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2016–2018 Research Proposal

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Dr. Jacob Covault
Research Scientist,
Primary Investigator QCL


Dr. Peter Flaig
Research Associate,
Primary Investigator QCL


Dallas Dunlap
Interpreter, Visualization Specialist


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Quantitative Clastics Laboratory

Mission Statement

Key challenges in the exploration and development of natural resources are the evaluation of reservoir presence and quality in data-limited, frontier basins, and the characterization of connectivity and heterogeneity of reservoirs. The Quantitative Clastics Laboratory (QCL) is a Jackson School of Geosciences collaboration between the Department of Geological Sciences, the Bureau of Economic Geology, the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, and industrial affiliates designed to address these challenges. QCL researchers carry out integrated geologic studies at multiple scales to develop models for processes and controls in sediment transport and the stratigraphic evolution of depositional systems. They use subsurface, outcrop, Earth surface, and marine geology datasets to evaluate predictive, source-to-sink relationships between hinterland, fluvial, shoreline, shelf, slope, and deep-basin environments. Researchers also develop concepts for the prediction of stratigraphic architecture and controls on the evolution of fluvial, shallow-marine, and deep-water depositional systems, and they aim to determine the impact of facies modeling on reservoir performance of these systems. Results are deployed to industrial affiliates in a quantitative format, which facilitates probabilistic assessments and modeling of oil and gas reservoirs.

The program was established in 2001 and is funded by a consortium of oil companies. We have also been supported by numerous software vendors and foreign energy ministries. The QCL is widely considered the world's premier research group in the application of seismic geomorphology to reservoir characterizations and the provider of outcrop analogues for reservoir models.

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