin Jackson presented a seminar to the Bureau of Economic Geology entitled “The collapse of Hebes Chasma, Mars.” 03/10

New publication:

Gómez-Cabrera, P. T., and M. P. A. Jackson, 2009, Neogene stratigraphy and salt tectonics of the Santa Ana area, offshore Salina del Istmo Basin, southeastern Mexico, in C. Bartolini and J. R. Román Ramos, eds., Petroleum systems in the southern Gulf of Mexico: AAPG Memoir 90, p. 237 – 255. 03/10

Click here for abstract

New publication:

Gómez-Cabrera, P. T., and M. P. A. Jackson, 2009, Regional Neogene salt tectonics in the offshore Salina del Istmo Basin, southeastern Mexico, in C. Bartolini and J. R. Román Ramos, eds., Petroleum systems in the southern Gulf of Mexico: AAPG Memoir 90, p. 1–28. 03/10

Click here for abstract

February 2010 Highlights

Mike Hudec and post-doctoral fellows Gang Luo and Maria Nikolinakou all gave presentations at the 2010 UT GeoFluids Annual Meeting, held in Austin on February 11-12. Maria and Gang have been hired jointly by AGL and Peter Flemings’ UT GeoFluids consortium as part of an effort to understand stresses and fluid pressures around salt structures. Mike’s talk was entitled “The geology of the Sigsbee salt canopy near Mad Dog field, deepwater Gulf of Mexico.” Gang presented “Finite-element models of stresses around salt structures: the influence of salt geometry” and Maria presented “finite-element models of stresses around salt structures: introducing plasticity and pore pressure coupling.” 02/10

 
January 2010 Highlights

Tim Dooley and Mike Hudec attended a conference entitled “Salt tectonics, sediments and prospectivity,” held at Burlington House in London on January 20–22. The meeting was organized jointly by The Geological Society's Petroleum Group and by SEPM. AGL contributed to the following papers:

Carruthers, D., Cartwright, J., Jackson, M.P.A. and Kristensen, M., Using Polygonal Fault Systems to Reconstruct the State of Stress of Salt Diapirs.

Cartwright, J., Jackson, M.P.A., Higgins, S. and Dooley, T., Role of Multilayered Salt in Gravity-Driven Collapse of Thick Salt Sheets.

Dooley, T.P., Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., Roof breakup and extrusion of shallow salt stocks during lateral shortening.

Graham, R., Jackson, M.P.A., Kilsdonk, B. and Pilcher, R., Allochthonous Salt in the Sub-Alpine Fold and Thrust Belt of Haute Provence.

Hudec, M.R.
and Peel, F.J., Influence of Deep Louann Structure on Evolution of the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Keynote Talk.

Tomasso, M., Wright, W.R., Costa, F.O., Araujo, A.D., Sant'Anna, M.V., Machado, E.C.V., Hudec, M.R., Jackson, M.P.A. and Kerans, C., Linking Halokinetic Structure to the Pre-Evaporitic Structural Regime, Evaporite Facies and the Albian Carbonate Platform Succession, Campos Basin, Brazil. 01/10

December 2009 Highlights

Monica Pequeno was awarded a PhD for her dissertation entitled “Albian/Maastrichtian tectono-stratigraphic evolution of central Santos Basin, offshore Brazil,” co-supervised by Martin Jackson and Bill Fisher at the Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, Monica returned to Petrobras in Rio de Janiero. 12/09

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas in Houston on December 11 to advise on salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 12/09

Mike Hudec, Martin Jackson and Tim Dooley attended a meeting with representatives from Statoil in Austin on December 10. The meeting was organized by the BEG’s Associate Director for Energy, Eric Potter to discuss potential areas of collaborative research between UT Austin and Statoil. 12/09

More than 250 delegates from the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory’s 32 member companies attended the 22nd AGL Annual Meeting, held in Austin December 3-4. This number represents a record for the AGL. Attendees listened to 20 presentations on salt tectonics over the course of the meeting, ranging in topic from physical modeling of allochthonous salt to numerical modeling of subsalt drilling hazards to subsalt structure in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 12/09

Right - BEG Director Scott Tinker welcomes delegates from the 32 member companies. Click image for larger version.

November 2009 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on November 16–17 to discuss interpretation on salt structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and conduct research on Gulf of Mexico salt tectonics. 11/09

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of CGGVeritas on November 2–3 to advise on salt interpretations on several deepwater Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes undergoing depth processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 11/09

October 2009 Highlights

New publication:

Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., Interaction between spreading salt canopies and their peripheral thrust systems: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 31, p. 1114-1129. 10/09

Click here for publication abstract

Mike Hudec spent the week of October 26–30 in CGGVeritas’ Houston office conducting research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 10/09

Mike Hudec visited Nexen’s offices in Dallas on October 15–16 to build structural restorations of several deepwater Gulf of Mexico prospects. 10/09

Mike Hudec visited the Houston office of CGGVeritas on October 8–9 to advise on salt interpretations on several deepwater Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes undergoing depth processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 10/09
 

Mike Hudec visited BP’s Houston office on October 7 to discuss evolution of structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of BP’s membership in the AGL consortium. 10/09

BP
September 2009 Highlights

Mike Hudec and Ph.D. student Bryce Wagner conducted fieldwork along the north flank of the Onion Creek diapir, Paradox Basin, Utah September 26 – October 1. The trip focused on patterns of folding and radial faulting near the diapir contact, and included several helicopter flights over the area. 09/09

 

Left - Mike Hudec examines secondary deformation along a radial fault adjacent to the Onion Creek diapir. Click image for larger version.

Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah, on September 21–25. 26 people from 8 companies attended the trip. Participants looked at exposures illustrating gravity-driven tectonics, diapir pinchoff, salt-wing emplacement, welding, basement control of salt tectonics, halokinetic sequences, crestal extension above diapirs, and the effects of regional extension on salt structures. Click image for larger version. 09/09

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on September 9 to discuss interpretation of salt structures on several seismic volumes in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico currently undergoing depth processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 09/09

Mike Hudec visited Pemex offices in Villahermosa, Mexico on September 4 to conduct a workshop on salt and basement tectonics in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Pemex’ membership in the AGL consortium. Click image for higher quality image.. 09/09

 

Left - workshop participants (from L to R) Rolando Peterson, Jaime Penloza, Ramón León, Mike Hudec, Enrique Reyes, Miguel Cruz, Raymundo Sánchez, Carlos Flores, and Andrés Pena

Researchers from ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company visited AGL’s offices in Austin on September 2 to discuss ideas on finite-element modeling of salt structures. 09/09

ExxonMobil

Tim Dooley, Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec were awarded certificates of excellence for their poster "Deformation Styles and Linkage of Salt Walls During Oblique Shortening" by AAPG. The poster was judged a "Top 10 Poster Presentation" at the AAPG Annual Convention in Denver, June 2009. 09/09

August 2009 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited PGS’ Houston office on August 18–19 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of PGS’ membership in the AGL consortium. 08/09

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on August 17 to discuss salt interpretations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 08/09

AGL also welcomes Post-Doctoral Fellow Maria Nikolinakou, who arrived in Austin on August 17. Maria joins the AGL following a long stint at MIT, where she obtained an M.S. and Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering, and also served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. Prior to arrival in the US, Maria received an undergraduate degree from the National Technical University of Athens. Maria has strong expertise in finite-element modeling and soil mechanics, and will be working on numerical modeling of salt tectonics. Maria and Gang Luo (see above) have been hired jointly by AGL and Peter Flemings’ UT GeoFluids consortium, as part of an effort to understand stresses and fluid pressures around salt structures. 08/09

AGL welcomes Post-Doctoral Fellow Gang Luo, who joined the group on August 10. Gang comes to the BEG from the University of Missouri-Colombia, where he obtain a Ph.D. in Computational Geodynamics in summer 2009. Prior to his tenure at Missouri, Gang received a B.S. in Seismic Geology and an M.S. in Solid Geophysics at Peking University. Gang has a strong expertise in finite-element modeling, and will be working on numerical modeling of salt tectonics. Gang and Maria Nikolinakou (see below) have been hired jointly by AGL and Peter Flemings’ UT GeoFluids consortium, as part of an effort to understand stresses and fluid pressures around salt structures. 08/09

July 2009 Highlights

Graduate student Bryce Wagner III spent the summer as an intern with Devon Energy in Houston. 07/09

Graduate student Mike Braunscheidel spent the summer as an intern with ExxonMobil in Houston. 07/09

On July 21–23, Martin Jackson visited the Houston office of Woodside Energy USA, where he taught a short course and discussed salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico as part of Woodside's membership in the AGL consortium. 07/09

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on July 13–14. During the visit Mike discussed salt interpretation on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes undergoing depth processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 07/09
 

Mike Hudec visited Nexen’s office in Dallas on July 8, to discuss interpretation of salt structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 07/09
 

New publication

Adams, J. B., Gillespie, A. R., Jackson, M. P. A., Montgomery, D. R., Dooley, T. P., Combe, J.-P., and Schreiber, B. C., 2009, Salt tectonics and collapse of Hebes Chasma, Valles Marineris, Mars: Geology, v. 37, p.691-694.

