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Executive Summary

Current Research Underway

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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Most Recent Posted Research

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  • Peter Flaig: Integrating Sedimentology and Ichnology in the Beacon Supergroup, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica to Clarify Paleoenvironmental Interpretations and Refine Basin Analysis
  • van der Kolk, D., P. Flaig, S. Hasiotis, 2015: Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction of a Late Cretaceous, Muddy, River-dominated Polar Deltaic System: Schrader Bluff--Prince Creek Formation Transition, Shivugak Bluffs, North Slope of Alaska, U.S.A. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 2015, v. 85, 903-936
  • Moscardelli, Lorena, and L. Wood, 2015: Morphometry of mass-transport deposits as a predictive tool
  • Salazar, Migdalys, L. Moscardelli, and L. Wood, 2015: Utilising clinoform architecture to understand the drivers of basin margin evolution: a case study in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand
  • Logan West, AAPG poster, 2015: Regional Analysis of Residual Oil Zone Potential in the Permian Basin
  • Logan West, AAPG poster, 2015: High Resolution Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Imaging of Deepwater Stratigraphic Architecture in a High Net-to-Gross System: Jackfork Fm, Arkansas
  • Maria Prieto, AAPG poster, 2015: Influence of deepwater currents as potential triggers for slope instability and as sediment-redistribution agents
  • Peter Flaig, J. White, V. Vallega, S. Hasiotis AAPG 1015: Reconstruction of Paleoenvironments Through Integrative Sedimentology and Ichnology from Core and FMI Logs in the Katz Field, North Central Texas
  • Stevenson Bunn, AAPG poster, 2015: Toward an Accurate Reservoir Model of Heterolithic, Tidally-influenced deposits: A Case Study in the Sego Sandstone through Second-Generation, Outcrop-to-Subsurface 3-D Modeling
  • Sebastian Cardona, AAPG poster 2015: Sealing Capacity of Mass-Transport Deposits: Depositional Model for a Deepwater Reservoir in the Jubilee Gas Field, Eastern Gulf of Mexico
  • Timothy Prather, AAPG poster 2015: Should a "Typical" River-Dominated Delta With a High-Diversity Trace Fossil Assemblage Be Classified as River-Dominated? A Combined Stratigraphic, Architectural, and Ichnologic Analysis of the Loyd Sandstone (Late Cretaceous) Near Rangely, Colorado
  • Maria Prieto, presentation, 2015: Deepwater current driven sedimentation
  • Khushboo Arora, presentation, 2015: Influence of long-period surface gravity waves on sediment transport and deposition of hummocky cross-stratified deposits on marine shelves
  • Logan West, presentation, 2015: Deepwater Channel Infill: GPR Imaging of Architectural Elements in a High Net:Gross System Jackfork Formation, Arkansas
  • Dolores van der Kolk, presentation, 2015: The Schrader Bluff—Prince Creek Formation Transition at Shivugak Bluffs: A Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction of a Muddy, Polar Deltaic System from the Late Cretaceous of Arctic Alaska
  • Peter Flaig, presentation, 2015: Heterogeneities in the Prince Creek Formation: Primary Controls and the Effect on Stratal Geometries and Reservoir Quality
  • Stevenson Bunn, Thesis, 2015: Toward an accurate reservoir model of heterolithic, tidally-influenced deposits: An ongoing case study in the Sego Sandstone member of the Mancos Shale through second-generation, outcrop-to-subsurface 3-D modeling
  • Stephen Hasiotis, poster, 2015: Ichnology of the Schrader Bluff–Prince Creek Formations at Shivugak Bluffs, North Slope of Alaska
  • Dolores van der Kolk, poster, 2015: Clastic Sedimentology, Stratal Architecture and Preliminary Sequence Stratigraphic Framework of Upper Cretaceous Shelf, Shoreface, and Fluvio-Deltaic Deposits, Shivugak Bluffs, North Slope of Alaska
  • Sebastian Cardona, Master's presentation, 2015: Fabric Development and Pore Throat Reduction in a Mass-Transport Deposit in the Jubilee Gas Field, Eastern Gulf of Mexico: Consequences to the Sealing Capacity of MTDs
  • Stevenson Bunn, Master's presentation, 2015: Toward an accurate reservoir model of heterolithic, tidally-influenced deposits: An ongoing case study in the Sego Sandstone Member of the Mancos Shale through second-generation, outcrop-to-subsurface 3D modeling
  • Brian Kiel, Dissertation Defense 2015, Presentation: Measurements of U.S. rivers clarify river-shaping factors and interaction with groundwater
  • Tricia Alvarez, 2014, Dissertation: The Southeastern Caribbean Subduction to Strike-slip Transition Zone: A Study of the Effects on Lithospheric Structures and Overlying Clastic Basin Evolution and Fill
  • Peter Flaig, presentation, 2015: A tale of three deltas: Comparative analysis of ancient, river-dominated(?) deltaic systems from outcrops of the Permian in Antarctica and the Cretaceous in Arctic Alaska and Colorado
  • Hudock, Jessica, Master's Thesis 2013: Barrier island associated washover fan and flood tidal delta systems: A geomorphologic analysis and proposed classification scheme for modern washover fans and examination of a flood tidal delta complex in the Cretaceous upper McMurray Formation, Alberta, Canada

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