Quantitative Clastics Laboratory

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Current Events

Peter Flaig

Peter Flaig stopped by Boy Scout Troop 105 during a recent visit to Milwaukee. The troop was camping for two days and ended up earning their Polar Bear badge for camping below 32°F. Pete visited their camp to talk to them about winter camping, teach them about sedimentary, volcanic, and metamorphic rocks and discuss the fossils found in the Devonian, Silurian, and Ordovician dolomite and limestone of the area. Nov 18, 2014

Flaig etal.
Peter Flaig

Peter Flaig recently visited the Houston Research Center to log core from the Pennsylvanian Strawn Formation of west Texas. The core records several potential reservoir intervals containing outstanding examples of mixed carbonate-clastics deposited along a complex, embayed shoreline. Peter logged and photographed the core for a future publication and core workshop. Nov 18, 2014

Flaig etal.
Lesli Wood

Tricia Alvarez successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled "The Southeastern Caribbean Subduction to Strike-Slip Transition Zone: A Study of the Effects on Lithospheric Structures and Overlying Clastic Basin Evolution and Fill" on October 2nd, 2014. Congratulations Tricia!"
Oct 20, 2014

Maria Prieto

Maria Prieto recently attended the American Association of Petroleum Geologists International Conference and Exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey (Sept. 14–17) where she presented a talk entitled "Influence of sea bottom topography on deepwater gravity-driven and current-controlled sedimentary processes." Oct 9, 2014

Flaig etal.DVDK
Peter FlaigDolores van der Kolk

Peter Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk recently discussed their current research at the AAPG/SEPM Hedberg Research Conference on "Latitudinal Controls on Stratigraphic Models and Sedimentary Concepts" held September 28-October 1, 2014, in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Peter discussed "A Potential High-Latitude Signature in the Prince Creek Formation (Early Maastrichtian) of Greenhouse Arctic Alaska" while Dolores spoke on her "Pursuit of a High-Latitude Signature During the Late Cretaceous Greenhouse: A Comparison Between Shallow Marine Storm Deposits in the Schrader Bluff Formation, Alaska, and the Kenilworth and Grassy Members of the Blackhawk Formation, Utah, U.S.A." The conference was held in Banff National Park and was well attended by many top sedimentologists, climate modelers, and industry professionals interested in potential latitudinal controls on sedimentation and the sedimentary record. Oct 8, 2014

Flaig etal.DVDK

QCL IA Annual Fluvial/Deltaic/Shallow-Marine Systems 2014 Meeting

The QCL IA met on Monday, September 15th in Grand Junction, Colorado to discuss the 2014 research results of the fluvial-deltaic-shallow marine (FDSM) research program. Monday was devoted to a series of talks discussing our broad research program in FDSM depositional systems. Presentations included river-, wave- and tide- dominated systems under investigation including deposits of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, the Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek formations in northern Alaska. We also discussed processes and emplacement of shelf sands, incised surfaces, and modeling of FDSM depositional systems. Tuesday, September 16 through Thursday, September 18 were devoted to a three-day field course examining the nature of wave-dominated, tide-dominated, and mixed fluvial-wave-tide dominated shorelines, deltas, and associated incised valleys from Green River, Utah to Rangley, Colorado, in both along dip and along strike orientations. The group spent some time in the field examining and making comparisons between the wave-and storm-dominated systems of the Blackhawk Formation, the tide- and wave-dominated systems of the Sego Formation, and the mixed fluvial-wave-tide dominated systems of Loyd Formation. Talks and Field Guide are available in the 2014 archives through your member login. Click on photos below to view larger. Sep 26, 2014

Lesli Wood

Dr. Lesli Wood traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to teach a two-day course in Seismic Geomorphology of Deepwater Systems and spend a day working with Tullow Geoscientists as part of Tullow Oil Inc.'s 2014 membership to the QCL IA. Jun 30, 2014

Lesli Wood

Tricia Alvarez has been awarded 3rd place in the Shell-sponsored students best oral presentation for her talk, entitled "Along-Strike Sediment Transport is an Underappreciated Control on the Pleistocene Sedimentary Record Offshore East Coast Trinidad." Congratulations to Tricia for an honor well deserved. Jun 30, 2014