The paper presents photogeologic and model evidence that Hebes Chasma, a closed canyon 300 km long and 8 km deep formed by collapse and drainage of ~10E5 cubic kilometers of brines and entrained particulates through fractures in the chasma floor into a regional aquifer. Collapse caused extensional thinning, mass wasting, and flow of layered stratigraphy inferred to consist of salt, ice, and tephra. These processes of exhumation triggered widespread mobilization of deeper layers, leading to rise of small stocks, and the breakout of giant allochthonous flows up to 70 km long from the base of the chasma walls, from where they drained into pits.

Click here or image to right for publication abstract

June 2009 Highlights

On June 23, Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson presented Centennial Lectures at the BEG's Houston Research Center. Mike's talk was entitled "Structural style and evolution of thrust systems driven by spreading of allochthonous salt sheets." Martin's was entitled "How and where is the Sigsbee Escarpment advancing?" 06/09

On June 14-19, Mike Hudec led a field trip entitled “Salt and Extensional Tectonics in the Paradox Basin, Utah.” The trip visited salt-related structures in and around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Utah. 06/09

 

 

 

 

Right - field trip participants overlooking the Colorado River at Deadhorse Point State Park, Utah

Mike Hudec and AGL grad student Bryce Wagner conducted mapping along the north flank of the Onion Creek salt diapir, Paradox Basin, Utah from June 11–13. 06/09

 

 

 

 

 

Left: looking west along the contact between the diapir (white) and the Permian Cutler Group (red). Cutler beds are complexly folded near the diapir contact.

AGL staff authored or coauthored 6 papers at the AAPG Annual Convention in Denver, held June 8–10. 06/09
 

Tomasso, Mark, Wright, Wayne, Costa, F. O., Araujo, M. B., Sant'Anna, M., Machado, E. C. V., Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2009, The relationship of salt-tectonic structures in pre-evaporite depositional and structural regimes and evaporite facies in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, v. 18, p. 214.


Dooley, Tim, Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2009, Deformation styles and linkage of salt walls during oblique shortening (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, v. 18, p. 57.


Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2009, Criteria for interpreting open feeders beneath allochthonous salt sheets (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, v. 18, p. 100.


Norton, Ian, Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2009, Tectonics of passive margin salt basins: crustal structure of the Gulf of Mexico and south Atlantic during salt deposition (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, v. 18, p. 155.

Ferrer, O., Roca, E., Jackson, M. P. A., Ellouz, N., and Muñoz, J. A., 2009, Structure and salt tectonics in the offshore Parentis Basin, eastern Biscay Bay (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, v. 18, p. 68.

Day-Stirrat, R. J., McDonnell, Angela, and Wood, L. J., 2009, Characteristics of 'mobile' shale in the deep stratigraphic subsurface (abs.): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, v. 18, p. 52.

On June 7, Tim Dooley and coauthors Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson were presented with the 2008 Jules Braunstein Memorial Award for the best poster at the 2008 AAPG’s Annual Convention. The paper, entitled “Dismembered sutures formed during asymmetric salt-sheet collision” described the results of Tim’s physical modeling on the origin and evolution of sutures within canopies. 06/09

 

 

Right: Tim Dooley and Mike Hudec with AAPG President Scott Tinker

New Publication:

Dooley, T.P., Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M.R., 2009, Inflation and deflation of deeply buried salt stocks during lateral shortening: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 31, p.582-600.
This paper presents the results of a suite of models investigating the fate of passive diapirs that were later squeezed. Using innovative techniques we show how diapirs first inflate during compression then inject plumes of diapiric salt back into their source layers.
01/09

Click image above for abstract

May 2009 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on May 21–22 to discuss salt interpretation of several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership the AGL consortium. 05/09

Martin Jackson presented an AAPG short course on “Deepwater Salt Tectonics” in Austin on May 20-21. 05/09

On May 6–7 Mike Hudec visited the offices of Devon Energy in Houston to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 05/09

Mike Hudec visited with BHP Billiton Chief Geologist Frank Peel on May 1 to discuss ideas on crustal structure of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 05/09

April 2009 Highlights

Mike Hudec participated in a seminar on the salt tectonics of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico at Chevron’s Houston office on April 30. The visit was provided as part of Chevron’s membership the AGL consortium.

On April 29 Mike Hudec presented “The paradox of minibasin subsidence into salt” at the Houston Geological Society April Luncheon. The talk was coordinated by HGS Vice President Art Berman of Labyrinth Consulting Services. 04/09

Mike Hudec traveled to Houston on April 22 to visit CGGVeritas. Mike discussed salt interpretation on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership the AGL consortium. 04/09

On April 21 Mike Hudec visited the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City to give his Centennial lecture titled "Structural Style and Evolution of Thrust Systems Driven by Spreading of Allochthonous Salt Sheets" to approximately 175 faculty and students. We thank Ricardo Padilla and the faculty of UNAM for their gracious hospitality during Mike's visit. 04/09

Visiting Marathon Oil in Houston Martin Jackson presented a talk entitled “How and Where is the Sigsbee Escarpment Advancing” as part of the Bureau’s Centennial lecture series on April 16. 04/09

Mike Hudec was in Dallas on April 13–16, working with Nexen Petroleum on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 04/09

March 2009 Highlights

From March 31 to April 2, Martin Jackson attended the Geological Society's 7th Petroleum Geology Conference in the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, London, where he gave a keynote paper titled "Some Emerging Concepts in Salt Tectonics from the Gulf of Mexico" and co-chaired a session, “Sediments and Structures in Passive Margins.” The previous week he visited Mærsk Olie og Gas AS in Copenhagen where he presented the same lecture to members of several oil companies (Mærsk, DONG E&P, Norwegian Energy Company), the Geological Survey and the University of Copenhagen. He also lectured and consulted on the geology of Angola’s Kwanza Basin and the Danish sector of the North Sea at Mærsk’s head office. 03/09

On March 31, Mike Hudec presented a talk titled “Salt and plate tectonics in the deepwater South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico” in Houston at an internal Chevron conference on hydrocarbon systems. The talk was attended by about 40 Chevron geoscientists, and was provided as part of Chevron’s membership in the AGL consortium. 03/09

Several geoscientists from Devon Energy visited Austin on March 26 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. This visit was provided as part of Devon’s membership the AGL consortium. 03/09

Mike Hudec visited the Department of Geosciences at Penn State on March 24 to give a presentation titled “Structural style and evolution of thrust systems driven by spreading of allochthonous salt sheets.” The visit was hosted by Penn State’s Don Fisher, and was presented as part of the BEG’s Centennial Distinguished Lecturer series. 03/09

February 2009 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on February 11–12 to discuss salt interpretation of several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership the AGL consortium. 02/09

On February 2, Mike Hudec presented a talk entitled “Episodic advance of the Sigsbee Salt Canopy, deepwater Gulf of Mexico” to the New Orleans Geological Society. The talk was coordinated by NOGS Vice President Al Melillo of Chevron. 02/09

January 2009 Highlights

New Publication:

Hudec, M. R., Jackson, M. P. A., and Schultz-Ela, D. D., 2009, The paradox of minibasin subsidence into salt: Clues to the evolution of crustal basins: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 201-221.

The buoyancy mechanism has long been regarded as inadequate to explain how minibasins are initiated. This review explores more-viable mechanisms for initiating and deepening minibasins.
01/09

Click cover image to right for publication abstract

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ offices in Houston on January 20 to discuss salt interpretation on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 01/09

Mike Hudec and Peter Flemings attended a series of meetings at BHP’s Houston offices on January 14. The meetings focused on plans for collaborative research involving the AGL and Flemings’ GeoFluids consortium. 01/09

bhp billiton

New Publication:

Montgomery, D. R., Som, S. M., Jackson, M. P. A., Schreiber, B. C., Gillespie, A. R., and Adams, J. B., 2009, Continental-scale salt tectonics on Mars and the origin of Valles Marineris and associated outflow channels: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 117-133.

