Quantitative Clastics Laboratory
During the week of January 18–22, Dr. Jacob Covault gave two invited talks at the HGS International Dinner and HGS Northsiders' Luncheon in the Houston area of Texas. The presentations were on deepwater channel compartmentalization and early evolution. [Event web page] Jan 22, 2016
Dr. Peter Flaig is the lead author or a co-author on four manuscripts published in the January issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. This publication is a special issue containing selected papers based on 2013 Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Theme Session 241: Ancient Polar Ecosystems and Climate History in Deep Time. The manuscripts include Pete's work both in Alaska and in Antarctica.
The publications include:
Flaig, P. P., Hasiotis, S.T., and Jackson, A.M., 2016, An Early Permian, paleopolar, postglacial, river-dominated deltaic succession in the Mackellar–Fairchild formations at Turnabout Ridge, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 441, no. 2, p. 241–265, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.08.004.
Jackson, A.M., Hasiotis, S.T., and Flaig, P. P., 2016, Ichnology of a paleopolar, river-dominated, shallow marine deltaic succession in the Mackellar Sea: the Mackellar Formation (Lower Permian), Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 441, p. 266–291, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.010.
Suarez, C. A., Flaig, P. P., Ludvigson, G. A., Gonzalez, L. A., Tian, R., Zhou, H., McCarthy, P. J., van der Kolk, D. A., and Fiorillo, A. R., 2016, Reconstructing the paleohydrology of a Cretaceous Alaskan paleopolar coastal plain from stable isotopes of bivalves: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 441, no. 2, p. 339–351, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.025
Fiorillo, A.R., McCarthy, P.P., and Flaig, P. P., 2016, A multi-disciplinary perspective on habitat preferences among dinosaurs in a Cretaceous Arctic greenhouse world, North Slope, Alaska (Prince Creek Formation: lower Maastrichtian): Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 441, no. 2, p. 377–389, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.024. Jan 15, 2016
During the week of December 14–18, Dr. Jacob Covault gave two invited talks at the AGU 2015 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. One presentation was on "Supercritical Submarine Channel Morphodynamics from Western North America," and another was on "Source-to-sink sediment budget variability in Southern California." Later in the week, modified versions of these talks were presented at an Aera Energy Lunch-and-Learn Technical Talk in Bakersfield, CA, USA. Jan 4, 2016
On November 19th Dolores van der Kolk and Peter Flaig gave a talk at BP-Houston headquarters entitled "Sedimentology and Stratigraphic Architecture of the Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Formations along the Colville River in Arctic Alaska." The talk was given for a BP Global presentation and was broadcast globally to the Sedimentology-Stratigraphy-Reservoir-Quality community at BP. Dec 15, 2015
Rebecca Jones presented a poster entitled "Paleoenvironments of Anchor Mine Tongue and Upper Sego equivalent strata in the Rangely area of Colorado: Tidally influenced deposits and variable ichnology along a complex coastline" at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Baltimore, MD. This was the first time Rebecca has analyzed, interpreted, and presented her Master's data. Great job Rebecca! Nov 9, 2015
Dr. Jacob Covault and colleagues recently published an article in Earth-Science Reviews entitled "Environmental signal propagation in sedimentary systems across timescales." [abstract link]. This paper was invited for submission to a special volume of Earth-Science Reviews on source-to-sink sedimentary systems research. Nov 2, 2015