Peter FlaigDolores van der Kolk

Peter Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk spent a week investigating the wave/storm dominated shoreface successions of the Kenilworth and Grassy Members of the Blackhawk Formation (Mesa Verde Group) in the Book Cliffs of Utah. These investigations are part of a high-latitude (Arctic Alaska) vs. low latitude (Book Cliffs—Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway) comparative analysis for Dolores' Ph.D. study. We intend to visit the Kenilworth and Grassy members as part of the QCL annual FDSM field trip in September, 2014. Click on photos below to view larger. Jun 20, 2014

Peter FlaigLesli Wood

Drs. Peter Flaig and Lesli Wood recently co-taught the sedimentology portion of the Jackson School of Geosciences—UT Austin geology field camp. Field sites for the student projects were primarily in the Book Cliffs of Utah and included the Panther Tongue of the Star Point Formation, the Kenilworth Member of the Blackhawk Formation, and the Sego Formation. Click on photo to view larger. Jun 10, 2014

Dallas Dunlap

Dallas Dunlap presented a talk entitled "Integration of remote sensing outcrop data and subsurface information to define high-resolution depositional facies variability within interbedded sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous Mancos Shale of Western Colorado" at the 2014 AAPG Hedberg: Interpretation Visualization in the Petroleum Industry, Houston, Texas, June 1st–5th, 2014 Jun 10, 2014

Lesli WoodPeter Flaig

Drs. Lesli Wood and Peter Flaig traveled to Perth, Australia to visit with Woodside Energy, an IA member since 2008. They were hosted by Woodside geoscientists Kathe Trigg and Shaun Sadler, as well as geo-engineer Giovanni Di Toro. While there they met with individual teams working around the work and discussed the issues regarding de-risking and interpreting their data. They also spent two days in the spectacular Perth Core Warehouse, examining core from several fields and conducting 2½ days of core workshops, as well as a one-day course in Seismic Geomorphology.

Lesli Wood spent three days visiting with Ophir in Perth Australia working with teams to de-risk and interpret their data from around the world. Click on photos below to view larger. May 29, 2014

Logan West

QCL IA Program welcomes Logan West as a summer Graduate Researcher Assistant. Logan has completed his M.S. in the Jackson School and will begin a Ph.D. program in the Fall of 2014. This summer Logan will head up a research initiative to use ground penetrating radar to image deepwater channels and splay deposits of the Jackfork up in his hometown of Little Rock Arkansas. We are excited that Logan is on board! May 29, 2014

Lesli Wood

Dr. Lesli J. Wood presented two papers, a keynote and a technical talk at the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference currently underway in Houston, Texas. Her talks centered around the power of industry data in educating and graduating quality students into industry. You can find the abstracts at the following links. May 8, 2014

  • University and Corporate collaborations: Great Data, Good Science and a Strong Geoscience Workforce for the Future [OTC 25098 .pdf]
  • Twenty-five years of Industry and Academic Collaboration in Earth Model Understanding between the Energy Industry and the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology Clastic Research Group [OTC 25365 .pdf]
Maria Prieto

Doctoral candidate and QCL Graduate Researcher Maria Prieto presented a talk at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, yesterday in a session chaired by Jim Thomson (BP) and Dan McConnell (Fugro), on University and Industry Petrotechnical Data Collaborations. Maria's talk, titled "Gravity driven versus current controlled processes and interactions. An ultra-high resolution study of multiple geomorphological domains in the Central Gulf of Mexico," covered work that she has been doing on a series of high resolution seafloor data sets provided by BP and located from the deepwater GOM. Her extended abstract is OTC 25210-MS and can be found at the following link: [OTC 25210-MS .pdf] May 8, 2014

Maria Prieto

Maria Prieto (Ph.D. Candidate) has received a grant from the Geological Society of America for $1,500 to go toward her work on the role of deep ocean currents in mobilizing, transporting and depositing sediments in ultra-deepwater environments. Maria will be presenting some of her observations at the upcoming OTC meeting in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, May 7th, at a session hosted by Jim Thomson (BP) on collaboration between industry and academia. Apr 23, 2014

Dolores van der Kolk

Dolores van der Kolk gave a well-received and well-attended Tech Talk at the Jackson School Tech Sessions on April 15th entitled "High-Latitude, Greenhouse Fluvial-Marine Transitions: Reconstructing the Late Cretaceous Arctic Shorelines of Northern Alaska." The talk focused on the transitional stratigraphy of a deltaic succession on the North Slope of Alaska and the reconstruction of shoreline paleoenvironments over time. Apr 23, 2014