Analysis of structural and geomorphic data suggests that the 3000-km-wide Thaumasia Plateau deformed as a mega-slide detaching on a layered mixture of salts, ice, and basalt debris, mobilized by magmatic uplift and heating. 01/09

Click cover image to
left for publication abstract

December 2008 Highlights

On December 11-12 Martin Jackson presented a short course on Deepwater Salt Tectonics in Houston as part of AAPG’s Fall Education Conference on Structural Geology. 12/08

Mike Hudec visited Shell’s Woodcreek office in Houston on December 10–11 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Shell’s membership in the AGL consortium. 12/08

Shell

Martin Jackson visited Murphy Oil Corporation in Houston on December 10 to discuss salt interpretation in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Murphy’s membership of the AGL consortium. 12/08

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ offices in Houston on December 9 to discuss salt interpretation on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 12/08

Mike Hudec visited StatoilHydro’s Houston office on December 5 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of StatoilHydro’s membership in the AGL consortium. 12/08

Mike Hudec visited Nexen’s offices in Dallas on December 4 to discuss salt interpretation in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Nexen’s membership in the AGL consortium. 12/08

Mike Hudec visited Chevron in Houston on December 2–3 to discuss salt interpretation in offshore Brazil. The visit was provided as part of Chevron’s membership in the AGL consortium. 12/08

New Publication:

Dribus, J. R., Jackson, M. P. A., Kapoor, J., and Smith, M. F., 2008, The prize beneath the salt: Oilfield Review, Autumn 2008, p. 4–17.

This review introduces the geology and discoveries of the subsalt play in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
12/08

November 2008 Highlights


Mike Hudec
traveled to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on November 12–20 to discuss salt tectonics in the Red Sea with Saudi Aramco staff. While in Dhahran, Mike was able to spend an afternoon riding the sand dunes outside Dhahran with Aramco host Robert Tubbs. Portions of the visit were provided as part of Saudi Aramco’s membership in the AGL consortium. 11/08

October 2008 Highlights


Tim Dooley
ordered and commissioned the Surphaser 25SP surface laser scanner in 2005. Since then the laser scanner has become an integral part of modeling workflow and an invaluable aid in tracking topographic development, no matter how subtle, in models with ever-increasing complexity. With average model run times now approaching 21 days a second laser scanner was ordered in September 2008. The scanner was delivered in October and will be commissioned in the coming months. 10/08

Left - strike-slip reactivation of a salt dome. Click for a larger image.

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas' Houston office on October 27–28 to discuss salt interpretations on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas' membership in the AGL consortium. 10/08

Before leaving on a vacation field trip to Kaokoland (northwest Namibia) to study Karoo glacial valleys and Neogene uplift in the Namib Desert, Martin Jackson lectured on “Neoproterozoic allochthonous salt tectonics during the Lufilian orogeny in the Katangan Copperbelt, central Africa” to the Geological Society of Namibia on October 31. 10/08

As part of the plenary session for AAPG’s International Meeting in October 27-29, Martin Jackson presented a keynote lecture entitled “Interplay of basement tectonics, salt tectonics, and sedimentation in the Kwanza Basin, Angola” (coauthored by Mike Hudec). He also presented a paper on “Shortening and multiple detachments in thick salt: Insights from the Messinian saline giant, Eastern Mediterranean” (coauthored by Joe Cartwright and Simon Higgins of Cardiff University). 10/08

Martin Jackson presented an AAPG-sponsored short course on deep-water salt tectonics in October 25-26 at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, South Africa. 10/08

Mike Hudec visited Nexen's Dallas office on October 20–24 to conduct section restorations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 10/08

The AGL held its 21st Annual Meeting on October 16–17 in Austin. More than 180 delegates from AGL’s 31 member companies registered to attend, shattering the former record of 130. Delegates listened to 20 technical presentations during the course of the day-and-a-half meeting. Topics ranged from details of salt-sheet advance in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to salt tectonics on Mars! Click on each photo to enlarge in a new window. 10/08

 

September 2008 Highlights

Bill Hart and Russell Propes of BP visited AGL in Austin on September 30 to discuss interpretation of salt fabrics along the Sigsbee Escarpment in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 09/08

Mike Hudec led a field trip in the Paradox Basin on September 21–26. The trip was attended by delegates from AGL member companies BHP Billiton, CGGVeritas, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Marathon, Mariner, Nexen, and Woodside, who enjoyed the opportunity to escape from the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. This was the first in what is intended to be a biannual series of field trips to the area. 09/08

Field trip participants at Deadhorse Point State Park, overlooking the Cane Creek salt anticline. Click image for large photograph.
August 2008 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited StatoilHydro's Houston office on August 27 to give a lunchtime presentation entitled "Is there a subsalt foldbelt in the central Gulf of Mexico?" The talk was based on research conducted in StatoilHydro's office earlier in the year. 08/08

Mike Hudec visited Fugro's Houston office on August 26–27 to conduct research on structural provinces in the deep (autochthonous/ parautochthonous Louann) salt layer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 08/08

Martin Jackson visited Nexen’s Dallas office on August 18-21 to present a short course on salt tectonics and several lectures on AGL’s research in the Gulf of Mexico and consult as part of Nexen’s membership of the AGL consortium. 08/08

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas' Houston office on August 14–15 to discuss salt interpretations on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas' membership in the AGL consortium. 08/08

Mike Hudec visited TGS-NOPEC's Houston office on August 13 to discuss possible membership in the AGL consortium.08/08

July 2008 Highlights

Mike Hudec spent the week of July 7–11 conducting research in CGGVeritas' Houston office. The focus of the research was interpretation of structural provinces in the deep (autochthonous/parautochthonous Louann) salt layer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 07/08

June 2008 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited PGS' Houston office on June 26 to discuss salt interpretations on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of PGS' membership in the AGL consortium. 06/08

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas' Houston office on June 24–25 to discuss salt interpretations on several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas' membership in the AGL consortium. 06/08

Mike Hudec was in the Paradox Basin, Utah from May 24-June 11. During this time he led field trips for Shell and CGGVeritas, and conducted 4 days of field work along the flanks of salt diapirs in the Basin. Kate Giles, Tim Lawton, and graduate student Cody Buller of New Mexico State University were guests on the CGGVeritas field trip. The field party for the mapping also included Tim Lawton and Cody Buller, along with AGL graduate student Bryce Wagner. 06/08

Photos (click to enlarge):
Top left - participants in the Shell field trip work on an exercise near the entrance of
Arches National Park, with the La Sal Mountains in the background.
Top right - the desert blooms after an unusually wet spring.
Bottom left - Kate Giles, Cody Buller, and Dixon Van Hofwegen model the latest in
wet-weather field gear during the CGGVeritas trip.
Bottom right - CGGVeritas group photograph at the Onion Creek salt diapir.

Martin Jackson spent from June 4 to 7 in Alps de Haute Provence (France) collaborating on field work with structural geologists Rod Graham, Robin Picher, and Bill Kilsdonk from Hess's London and Houston offices. The work shed light on the role of salt tectonics before and during Alpine folding. Photograph kindly provided by Paul Whitehouse, Hess. 06/08

May 2008 Highlights

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas' Houston office on May 13-14 to discuss salt interpretations in several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas' membership in the AGL consortium. 05/08

Martin Jackson provided information on the Great Kavir to a National Geographic Society researcher for use in compiling their new map of Iran, which is due to appear in the August issue of their magazine. 05/12/08

The Bureau of Economic Geology’s first award for an “Exemplary Publication of Scientific or Economic Impact” was presented to Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson on May 9th for their paper, “Terra Infirma: Understanding Salt Tectonics” published in Earth-Science Reviews (2007). 05/08

April 2008 Highlights

Tim Dooley and coauthors Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson won the 2008 Jules Braunstein Memorial Award for the best poster at AAPG’s Annual Convention. The paper, entitled “Dismembered sutures formed during asymmetric salt-sheet collision” described the results of Tim’s physical modeling on the origin and evolution of sutures within canopies. 04/08

Mike Hudec visited StatoilHydro's Houston office on April 28-May 2 to conduct research on salt tectonics in the central Gulf of Mexico. 04/08

AGL staff authored or coauthored 8 papers at AAPG’s Annual Convention in San Antonio. 04/08

 

Dooley, Tim, Jackson, M. P. A., Cartwright, J. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2008, Modeling of strain partitioning during gravity-driven deformation of multilayered evaporites and overburden (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 46.

Dooley, Tim, Jackson, M. P. A., and Hudec, M. R., 2008, Superposed deformation and structural control of salt breakout in radially expanding canopies (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 46.

Dooley, Tim, Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2008, Dismembered sutures formed during asymmetric salt-sheet collision (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 46.

Heyn, Teunis, Jackson, Martin, Hudec, M. R., Hart, B. H., Propes, R. L., Reasnor, M. D., Harrison, H. L., Vinson, Graham, and Bunting, W. D., 2008, Accretionary-wedge shortening caused by advance of the Sigsbee Escarpment, Alaminos Canyon, Gulf of Mexico (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 82, 89–90.