Dr. Jacob Covault gave a talk at the GCAGS 2015 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX, USA, on deepwater channel system evolution offshore West Africa [abstract link]. The presentation showed the stratigraphic evolution of channel systems in prospective continental margins from laterally offset, amalgamated channel deposits to vertically stacked leveed channel deposits. Internal and external controls on deepwater channel stratigraphy were considered. The presentation was a shortened version of an invited talk given at the 2015 AAPG Sixth Annual Deepwater and Shelf Reservoirs Workshop Global Technology Workshop in Houston. Click on image to view larger. Nov 2, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig and Dr. Jacob Covault chaired sessions at the GSA 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Peter chaired a general session on clastic sediments [link], and Jacob chaired with industry colleague Bret Dixon (Anadarko) [link]. Peter also gave a talk on Wednesday, November 4th, entitled "A Tale of Two Deltas: Comparative Analysis of Ancient, 'River-Dominated' Deltaic Systems from Outcrops of the Permian in Antarctica and the Cretaceous of Colorado" [abstract link] at 8:15 AM in Sediments, Clastic. Nov 2, 2015
From October 12th through the 13th, the Quantitative Clastics Laboratory held a Fluvial–Deltaic–Shallow-Marine workshop at the Houston Research Center (HRC) core facility. Day 1 of the workshop featured presentations by QCL students, researchers, and guest speakers. Day 2 included a half-day ichnology course taught by Dr. Stephen Hasiotis, a professor at the University of Kansas Department of Geology, and a half-day core workshop focusing on complex mixed clastic-carbonate Pennsylvanian coastlines found along the eastern shelf of the Permian–Midland Basin of west–central Texas. The workshop was well-attended by our member companies and, as always, we thank you for your continued support of the QCL! Click on photos to view larger. Oct 21, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig just returned from a Transantarctic Mountain Science Antarctic Deep Field Planning Meeting held in Loveland, CO. Pete discussed his research on Permo-Triassic strata of Antarctica in a talk entitled "Integrating Sedimentology and Ichnology in the Beacon Supergroup, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica to Clarify Paleoenvironmental Interpretations and Refine Basin Analysis." Pete was also a co-author on a talk by Dr. Stephen Hasiotis entitled "Hidden Diversity of High-Latitude Landscapes and Seascapes—Integrated Ichnologic and Sedimentologic Research in the Beacon Supergroup, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica." The meeting was convened to discuss the science and logistics support for an upcoming, remote deep-field camp based along the Shackleton Glacier. The camp will be active during the 2015–2016, 2016–2014, and 2017–2018 Austral summers. Click on photos to view larger. Sep 25, 2015
Dolores van der Kolk presented her poster entitled "Stratigraphic Evolution of a Paleopolar Topset Clinoform System: Upper Cretaceous Lower Schrader Bluff—Prince Creek Formations, Arctic Alaska, U.S.A." at the 3rd Annual BEG Research Symposium on September 18th. Sep 21, 2015
Dr. Jacob Covault joined the BEG on August 10 as Research Scientist and Principal Investigator of the Quantitative Clastics Laboratory (QCL). Dr. Covault, a distinguished researcher in deep-water clastic depositional systems, received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2008 and previously worked as a researcher at Chevron Energy Technology Company and at the United States Geological Survey. Within QCL, Dr. Covault's deep-water systems expertise will complement the skills of Dr. Peter Flaig, who specializes in fluvial, deltaic, and shallow-marine systems, and the skills of Dallas Dunlap whose specialty is advanced seismic interpretation methods. Dr. Covault is seeking graduate students with whom to collaborate on source-to-sink sediment routing and signal propagation, deciphering the stratigraphic record of continental margins, and the impact of facies models on reservoir performance. [Google Scholar] Click on image for more information and to view larger. Sep 8, 2015
Dolores van der Kolk, Dr. Pete Flaig, and Dr. Stephen Hasiotis recently published an article in the Journal of Sedimentary Research entitled, "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." [abstract]. This is one of the few examples of high-latitude deltas deposited in the Cretaceous (Santonian–Campanian) Arctic Ocean and is one of only three studies in the world that document muddy, progradational shorelines. This work is part of Dolores van der Kolk's Ph.D. at QCL/JSG. Two additional papers documenting the sandier portions of this high-latitude system are currently in preparation. The study area, Shivugak Bluffs on the North Slope of Alaska, is featured on the cover of the Journal of Sedimentary Research August issue. Click on photos to view larger. Aug 24, 2015