Peter FlaigTim PratherLesli Wood

Peter Flaig, Tim Prather, and Lesli Wood participated in Industry Day here at the BEG by discussing their ongoing work in the Sego and Loyd Sandstone of Utah and Colorado. Representatives from 30 companies attended this year's festivities.
Click on photos below to view larger.
Apr 17, 2014

Peter FlaigTim Prather

Peter Flaig and Tim Prather presented a multimedia poster entitled "Identifying the nature and extent of the Loyd Sandstone Member of the Buck Tongue of the Mancos Shale in outcrop and subsurface data in the Rangley area of Colorado" at the American Association of Petroleum Geologist Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston Texas on April 8th. The poster included projections of ultra-high resolution GigaPan photomosaics, drew many people, and sparked many excellent conversations. Pete and Tim head out to the Rangley area on April 23rd for a 10-day field season to continue work for Tim Prather's master's thesis. The field season will also include Dr. Stephen Hasiotis from the University of Kansas and Darrin Burton (a former Ph.D. student at the QCL) of Newfield Energy. Apr 16, 2014

Pete Flaig standing by his multimedia poster on the Loyd Sandstone Member
of the Mancos Shale at AAPG ACE in Houston, Texas

The Deepwater Systems Meeting is now a wrap for QCL. We enjoyed a great field trip, meeting, and core workshop, hosting reps from the majority of the 17 consortium companies in the IA. Click on photos below to view larger. Apr 10, 2014


Dr. Darrin Burton (QCL Research Fellow) and Dr. Lesli Wood will receive the 2014 Norman Falcon Award for their paper "Geologically-based permeability anisotropy estimates for tidally-influenced reservoirs using quantitative shale data", published in Petroleum Geoscience, volume 19, issue 1, February 2013, pp. 3–20. The Norman Falcon Award is granted to the author(s) of the best paper published in Petroleum Geoscience in the calendar year preceding the award. It is presented by the European Association of Geologists and Engineers (EAGE). Apr 3, 2014

Field trippers from corporate sponsor INPEX and their partner PETRONAS, all geared up for safety in Baumgartner Quarry. Jackfork slabs were checked for stability. Click on photo below to view larger. Mar 19, 2014

WoodTim Prather

Dr. Lesli Wood and Tim Prather are in the field this week in Arkansas, through the rain and snow, looking at deepwater Jackfork and Atoka with geoscientists and engineers from INPEX and PETRONAS. INPEX has been a member of QCL IA for multiple years. Click on photos to view larger. Mar 18, 2014


Here are the QCL IA upcoming presentations at the AAPG Meeting in Houston, Texas, April 6–9, 2014.
Mar 17, 2014

Monday, April 7th

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM; Exhibition Hall—Alluvial, Eolian, Fluvial and Deltaic Systems and Architectures I (SEPM/AAPG)
Stephen T. Hasiotis, Adam Jackson, Peter P. Flaig, John Isbell
“Ichnocoenoses and Ichnofacies of Marine and Continental Deposits in Permian–Triassic Strata of the Beacon Supergroup, Beardmore Glacier Area, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctic”

10:10 to 10:30 AM, Room 360—Integrated Source to Sink Sedimentary Systems and Applications to Stratigraphic Prediction (SEPM/AAPG)
Tricia Alvarez, Lesli Wood, Paul Mann
“Along-Strike Sediment Transport is an Underappreciated Control on the Pleistocene Sedimentary Record Offshore East Coast Trinidad”

11:30 to 11:50 AM, Room 360—Integrated Source to Sink Sedimentary Systems and Applications to Stratigraphic Prediction (SEPM/AAPG)
Migdalys Salazar, Lorena Moscardelli, Lesli Wood
“Utilizing Clinoform Architecture and Stratigraphic Forward Modeling to Understand the Drivers of Basin Margin Evolution”

Tuesday, April 8th

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Exhibition Hall—Shallow Marine and Nearshore Systems: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Characterization and Controls (SEPM/AAPG)
Jessica Hudock, Peter Flaig, Lesli Wood
"Complex Cretaceous Shorelines Existed during Deposition of the McMurray Formation of Alberta, Canada as Evidenced by Bedrock-Controlled Estuaries and Associated Flood Tidal Deltas in the Upper McMurray"

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Exhibition Hall—Shallow Marine and Nearshore Systems: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Characterization and Controls (SEPM/AAPG)
Peter Flaig, Darrin Burton, Lesli Wood
“Identifying the Nature and Extent of the Loyd Sandstone Member of the Buck Tongue of the Mancos Shale in Outcrop and Subsurface Data in the Rangley Area of Colorado”