Hudec, M. R., 2008, Episodic advance of the Sigsbee salt canopy, deepwater Gulf of Mexico (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 94.

Hudec, M. R., 2008, Diachronous growth of fold limits from the Mad Dog Anticline: implications for base-salt deformation in the Atwater Fold Belt (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 94.

Jackson, M. P. A., Hudec, M. R., and Heyn, Teunis, 2008, How and where is the Sigsbee Escarpment advancing? (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 97.

McDonnell, Angela, and Jackson, M. P. A., 2008, Geometry, origin and significance of coast-perpendicular anticlines in a growth-faulted setting (abs.): AAPG 2008 Annual Convention and Exhibition Abstracts Volume, v. 17, p. 137.

New Publication.
M. P. A. Jackson, M. R. Hudec, D. C. Jennette, and R. E. Kilby, 2008, Evolution of the Cretaceous Astrid thrust belt in the ultradeep-water Lower Congo Basin, Gabon: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 92, p. 487–511.


This issue also included a cover photograph of pinnacle weathering of extrusive salt in Kuh-e-Namak (Dashti), Iran.
04/08

Martin Jackson taught a short course on salt tectonics to ConocoPhillips in Houston, 28-29th April. 04/08

On April 24th Dean Eric Barron presented a Jackson School of Geosciences Outstanding Service Award for 2008 to Martin Jackson on behalf of the school. 04/08

March 2008 Highlights

On March 26-27, Mike Hudec taught a short course in salt tectonics to staff members at TGS-NOPEC. 03/08

On March 25, Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas to discuss salt interpretations in several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas' membership in the AGL consortium. 03/08

On March 28th Martin Jackson consulted for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold on Precambrian salt tectonics. 03/08

New Publication:

J. A. Cartwright and M. P. A. Jackson, 2008, Initiation of gravitational collapse of an evaporite basin margin: the Messinian saline giant, Levant Basin, eastern Mediterranean: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 120, p. 399–413.

This is the first publication from a two-part research project on Messinian salt tectonics with the School of Earth, Ocean, and Planetary Sciences at Cardiff University (Wales).

February 2008 Highlights

On February 28–29, Martin Jackson taught a short course on salt tectonics to McMoRan Exploration Co in Austin (Texas). 02/08

On February 26, Mike Hudec gave a series of presentations to potential geology graduate students touring the UT campus. These presentations highlighted opportunities for students in AGL research. 02/08

Martin Jackson spent the week of February 18–22 in London (United Kingdom) with Sterling Energy, teaching a short course and consulting on salt tectonics in Gabon and Madagascar. 02/08

Mike Hudec spent the week of February 11–15 visiting Pemex's offices in Villahermosa, Mexico. During the visit Mike taught a 2-day short course in salt tectonics to Pemex interpreters, and spent the remaining 3 days consulting on salt interpretations in the Salina Basin. 02/08

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGGVeritas on February 6–7, to provide input on the salt interpretation for a number of PSDM volumes currently in processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 02/08

Mike Hudec visited Mariner's Houston offices on February 4–5 to discuss seismic interpretations of salt structures in the Gulf of Mexico. This visit was provided as part of Mariner's membership in the AGL consortium. 02/08

January 2008 Highlights

Martin Jackson spent the week of January 14–19 in Seattle (Washington) with colleagues in the University of Washington’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, working on aspects of martian geology and presenting a talk titled “Subaerial morphology and subsurface advance of allochthonous evaporite sheets.” 01/08

On January 11, Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson visited Marathon Oil (Houston, Texas) to discuss salt tectonics in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium.01/08

Mike Hudec visited WesternGeco's Houston office on January 10 to give a presentation on the AGL consortium. The meeting was attended by members of WesternGeco's research group. 01/08

On January 9–10, Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas' Houston office to conduct research on salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 01/08

Mike Hudec visited Shell's Houston office on January 7–8 to provide a summary of the 2007 AGL annual meeting, and to discuss a variety of Shell's prospects in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Part of the visit was provided as a benefit of Shell's membership in the AGL consortium. 01/08

December 2007 Highlights

On December 11, Martin Jackson visited Total in Houston and presented several talks at an exploration workshop on the Gulf of Mexico and Angolan margin. 12/07

Tim Dooley attended the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco from December 10-15th. Tim was lead author on an oral presentation entitled "Effects of a weak crustal layer in a transtensional pull-apart basin: results from a scaled physical modeling study" along with co-authors Francis Monastero (US Navy Geothermal Program Office) and Ken McClay (University of London). 12/07

Image to right - Moscone Center, San Francisco

Mike Hudec also visited Fugro’s office in Houston on December 7, to discuss ideas for collaborative research using Fugro’s Deep Focus dataset in the Gulf of Mexico. 12/07

Mike Hudec visited WesternGeco’s Houston office on December on December 7 to give a presentation on the AGL consortium. The visit was attended by members of WesternGeco’s multiclient group. 12/07

Angela McDonnell was selected to receive AAPG's A. I. Levorsen Memorial Award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2007 Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Meeting, which was held in Corpus Christi in October. The paper (coauthored by Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson) is titled “Importance of Allochthonous Salt in Texas State Waters: Paleo-Canopy Presence and New Exploration Paradigms." Angela's research was funded by the Bureau's Deep Shelf Gas project. The A. I. Levorsen Memorial Award is presented in recognition of an outstanding paper, with particular emphasis on creative thinking toward new ideas in exploration. 12/07

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of CGGVeritas on December 5–6, to provide input on the salt interpretation for a number of PSDM volumes currently in processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 12/07

On December 3-4, Professor Joe Cartwright of the School of Earth, Ocean, and Planetary Sciences at Cardiff University (Wales) visited to continue joint research on Messinian salt tectonics in the Eastern Mediterranean. 12/07

On December 2–5, Mike Hudec attended the 27th Annual GCSSEPM Foundation Bob F. Perkins Research Conference, entitled “The Paleogene of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Basins: Processes, Events, and Petroleum Systems.” The conference was held in Houston, and focused on discussions of the anomalously thick Paleogene sand packages in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 12/07

November 2007 Highlights

Researchers Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson’s 2007 paper, "Terra Infirma: Understanding Salt Tectonics", Earth Science Reviews, May, p. 1-28, was recently included in Science Direct's Top 25 Hottest Articles. The paper came in at number 18 on the chart. 11/07

Mike Hudec visited CGGVeritas’ Houston office on November 7–8 to discuss salt interpretations in several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 11/07

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of Nexen Petroleum on November 5–6 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Nexen’s membership in the AGL consortium. 11/07

Mike Hudec visited StatoilHydro’s Houston office October 31–November 1, to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of StatoilHydro’s membership in the AGL consortium. 11/07

 
October 2007 Highlights

Mike Hudec taught three short course for the staff of CGGVeritas in Houston during the week of October 22–26. Two of these were 2-day introductory courses in salt tectonics, and the other was a 1-day advanced seminar on the tectonics of allochthonous salt sheets in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 10/29/07

 

On October 16, Mike Hudec presented a talk entitled "Mechanics of the advance of allochthonous salt sheets: implications for predicting subsalt pore pressure" at the GeoFluids III consortium meeting in Austin, Texas. This consortium, under the leadership of UT's Peter Flemings, investigates the state and evolution of pressure, stress, and fluid migration in subsalt environments, shallow water flow regimes, and thrust belts. Plans are underway for AGL to collaborate with GeoFluids III in the coming year, as we investigate the evolution of pressure and deformation below allochthonous salt sheets. 10/29/07

Nearly 100 delegates from 27 member companies attended the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory Annual Meeting on October 8–9, 2007. In celebration of AGL's 20th anniversary, the meeting was held in Moab, Utah, on the crest of the Spanish Valley salt wall. Delegates listened to 14 presentations on salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, Paradox Basin, South Atlantic, and Mars(!), along with another 5 presentations showing physical models of salt structures. In additions to AGL geoscientists Tim Dooley, Mike Hudec, and Martin Jackson, the AGL welcomed guest lecturers Frank Peel of BHP and Angie McDonnell from the BEG's Deep Shelf Gas Project.

Following the meeting, more than 50 attendees stayed on to participate in a 2-day field trip in the Paradox Basin. The trip, led by Mike Hudec, visited the Needles fault zone, Upheaval Dome, the Cane Creek salt anticline, and Onion Creek salt dome. Here's to another 20 years for the AGL consortium! 10/29/07

Click on each photo for a larger image.