Drs. Lorena Moscardelli and Lesli Wood just published an article in GSA Bulletin: "Morphometry of mass transport deposits as a predictive tool." The early online release has been flagged by GSA Bulletin as a Featured Article. This article reflects more than 10 years of research in the topic of mass wasting processes by QCL researchers. Jul 16, 2015
Drs. Migdalys Salazar, Lorena Moscardelli and Lesli Wood just published an article on Basin Research "Utilizing clinoform architectures to understand the drivers of basin margin evolution: a case study in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand" [abstract]. This new publication showcases how morphological variations within continental-margin clinoforms can help improve our understanding of sediment dispersal, composition, and sediment transport mechanisms occurring along shelf margins. This work was part of a Ph.D. project by Migdalys Salazar at QCL/JSG under the supervision of Dr. Lorena Moscardelli. There is a second paper regarding forward modeling of these systems that is currently "in preparation". Jul 16, 2015
QCL students continue to be heavily involved with the "Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences" community. Sebastian Cardona and Maria Prieto will be attending the upcoming 7th International Symposium in Wellington, New Zealand. They both got accepted chapters for the conference volume, a Springer publication that is peer-reviewed. In addition, Sebastian is one of the co-leaders of a field trip that will showcase spectacular MTDs in New Zealand . There is more! Sebastian and Maria received grants from IGCP 640, an initiative by the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) and UNESCO, to help them cover cost to attend the conference in New Zealand. Jul 16, 2015
These are their peer-reviewed publications:
Cardona, S., L. Wood, R.J. Day-Stirrat, and L. Moscardelli, in press, Sealing Capacity of Mass Transport Deposits: Depositional Model for a Deepwater Reservoir in the Jubilee Gas Field, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, in Lamarche, G., Mountjoy, J., Bull, S., Hubble, T., Krastel, S., Lane, E., Micallef, A., Moscardelli, L., Mueller, C., Percher, I. and Woelz, S., eds., Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences: 7th International Symposium, Springer.
Prieto, M.I., L. Moscardelli, and L. Wood, in press, Exploring the influence of deepwater currents as potential triggers for slope instability, in Lamarche, G., Mountjoy, J., Bull, S., Hubble, T., Krastel, S., Lane, E., Micallef, A., Moscardelli, L., Mueller, C., Percher, I. and Woelz, S., eds., Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences: 7th International Symposium, Springer.
Rebecca Jones, an M.S. student at the QCL, helped out on two GeoFORCE trips this summer (Grand Canyon and Oregon: Mt. St. Helens–Crater Lake), offering to drive a trail vehicle and provide her geologic expertise and counseling when needed. Jun 30, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk were both heavily involved this summer in the GeoFORCE program at UT-Austin. Dolores was the instructor for the GeoFORCE Grand Canyon trip on June 6–13. Pete instructed the GeoFORCE Grand Canyon trip for the 6th consecutive summer on June 20–27. Pete also instructed a brand new GeoFORCE trip designed as a senior level sedimentology-tectonics class in the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. Pete is a co-author on the field trip guidebook. The trip combined senior-level high school students from both the North Slope of Alaska and Texas. This was the final summer class for the first group of GeoFORCE Alaska students. Congratulations to them! Click on photos to view larger. Jun 30, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig recently came back from a week of co-teaching the sedimentology portion of field camp with Dr. Ron Steel of the Jackson School. Pete and Dr. Steel took the students to measure and interpret Cretaceous outcrops in the Rock Springs that preserve shallow marine to continental sediments deposited along the shorelines of the Western Cretaceous Interior Seaway of North America. The students role is to measure stratigraphic successions, interpret depositional environments, and correlate the stratigraphy in the region. Click on photos to view larger. Jun 15, 2015
Monday, June 1st Poster Sessions
Logan West: Imaging of Deepwater Channel Architectural Elements of the Jackfork Formation, Arkansas, Using Ground Penetrating Radar and Application to Reservoir Modeling [abstract .pdf]