2:20 to 2:40 PM, General Assembly C—Contractional Tectonics and Foreland Basin Evolution (PSGD/AAPG)
Tricia Alvarez, Paul Mann, Lesli Wood
“Tectonics, Basin Evolution and Sediment Distribution within the Collision to Subduction Transition of the Southeastern Caribbean Plate Boundary Zone in Offshore Trinidad”

Wednesday, April 9th

8:25 to 8:45 AM, Room 360—Shallow Marine and Nearshore Systems: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Characterization and Controls I (SEPM/AAPG)
Khushboo Arora and Lesli Wood
“Revisiting the Utility of Hummocky Cross-stratification in paleohydrologic study of ancient shelves and sand distribution processes”

2:20 to 2:40 PM, Room 320—Sedimentology, Architecture and Process Controls of Deepwater Siliciclastic Systems: Field and Analog Studies (SEPM/AAPG)
Lesli Wood and Lorena Moscardelli
“Healing-Phase, Top-fill Traps associated with Mass Transport Complexes and Components: an under-explored opportunity in deepwater systems”

2:20 to 2:40 PM, General Assembly B—Space and Energy Frontiers (AAPG/DPA)
Lorena Moscardelli
"Relevance of Oil and Gas Exploration Activities for Planetary Science: The Martian Ocean Hypothesis Case Study"


Jessica Hudock, former QCL Graduate Student and current BHP Billiton associate visited the QCL in early March to discuss her work on 1) a new classification scheme for washover fans and 2) ancient flood tidal deltas in the McMurray Formation. Jessica Hudock, Peter Flaig, and Lesli Wood recently had a paper entitled "Washover fans: a modern geomorphologic analysis and proposed classification scheme to improve reservoir models" accepted for publication in the Journal of Sedimentary Research. Jessica will also be presenting a poster at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, Texas entitled "Complex Cretaceous Shorelines Existed during Deposition of the McMurray Formation of Alberta, Canada as Evidenced by Bedrock-Controlled Estuaries and Associated Flood Tidal Deltas in the Upper McMurray" detailing her graduate thesis work in the McMurray. Mar 17, 2014

Peter FlaigDolores van der KolkTim Prather

Dr. Peter Flaig, Dolores van der Kolk, and Tim Prather volunteered to help coordinate the Energy Theme activities for Prospective Student Weekend here at the BEG on February 23rd. During Prospective Student Weekend, select students from around the county are invited to visit the Jackson School of Geosciences, Bureau of Economic Geology, and University of Texas Institute for Geophysics to help them decide if they would like to pursue a graduate degree here at UT-Austin. Activities organized by QCL staff and students included a trip to Mount Bonnell; a demonstration of 3D visualization techniques; tours of the BEG, UTIG, and Core Facility; a series of presentations by graduate students on their research and life as a graduate student in Austin; and dinner at the Oasis restaurant. Mar 17, 2014

Tim Prather

Tim Prather recently graduated with a B.S. from the Jackson School of Geosciences geology program at UT-Austin. Tim is currently working with the QCL on a number of different projects that will prepare him to begin his masters in geology here at UT-Austin in the Fall. Tim will work with Dr. Peter Flaig, Dr. Darrin Burton, and Dr. Lesli Wood on an outcrop to subsurface project on the Loyd Sandstone in the Rangley area of Colorado. Some of Tim's goals will be to identify the Loyd in outcrop and in the subsurface, clarify how it differs from the overlying Sego Formation and underlying Mancos Shale, and provide paleoenvironmental interpretations for the Loyd in the region. Click on photo to view larger. Feb 12, 2014

Peter FlaigDolores van der Kolk

Dr. Stephen Hasiotis, a visiting scientist (ichnologist/sedimentologist) from the University of Kansas, spent four days at the QCL discussing current research with Dr. Peter Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk. Steve and Pete are collaborating on Antarctic Research investigating Permo-Trassic strata in the Central Transantarctic Mountains. Steve was also here to discuss Dolores' research on shallow-marine to continental transitional strata located along the the Cretaceous Arctic Ocean shoreline of Alaska. While he was here Steve visited outcrops of the Bull Creek Member of the Walnut Formation and the Wilcox Formation to look at the ichnology and stratigraphy of both formations.
Click on photos to view larger.
Feb 11, 2014

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