September 2007 Highlights

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Bryce Wagner, who was recently awarded three scholarships: (1) ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholarship, (2) Michael Bruce Duchin Endowed Presidential Scholarship, and (3) SEG Foundation Scholarship (renewed). Bryce has started his research on salt tectonics in the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory, supervised by Martin Jackson and Mark Cloos; his committee also includes BEG's Mike Hudec. 09/19/07

August 2007 Highlights

This photograph, taken by Bureau scientist Martin Jackson in Iran, has been selected for multimedia presentation at an exhibition entitled 'Séismes et Volcans' in the Palais de la Découverte [French Education Ministry], in Paris. The exhibition will open on October, 1, 2007, and will run for 10 years. 08/10/07

July 2007 Highlights

Michael Hudec visited BP's Houston office on July 2nd to discuss structural and stratigraphic patterns in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of BP's membership in the AGL consortium.

June 2007 Highlights

Martin Jackson visited the Houston offices of Cobalt International Energy on June 26 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. The visit was provided as part of Cobalt's membership in the AGL consortium. 06/07

The AGL bids a regretful farewell to Jozina Dirkzwager, who leaves us to accept a job with Chevron in Houston. Jozina spent about a year with AGL, during which time her finite-element modeling was critical in advancing our knowledge of salt-sheet advance mechanisms. We're sorry to see her go, but congratulate her on obtaining a job that's in the same city as her husband. Best wishes Jose. 06/07

Maersk Oil and Gas AS hosted a lecture by Martin Jackson in Copenhagen on June 15, attended by Maersk staff and members of Copenhagen University, the Geological Survey of Denmark, PGS, Altinex, and Dong Energy. The talk, entitled "Tectonic squeezing of salt stocks: field observations from Arctic Canada and laboratory simulations" included the results of modeling by AGLs Tim Dooley and field mapping with Chris Harrison of the Geological Survey of Canada. 06/07

May 2007 Highlights

On May 29, Mike Hudec received notice that his promotion to Senior Research Scientist was approved by the Provost of the University of Texas. Senior Research Scientist is the BEG’s highest technical level, and is the research equivalent of a full professor. Mike is reportedly very excited about the additional committee responsibilities that come with the new position. 05/07

Statoil delegates analyze stratigraphic patterns on a salt-diapir flank near the entrance to Arches National Park. Click image for a larger view.

On May 21-25, Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah, for Statoil. Participants discussed gravity-driven salt tectonics, structures associated with salt-dome pinchoff, deformation at the base of salt sheets, fault relays, salt welds, and a host of other topics while basking in the sun and scenery of southeast Utah. Martin Jackson also attended the trip as a guest of Statoil. 05/07

On May 18, Martin Jackson gave an invited lecture, entitled “Surface morphology of terrestrial salt structures: analogs for Mars?” at the University of Washington’s Quaternary Research Center in Seattle. This formed part of the QRC’s annual Spring Workshop on Martian Glaciation, which was attended by experts on Martian geology from the United States and Europe. Next day, there followed a six-hour informal discussion devoted to evidence for large-scale salt tectonics on Mars. 05/07

A Martian impact crater contains a remnant of water ice cap in its center and a seasonal frosting of atmospheric CO2 on its rim. Image courtesy of QRC.

On May 8, Mike Hudec was named a Jackson Research Excellence Fellow by Jackson School Dean Eric Barron. This two-year fellowship was one of 10 such awards given to researchers in the Jackson School. Congratulations, Mike! 05/07

Mike Hudec visited the offices of CGGVeritas on May 7-8 to discuss salt interpretations in several Gulf of Mexico seismic volumes currently undergoing PSDM processing. The visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 05/07

April 2007 Highlights

Graduate students Tyler Hannah and Thomas Hearon of New Mexico State University visited AGL on April 27 to discuss interpretation of aerial photographs of their field areas in the Flinders Ranges, Australia. The pair will be conducting fieldwork in the area this summer. Their work is supported by the Institute for Tectonics studies, under the leadership of Kate Giles. 04/07

Mike Hudec spent April 16-17 at CGGVeritas’ offices in Houston. Mike spent these days consulting with CGGVeritas staff on salt interpretations in several 3D PSDM datasets that are currently in processing. The visit was provided free as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 04/07

Martin Jackson participated in Hydro’s “Professor Meeting,” an informal workshop to discuss the latest ideas and issues in salt tectonics research. The meeting was held on April 12–13 in Paracuru, a small seaside town near Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil. Participants at the workshop included geoscientists from Hydro and Petrobras and from University of Barcelona, New Mexico State University, Imperial College, Royal Holloway, IFP Paris, and Rennes University, and the University of Texas at Austin. After full days of intellectual jousting, participants were exposed to a grueling social calendar each evening to lubricate further discussion. 04/07

Attendees at the Hydro Salt Tectonics "Professor Meeting". Click for a larger image.

March 2007 Highlights

Mike Hudec spent the week of March 26-30 in Poza Rica, Mexico, visiting Pemex’s offices. Mike presented a short course on salt tectonics, then spent several days discussing salt tectonics along the Mexican Gulf Coast with Pemex interpreters. 03/07

Mike Hudec visited Marathon’s Houston office on March 7 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa. Mike also gave a lunchtime technical presentation based on recent AGL research concerning evolution of the salt-canopy system in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of Marathon’s membership in the AGL consortium. 03/07

Mike Hudec visited the Houston offices of ConocoPhillips on March 5-6 to discuss salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of ConocoPhillips’ membership in the AGL consortium. 03/07

February 2007 Highlights

New Publication. Based on physical models run in 2004 at the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory investigating the formation of gravity-driven fold belts:

Tim P. Dooley, Martin P.A. Jackson and Michael R. Hudec,2007, Initiation and growth of salt-based thrust belts on passive margins: results from physical models. Basin Research, 19, 165-177.

 

Mike Hudec presented two short courses on salt tectonics at PGS’s Houston office on February 20-22. The first was a two-day course on basic salt tectonics. The second was a newly developed one-day module on advanced concepts in interpretation of allochthonous salt. 02/07

Mike Hudec visited Houston on February 19 to consult with CGGVeritas staff regarding salt interpretation on several Gulf of Mexico data volumes currently undergoing depth processing. This visit was provided as part of CGGVeritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 02/07

January 2007 Highlights

Nancy Cottington and Martin Jackson attended an ESRI training course on ArcGIS in San Antonio, Texas, on January 29-30. Nancy uses this software for AGL’s digital atlas, The Salt Mine, and for other projects, such as the compilation of global salt basins. 01/07

Bureau Research Scientist Mike Hudec recently completed his second two-week tour as a 2006-07 AAPG Distinguished Lecturer. During the tours, Mike made presentations to the Asociación Mexicana de Geólogos Petroleros A.C. (Delegación Poza Rica), New Mexico State University, The University of Texas – El Paso, Montana State University, the Montana Geological Society (Billings), University of Wyoming, Dalhousie University, Bowling Green State University, Ohio State University, Northern Illinois University, Indiana University, University of Missouri – Rolla, University of Kentucky, and Florida International University. Mike’s two talks were entitled “Advance mechanisms of allochthonous salt sheets: implications for predicting subsalt pore pressure” and “Evolution of suprasalt minibasins in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.” 01/07

Martin Jackson discussed seismic interpretation in the northern Gulf of Mexico while visiting the offices of Maxus (Repsol) in The Woodlands, Texas on January 18–19. 01/07

Mike Hudec presented a short course in salt tectonics at ConocoPhillips’ Houston office on January 11-12. Discussion was extremely lively during the course, with the result that delegates never even got a chance to work the final exercise! 01/07

Mike Hudec spent a day at Veritas’ Houston office on January 10, consulting on various depth-imaging projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided free of charge as part of Veritas’ membership in the AGL consortium. 01/07

December 2006 Highlights

New Publication. Based on field work in 2004, this is the first paper from a joint study by the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory and Geological Survey of Canada on exposed evaporite diapirs in the Sverdrup Basin.

Jackson, M. P. A., and Harrison, J. C., 2006, An allochthonous salt canopy on Axel Heiberg Island, Sverdrup Basin, Arctic Canada: Geology, v. 34, p. 1045–1048.

Left: Muskox Ridge - thrusted diapir on canopy. CLick for larger image.

Martin Jackson spent December 14-15 at Maersk’s offices in Copenhagen, where he presented lectures and discussed the geology of deepwater Angola and Brazil.

Picture shows Maersk geoscientists, Lene Clausen and Niels Schødt near Maersk’s headquarters in the harbor.

New Publication:

Summary publication from the salt tectonics/stratigraphy/paleosol study in the Paradox Basin conducted jointly with researchers from Baylor University.

Prochnow, S. J., Atchley, S. C., Boucher, T. E., Nordt, L. C., and Hudec, M. R., 2006, The influence of salt withdrawal subsidence on paleosol maturity and cyclic fluvial deposition in the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation: Castle Valley, Utah: Sedimentology, v. 53, p. 1319–1345.