8:30 AM-5:00 PM in AAPG Student Research Poster Session
Tuesday, June 2nd Poster Sessions
Timothy Prather: 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
8:30 AM-5:00 PM in Source-to-Sink Analyses of Sediment Dispersal Systems (AAPG/SEPM)
Wednesday, June 3rd Oral Sessions
Khushboo Arora: Influence of Storm Processes on Cross-Shelf Sediment Transport [abstract .pdf]
9:05 AM-9:25 AM in Quantitative Characterization and Modeling of Sedimentary Systems (AAPG/SEPM)
A Potential High-Latitude Signature on a Cretaceous Paleopolar Coastal Plain: Flashiness Evidenced by Recurring Facies, Sedimentary-Pedogenic Structures and Isotopic Trends in the Prince Creek Formation of Arctic Alaska During a Greenhouse [abstract .pdf]
4:25 PM-4:45 PM in Fluvial-Tidal Transition and Shallow Marine Systems (AAPG/SEPM)
Wednesday, June 3rd Poster Sessions
Maria Prieto: Influence of Bottom Currents on Gravity-Induced Deposits as Potential Triggers for Slope Instability and as Sediment-Redistribution Agents [abstract .pdf]
8:30 AM-12:00 PM in Deepwater System Architecture (AAPG/SEPM)
Sebastian Cardona: Sealing Capacity of Mass Transport Deposits: Depositional Model for a Deepwater Reservoir in the Jubilee Gas Field, Eastern Gulf of Mexico [abstract .pdf]
8:30 AM-12:00 PM in Deepwater System Architecture (AAPG/SEPM)
Logan West: Regional Analysis of Residual Oil Zone Potential in the Permian Basin [abstract .pdf]
8:30 AM-12:00 PM in CO2 Storage and EOR: Two Sides of the Same Technology (DEG)
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
8:30 AM-12:00 PM in Developments and Discoveries (AAPG)
We hope to see you in Denver! May 29, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk attended the 111th Annual Meeting of the Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America held in Anchorage from May 11th–13th. They presented two talks and two posters on the Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Formations, two viscous to heavy oil-bearing formations on the North Slope of Alaska. Peter and Dolores also visited with representatives from several petroleum companies as well as researchers from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas (DOG), the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (DGGS), and the University of Alaska—Fairbanks (UAF). May 21, 2015
Student internships and permanent job offers accepted this summer
- Khushboo Arora: Statoil (internship)
- Tim Prather: BHP Billiton (internship)
- Katherine Shover: Exxon Mobil (internship)
- Stevenson Bunn: Apache Corporation (permanent position)
May 21, 2015
The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies' Board of Directors awarded Dallas Dunlap a Distinguished Service Award for his many contributions to the GCAGS and specifically his role as the General Chair of the 2012 Convention and exemplary service as Chair of the Continuity Committee. Congratulations Dallas on this prestigious and well-earned award! May 21, 2015
The following QCL graduate students recently received grants from the 2015 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid Program, the Geologic Society of America Student Research Grants, or other funding sources.
Tim Prather, an M.S. student at the QCL received a $2000 general grant from the AAPG Grants in Aid Program and a $2500 GSA Student Research Grant for his proposal entitled "Understanding the Influence of Tide and Wave Energy on a River-Dominated Delta: The Expression of Ichnology, Sedimentary Structures, and Sand Body Geometries in the Late Cretaceous Loyd Formation, CO." Tim also received $1000 in matching funds from the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT-Austin.
Sebastian Cardona, an M.S. student at the QCL received $2000 from the Norman H. Foster Memorial Grant Fund for his proposal entitled "Sealing Capacity of Mass-transport Deposits: Depositional Model for a Deepwater Reservoir Worldwide."
Khushboo Arora, a Ph.D. student at the QCL received an $1800 general grant from the GSA Student Research Grants for her proposal entitled "Influence of Storm Processes on Cross-Shelf Sediment Transport."
Stevenson Bunn, an M.S. student at the QCL received a $1000 fellowship from the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT-Austin and an additional $750 Professional Development Award from the Office of Graduate Studies for his proposal entitled "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."