Mike Hudec conducted the first of two AAPG Distinguished Lecturer tours on November 27-December 6. On this trip he presented lectures for the Asociación Mexicana de Geólogos Peroleros (Poza Rica Chapter), New Mexico State University, The University of Texas at El Paso, Montana State University, the Montana Geological Society (Billings), and the University of Wyoming. A second tour will take place in late January – early February. 12/06

November 2006 Highlights

Martin Jackson spent November 27-30 at Statoil’s offices in Houston, teaching a short course on salt tectonics and discussing Gulf of Mexico seismic data. 11/06

Mike Hudec spent the week of November 6-10 consulting for various companies in Houston. On November 6-7 he taught a short course to Veritas. On November 8 Mike spent the day in Woodside’s office discussing Gulf of Mexico seismic data. Finally, on November 9-10 Mike taught another salt-tectonics short course, this time for Fugro.11/06



Attendance was 130 strong, attendees representing 20 companies, at the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory’s 19th annual Industrial Associates meeting, which was held in Austin November 2 and 3. AGL members José Dirkzwager, Tim Dooley, Mike Hudec, and Martin Jackson presented 15 talks over the 1½ -day meeting, covering topics that ranged from submarine thrusts in the Gulf of Mexico to salt canopies in the Canadian Arctic. Guest speakers Joe Cartwright (Cardiff University, Wales), Teunis Heyn (BP), and Patricia Montoya (Anadarko) presented additional material that was based on seismic interpretations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico. The finale of the meeting was a tour of AGL’s physical modeling facilities, during which delegates were presented an overview of the technology that goes into simulating salt structures in the lab and were given the opportunity to watch an actively deforming model. 11/03/06

Tim brings up a 3D laserscan image of the running model. The rig he is leaning on is the new strike-slip deformation table recently installed in the laboratories. Click for a larger image. Mike and Tim explain the model to the enthusiastic audience. Click for a larger image.
October 2006 Highlights

New Publication:

A summary of AGL’s recent thinking on the development of allochthonous salt sheets.

Hudec, M. R., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2006, Advance of allochthonous salt sheets in passive margins and orogens: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 90, no. 10, p. 1535–1564.

September 2006 Highlights

Mike Hudec filled in for Martin Jackson in teaching Martin’ new two-day short course entitled “Deep-Water Salt Tectonics” on September 14-15. The course premiered as part of AAPG’s Fall Education Conference in Houston. Illness prevented Martin from teaching his course, and Mike was a last-minute replacement. Delegates to the conference report that they survived the experience.

August 2006 Highlights

Martin Jackson visited the exploration office of Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August 30 to September 1. He taught a one-day short course in salt tectonics for Petrobras staff and discussed salt-tectonics in several Brazilian basins as an AGL service. Martin then traveled north to Aracaju as a guest of Petrobras to present an invited talk at the Brazilian Geological Congress, titled “Salt extrusion, roof dispersion, and deep intrusion of salt into and out of squeezed stocks”, coauthored by Tim Dooley, who carried out the physical modeling for the paper, and Mike Hudec.
8/2006

On August 22, Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson visited AGL member, BP Exploration, Houston, to examine seismic data and discuss progress in joint research on salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico.
8/2006

On August 24, we made presentations to visiting geoscientists from Chevron about the AGL research program, which Chevron supports.
8/2006

Mike Hudec visited Woodside’s offices in Perth, Australia from August 28-September 1. While there, Mike taught a 2-day short course in salt tectonics for staff from Woodside, Roc Oil, and Hardman Resources. Mike also discussed salt-tectonic interpretations with Woodside interpreters in several basins. A portion of the visit was provided free of charge as a benefit of Woodside’s membership in the AGL.
8//2006

July 2006 Highlights

Mark Rowan (Rowan Consulting, Boulder) visited on July 29 for discussions with Martin Jackson. We compared salt tectonics in the Sverdrup Basin in Arctic Canada (Carboniferous to Eocene) and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia (Neoproterozoic to Cambrian). Despite their vastly different age, these provinces have many similarities, especially the occurrence of allochthonous tectonics, mild orogenic overprint, good to excellent outcrop, and a dearth of seismic data.
07/2006

On July 17-18, Mike Hudec visited Veritas’ Houston office. The purpose of the visit was to study subsalt structures in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, as part of a new study of salt-stock canopy geometries.
07/2006

On July 11, Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec visited BP’s offices in Houston. They participated in a seminar discussing models for salt-sheet advance, and the implications for these models on slope stability.
07/2006

June 2006 Highlights

New Publication:

Invited paper based on AGL Ph.D. student Patricia Montoya’s dissertation research:

Montoya, P., Tatham, R., Fisher, W., Steel, R., and Hudec, M., 2006, Definition of depositional geological elements in deep-water minibasins of the Gulf of Mexico using spectral decomposition in depth domain, in EAGE 68th Conference and Exhibition, Paper Number C008, Session: Best of SEG, Vienna, Austria, June 12–15, p. 480–485.


Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah for Kerr-McGee on June 4-8. Attendees looked at structure and stratigraphy around both extensional and compressional salt structures, and related these observations to seismic data from the Gulf of Mexico.
06/2006

Photo: Structures in layered evaporites within the Onion Creek salt diapir. Click for larger image.

Mike Hudec visited AGL member Veritas Hampson-Russell at their Houston office on June 19-20. Mike consulted with VHR's PSDM Interpretation team, providing input on salt interpretations for Veritas Gulf of Mexico datasets currently in processing.
06/2006

Mike Hudec visited AGL member ExxonMobil's Houston offices on June 21-22. Mike consulted with teams working in the Gulf of Mexico and Africa.
06/2006

AOA Geophysical President and AGL consultant Dan Orange visited AGL in Austin on June 27. AGL is collaborating with Dan to see how his expertise in marine geomorphology can be used to understand salt-sheet advance mechanisms.
06/2006

Dr Frank Monastero visited the BEG in early June to discuss strike-slip modeling with Tim Dooley. Frank heads the US Navy Geothermal Program Office, working out of Ridgecrest, California. The Coso geothermal field, located near Ridgecrest, is one of the world's largest geothermal prospects and a major supplier of power to the electricity grid in California. Tim has a research contract with the USGPO for 2006-2008, looking at factors influencing strike-slip stepover location and evolution along strike-slip and transtensional fault systems. This research will integrate with an investigation into strike-slip salt tectonics as one of the active modeling programs within AGL.
06/2006

Above - some of the geothermal facility and spectacular volcanic domes. Right - a test well lets off some steam. Click the photos for larger image.

On Saturday, June 24th, the Bureau hosted a full day of filming salt-tectonics research for a 4-hour television series called “Faces of Earth”, which the Discovery Channel will broadcast in 2007. The film, which aims to give a face to the geoscience community, is being produced by Evergreen Films, LLC, maker of Emmy-award-winning productions about dinosaurs. The American Geological Institute is sponsoring the series, and the Jackson School of Geosciences Foundation is a contributor. Bureau Director Scott Tinker will most likely co-host the series. Using two HD digital video cameras, a film crew shot a physical model run in the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory, with commentary, on and off camera, by Tim Dooley and Martin Jackson. The scene then shifted to the AGL work area, where Martin Jackson continued his commentary, on camera, while the crew’s own experiment (Fun with Silicone) was captured by time-lapse photography. The film will feature material contributed by Tim, Martin, and Mike Hudec. The film crew’s next assignment was to shoot Charlie Kerans in the Guadalupe Mountains.
06/2006

 

May 2006 Highlights

Martin Jackson was awarded the Joseph C. Walter Excellence Award by Dean Bill Fisher on behalf of the University's Jackson School of Geosciences. The award is given annually to faculty and research staff "in recognition of outstanding service and special contributions to teaching and research programs."
05/2006

Petroleum Systems Manager Sylvia Couto Anjos and Senior Geologic Advisor Adali Ricardo Spadini of AGL member Petrobras visited Austin on May 11. Mike Hudec provided an overview of AGL research and gave them a demonstration of The Salt Mine – AGL’s interactive atlas of salt tectonics. 05/2006

Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah for AGL member Statoil on May 30–June 1. Attendees looked at structures formed by gravity spreading above salt, diapir pinchoff, salt-sheet extrusion, diapir rise, minibasin formation, and extensional diapir fall. 05/2006


Right: Statoil field-trip attendees working on an exercise at Grandview Point, Canyonlands National Park. Click picture to enlarge.

April 2006 Highlights

Shell
Total

Mike Hudec visited AGL members Shell and Total in Houston on April 25 and 26. At each company Mike presented highlights from the 2005 AGL annual meeting, and also discussed various aspects of deepwater Gulf of Mexico salt tectonics. 04/2006

 

Ken Umbach of AGL member EnCana visited AGL in Austin on April 20 to discuss salt tectonics in Oman. The day was spent looking at seismic and discussing the roles of basement structure and sedimentation in controlling evolution of InfraCambrian Hormuz salt in the area. 04/2006

EnCana

Pictured from left: Mike Hudec, Patricia Montoya, Patricia's daughter Amanda and her husband Romulo Briceno.

AGL Ph.D. candidate Patricia Montoya successfully defended her dissertation on April 18. Her dissertation was entitled “Salt tectonics and sequence-stratigraphic history of minibasins near the Sigsbee Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico.” Mike Hudec and Jackson School dean Bill Fisher co-supervised the project. Other committee members were Martin Jackson, Ron Steel and Bob Tatham from the UT Department of Geosciences, and Lou Liro of Maxus Energy. Congratulations Dr. Montoya! 04/2006

Tim Dooley and Mike Hudec were both senior authors on talks at the 2006 AAPG Annual Meeting in Houston. Mike’s talk, entitled “Mechanics of the advance of buried salt sheets and implications for predicting subsalt pore pressure” summarized AGL’s recent research on the emplacement of buried salt sheets. Martin Jackson and Dan Schultz-Ela were coauthors. Tim’s talk was titled “Allochtonous salt extrusion, roof dispersion, and intrusive import and export of salt in squeezed stocks.” This paper showed some of Tim’s physical models of squeezed diapirs, and included several truly striking movies of salt-sheet extrusion. Martin Jackson was a co-author. Mike Hudec presented the talk on behalf of Tim. 04/2006

Mike Hudec was presented with the 2006 AAPG George C. Matson award on April 9, at the opening session of the 2006 AAPG Annual Meeting. The award is given to the presenter of the AAPG paper judged the best at the previous year’s annual meeting. The award was given for “A compressional origin for minibasins near the Sigsbee Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico.” Mike’s coauthors on the paper were Martin Jackson and Dan Schultz-Ela. 04/2006

Mike Hudec provided an overview of the AGL to staff from the China University of Petroleum on April 7. These delegates were visiting the Bureau of Economic Geology to explore possible joint research initiatives. 04/2006

March 2006 Highlights

New Publication:

Results from a joint salt tectonics/stratigraphy/paleosol study in the Paradox Basin conducted jointly with researchers from Baylor University.

Prochnow, S. J., Nordt, L. C., Atchley, S. C., and Hudec, M. R., 2006, Multi-proxy paleosol evidence for middle and late Triassic climate trends in eastern Utah: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecolology, v. 232, p. 53–72.

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson visited BP's Houston office on March 1–3 to look at seismic data along the Sigsbee Escarpment in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico. This work was part of AGL's research program investigating advance mechanisms of allochthonous salt sheets. 03/2006

AGL graduate student Patricia Montoya gave a technical presentation summarizing her Ph.D. research to the Department of Geological Sciences on March 9. Patricia's dissertation examines the influence of salt tectonics on sediment-transport systems in deep-water minibasins in the Gulf of Mexico. This work is based on 3200 km2 of 3-D pre-stack depth migrated seismic data donated to AGL by Veritas Marine Surveys. 03/2006

Mike Hudec gave a presentation entitled "Mechanics of the advance of buried salt sheets and implications for predicting subsalt pore pressure" in Houston on March 21. The talk was presented at a 1-day research conference sponsored by GX Technology entitled "Connecting the dots across the northern Gulf of Mexico Basin." 03/2006

February 2006 Highlights

Mike Hudec taught short courses on "Principles and Applications of Salt Tectonics" and "Allochthonous Salt Tectonics" to geophysicists at Veritas Hampson Russell on February 27–28. 02/2006

Tim Dooley and Martin Jackson

Bureau scientists Tim Dooley and Martin Jackson spoke at the Friday, February 24 seminar on "Modeling of Allochthonous Salt Extrusion, Roof Dispersion, and Intrusive Import and Export of Salt in Squeezed Stocks." [Abstract] They also presented a similar talk for the seminar series of UT's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. The paper is coauthored by Mike Hudec. 02/2006
Click picture to enlarge.

Mike Hudec visited BP's offices in Sunbury, England on February 20–21. Mike presented highlights from the 2005 AGL annual meeting, and consulted with interpreters from several groups working in the Lower Congo Basin and West Africa. 02/2005

Martin Jackson was nominated for the University Cooperative Society 2006 Career Research Excellence Award, the premier award for researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. 02/2005

AGL Ph.D. candidate Patricia Montoya received notification that her paper "Definition of depositional geological elements in deep-water minibasins of the Gulf of Mexico using spectral decomposition in depth domain" was selected as one of the top 25 papers presented at the 2005 SEG Annual Meeting. The meeting was held in Houston on November 6–11. Co-authors on the paper were Robert Tatham, Bill Fisher, and Ron Steel of the UT Department of Geological Sciences, and Mike Hudec of AGL. 02/2006

January 2006 Highlights

Mike Hudec taught a short course "Principles and Applications of Salt Tectonics" to students in UT's Department of Geological Sciences on January 25 and 27. The course was sponsored by the University of Texas AAPG Student Chapter, and was attended by 20 graduate and undergraduate students. 01/2006

Mike Hudec visited ExxonMobil's Houston offices on January 16–17. Mike presented highlights from the 2005 AGL annual meeting, and consulted with interpreters from several Gulf of Mexico work groups. 01/2006

December 2005 Highlights

Tim Dooley was promoted to Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology in November and started officially in that capacity on December 15th, 2005. 12/2005

New Publication:

The final paper in a quartet of papers dealing with salt tectonics and tectonics in the Kwanza Basin of Angola was published.

Jackson, M. P. A, Hudec, M. R., and Hegarty, K. A., 2005, The great West-African Tertiary coastal uplift: Fact or fiction? A Perspective from the Angolan divergent margin: Tectonics, v. 24, TC6014, 23 p.12/2005

Joe Cartwright spent a week examining outcrops in the Santa Cruz and Panoche Hills regions of central California, to attempt to refine our understanding of the genesis of sandstone intrusions. He spent two days at an ExxonMobil-hosted symposium on the characteristics of fine-grained rocks. This symposium was held at the Upstream Research, Technical Training Center in Houston, and Joe delivered two seminars, "The Impact of Polygonal Faults on E and P", and "Are Seismic Facies really non-unique?" He also visited the Houston office of Anadarko to present a seminar on "The Physical properties of Caprocks." Joe's work with Martin Jackson on the Messinian of the Eastern Mediterranean commenced with a regional review, and definition of the key technical issues. 12/2005

Mike Hudec was the speaker at the Houston Geological Society's Joint General and North American Dinner Meeting on December 12. Mike's presentation was entitled "A compressional origin for minibasins near the Sigsbee Scarp, Gulf of Mexico." 12/2005

Mike Hudec visited Kerr-McGee's Houston office on November29–December 2. Mike taught a short course and discussed salt interpretations in the Gulf of Mexico. 12/2005

Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec joined in a field trip to the La Popa Basin in the Chihuahua desert of northeast Mexico, north of Monterrey. Kate Giles (New Mexico State University at Las Cruces) and Mark Rowan (Consultant, Boulder) led the excursion, for the benefit of Maxus and Kerr-McGee oil companies. This well-exposed, tiny basin has four diapirs and two salt welds, some of which have been intensively studied for a decade by NMSU's Institute for Tectonic Studies, under the leadership of Kate Giles and Tim Lawton, with broad industry support. 12/2005

The Cañon Hidalgo, erosionally cut into the northern flank of Potrero Chico. Jurassic evaporites core this periclinal anticline in the Sierra del Fraile, La Popa Basin. The Lower Cretaceous Cupido Limestone forms the near-vertical flank of the anticline, a mecca for rock climbers. Photograph by Martin Jackson.

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Martin Jackson spent a day with Anadarko (The Woodlands), where he presented a lecture on salt welds and discussed salt tectonics in the northern Gulf of Mexico. 12/2005

November Highlights

On November 22, Mike Hudec gave a talk to UT graduate students as part of their weekly Technical Session Series. Mike's presentation was entitled "A compressional origin for minibasins near the Sigsbee Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico." 11/2005

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson visited BP's Houston office on November 3 to discuss plans for continuation of our research into mechanisms of salt-sheet advance. 11/2005

 

Oriol Ferrer, a PhD candidate at the University of Barcelona, Spain, continued his three-month stay in Austin, interpreting seismic data from the offshore extension of the Cantabrian-Aquitaine Basins in the Bay of Biscay. The purpose of his stay, was to interact with AGL staff to explain this little-known region of contractional salt tectonics, including allochthonous salt. Oriol's visit was funded by the Spanish government and hosted by Martin Jackson; Josep Anton Muñoz supervises his PhD in Barcelona. 11/2005

Tim Dooley spent a couple of weeks in the UK during November to renew his visa as well as working with Ken McClay and Paul Whitehouse at the Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, near Windsor in Surrey. 11/2005

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October Highlights

Piotr Krzywiec of the Polish Geological Institute and Andrzej Przybycin of the Polish Ministry of the Environment visited AGL on October 26–27 to discuss the possibilities for joint research on the salt tectonics of the Central Polish Trough. 10/2005

On October 20 and 21, 2005, the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory held its 18th annual review meeting for companies sponsoring the consortium. A record 114 visitors registered to hear 19 new technical

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presentations by the AGL team on the diverse topics of salt tectonics. Guests Joe Cartwright and Peter Cobbold were featured speakers. The meeting concluded with an optional tour of the physical modeling lab, where a model is under way. 10/2005

Mike Hudec visited Forest Oil's offices in Denver October 4–6 to present a short course and to discuss salt tectonics in offshore Gabon with Forest Oil and their partners Paladin Resources, Tullow Oil, Petro SA, and la Direction Générale des Hydrocarbures (DGH, Gabon). 10/2005

September Highlights

Mike Hudec presented “A compressional origin for minibasins near the Sigsbee Scarp, Gulf of Mexico” during a BEG Technical Seminar on Friday, September 12. The paper, presented earlier this year at the AAPG Annual Meeting in Calgary, presents evidence that most minibasins near the Sigsbee Escarpment formed as a result of shortening induced by flow patterns in the Sigsbee salt canopy. 09/2005

Bathymetric map near along a portion of the Sigsbee Escarpment. Subcircular bathymetric lows are minibasins. Click on picture to enlarge.

Hydro and AGL researchers enjoy the relaxing effects of a Mancos mud bath near Salt Valley. Photo by Terje Veum, Hydro. Click on picture to enlarge.

Mike Hudec led a field course to the Paradox Basin, Utah for AGL Industrial Associate Hydro Oil and Energy on September 25–30. Despite occasional vehicular forays into the mud, a good time was had by all. 09/2005

August Highlights

Mike Hudec has been chosen to receive the 2006 George C. Matson Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for his talk “A Compressional Origin for Minibasins near the Sigsbee Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico.” [Abstract] Mike's talk was judged as the best oral presentation at the 2005 annual convention held in June in Calgary, on the basis of both scientific

 

quality of content and excellence in presentation. The paper was co-authored by Martin Jackson and AGL alumnus Dan Schultz-Ela.

The research is based on AGL's analysis of a Veritas 3-D prestack-depth-migrated volume along the Sigsbee Escarpment. Theory and observation suggest that many minibasins above the Sigsbee salt canopy began subsiding during shortening. If so, minibasin stratigraphy can be divided into three phases: (1) preshortening, in which the minibasin did not exist, (2) synshortening, in which sands are concentrated in linear synclines between thrust anticlines, and (3) postshortening, in which sands are broadly distributed across the floor of the subsiding basin. Reservoir geometries are likely to be very different depending on which phase they are associated with. Continuing research is investigating the quantitative seismic geomorphology associated with each stage of minibasin evolution. 08/2005

July Highlights

 

Mike Hudec visited AGL member BHP-Billiton on July 18–20 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Mike presented a one-day short course on allochthonous salt systems, and spent the other conducting workshops on various subsalt datasets. 08/2005

New Publication:

Prochnow, S. J., L. C. Nordt, S. C. Atchley, M. Hudec, and T. E. Boucher, 2005, Triassic paleosol catenas associated with a salt-withdrawal minibasin in southeastern Utah, U.S.A.: Rocky Mountain Geology, v. 40, p. 25–29. 07/2005

June Highlights

Martin Jackson travelled to Beijing, China from June 25th to July 5th to attend the international conference, "Theory and Application of Fault-related Folding in Foreland Basins". Martin presented a talk entitled “Progressive Effects of Shortening Superposed on Extensional Diapirs and Faults in Deep-Water Lower Congo Basin, Gabon” and attended the post-conference field trip to the north and south Tianshan foreland basin. 06/2005

 
 

Mike Hudec spent June 6–10 in Houston, visiting AGL members Woodside and ConocoPhillips. Discussions were focused on salt and subsalt interpretation in joint venture acreage in the Gulf of Mexico. 06/2005

Mike Hudec was in Calgary June 19–22 to attend the AAPG Annual Meeting. While there, Mike presented a talk entitled "A compressional origin for minibasins near the Sigsbee Scarp, Gulf of Mexico." 06/2005

 
 

Martin Jackson visited AGL member ExxonMobil on June 15 to discuss salt tectonics in the Middle East. 06/2005

May Highlights

 

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson visited AGL Member Hydro Oil and Energy's offices in Bergen and Oslo, Norway, on May 23–26. They presented a short course and discussed salt tectonics with members of Hydro's research and exploration groups. 05/2005

New Publication

AGL's research on stratigraphic effects of translation across the Atlantic Hinge Zone in the deep-water Kwanza Basin was published as:

Jackson, M. P. A. and Hudec, M. R., 2005, Stratigraphic record of translation down ramps in a passive-margin detachment: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 27, p. 889-911. 05/2005

Tim Dooley's work on basement controls on salt tectonics, conducted for Shell UK during his tenure as Lab Manager at Royal Holloway University of London was published as:

Dooley, T., McClay, K. R., Hempton, M. & Smit, D. 2005. Salt tectonics above complex basement extensional fault systems: results from analogue modelling. In: DORE´ , A. G. & VI NI NG, B. A. (eds) Petroleum Geology: North-West Europe and Global Perspectives—Proceedings of the 6th Petroleum Geology Conference, 1631 – 1648, Published by the Geological Society, London. 05/2005

 
 

Richard Kilby completed his Masters thesis on “Thrust kinematics in the Lower Congo Basin, deepwater southern Gabon.” The thesis was based on a proprietary 3-D seismic volume provided by Total Astrid Marin Gabon and included restoration, fault analysis, and physical modeling. Martin Jackson and Mark Cloos (University of Texas Department of Geological Sciences) co-supervised the thesis. Richard joined Shell Exploration and Production Company in New Orleans (Louisiana). 05/2005

April Highlights

Martin Jackson visited AGL member, Maxus (The Woodlands, Texas) on April 26 and 27 to discuss aspects of salt tectonics in the deepwater northern Gulf of Mexico. 04/2005

 

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson visited AGL member, BP (Houston, Texas) on April 13 to discuss salt-related exploration issues in the northern Gulf of Mexico. 04/2005

Mike Hudec and Martin Jackson attended a workshop on the CongoSpan dataset at GX Technology (Houston, Texas) on April 14. 04/2005

 

The Jackson School of Geosciences awarded research fellowships to Martin Jackson and Mike Hudec. These fellowships are awarded annually on a merit basis. They provide funds to supplement research activities in addition to those provided by AGL industrial associates. 04/2005

March Highlights

Professor Joe Cartwright of the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences at Cardiff University (Cardiff, Wales) visited us to discuss projects for collaboration later in 2005. See January Highlights. 03/2005

 
 

Dr. Van Mount of Anadarko (The Woodlands, Texas) visited us to discuss aspects of salt tectonics in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 03/2005

A new deformation rig was installed in the physical modeling laboratories in early March. The rig was designed by Tim Dooley and built by Roger Gary, UT Department of Geological Sciences. Please see the Members' Area for further details. 03/2005

 
 

Bureau Post-doctoral Fellow and AGL Laboratory Manager Tim Dooley visited Royal Hollway University of London during the week of March 7th to discuss ongoing modeling into strike-slip deformation in Coso Range, eastern California. 03/2005

February Highlights

New publication:

Canérot, Joseph, Hudec, M. R., and Rockenbauch, Konrad, 2005, Mesozoic diapirism in the Pyrenean orogen: salt tectonics on a transform plate boundary: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 89, no. 2, p. 211–229. 02/2005

January 2005 Highlights

The Jackson School of Geosciences appointed Joe Cartwright a Visiting Distinguished Scientist for his sabbatical stay in Austin, beginning in October 2005. Joe is Director of Research at the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences at Cardiff University (Cardiff, Wales) and Editor of Basin Research. He will be collaborating with AGL on seismic-based research. 01/2005

 

Former AGL graduate research assistant Dr. Joel Le Calvez, now with Schlumberger, visited AGL on January 27 to discuss ideas for possible joint research. 01/2005

 

News and Events Archive 2004