Dolores van der Kolk, a Ph.D. student at the QCL received a $770 travel grant from the Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America to present her work on the "The Late Cretaceous Schrader Bluff-Prince Creek Formation Transitional Stratigraphy, Colville River, North Slope of Alaska" at the 2015 Cordilleran Section GSA meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. Dolores is either a first author or co-author on 4 papers to be presented at that meeting.
May 4, 2015
Peter Flaig and Dallas Dunlap participated in the BEG Industry Day, held this year at the Houston Core Research Center. Dallas discussed "High resolution 3D Imaging of Quaternary Channelization Offshore San Luis Pass, Texas" while Peter had core pulled from the Pennsylvanian Strawn Formation of west Texas. The core contains an outstanding example of a mixed carbonate-clastic system deposited along a complex, embayed shoreline. Click on photos to view larger. May 4, 2015
Dr. Darrin Burton, currently with QCL member company Anadarko (and a former Ph.D. student and graduate of the QCL) stopped by the QCL to discuss our recent work on the outcrop geology and flow modelling of the Sego Sandstone in the Book Cliffs of Utah. It was great to see Darrin and visit with him! Darrin recently moved to Houston with Anadarko, which will hopefully make collaboration between Darrin and QCL students even easier. Thanks for stopping by, Darrin! May 4, 2015
Congratulations to Stevenson Bunn and Sebastian Cardona for successfully presenting their research at Master's Saturday here at the Jackson School! The titles of their projects are:
Stevenson Bunn: "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"
Sebastian Cardona: "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"
April 25, 2015
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor hail, nor sheep, nor bulls, nor no-show pilots could stop Tim Prather and Rebecca Jones from moving forward with their fieldwork last week in the Book Cliffs of Utah and equivalent stratigraphy near Rangely Colorado. Tim is working on what he interprets as a deltaic succession while Rebecca is teasing out the complex environments found in the Anchor Mine Tongue and surrounding strata. Click on photos to view larger. Apr 15, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig gave an invited talk at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage Alaska. The talk entitled "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" was given at the February meeting of the Alaska Geological Society. Pete also met with industry representative from BP, ENI, Hillcorp, and Great Bear Petroleum to discuss the work that the QCL and BEG is involved in on the North Slope of Alaska. Click on photo to view larger.
Feb 25, 2015
Graduate student Tim Prather was awarded 2nd Place in the "Early-Career Graduate Best Poster Award" category of the 4th Annual Jackson School Research Symposium, held this past Saturday. The title of his poster was "A Combined Stratigraphic, Architectural, and Ichnologic Analysis of the Loyd Sandstone (Late Cretaceous) Near Rangely, Colorado." Feb 10, 2015
Dr. Peter Flaig gave an invited talk at the University of Kansas (KU) Department of Geology 2015 Colloquium Series entitled "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". Pete also spent a couple of days meeting with KU students to discuss their ongoing research and potential careers in geology. Pete met with several researchers during his visit to discuss their current research and potential future collaborations. Jan 27, 2015
Brian Kiel successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Measurements of U.S. rivers clarify river-shaping factors and interaction with groundwater," and will graduate at the end of this semester. Congratulations, Brian! Brian already has a manuscript published in nature Geosciences entitled: "Lateral hyporheic exchange throughout the Mississippi River network." Jan 22, 2015
Sebastian Cardona recently performed fieldwork and collected samples in well-exposed outcrops of mass transport deposits (MTDs) on the western shore of New Zealand near Mokau, New Plymouth. He documented about 1 kilometer of exposure and collected nearly 50 samples to study the different styles of deformation and microfabrics within a single MTD. His research hopes to reveal styles of deformation in MTDs and how they transmit fluids in the subsurface to better predict their seal potential.
Click on photos below to view larger. Jan 15, 2015
Peter Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk recently visited Repsol in The Woodlands of Houston, Texas. They discussed their investigations into the facies, ichnology, depositional environments, and stratal architectures in the Late Cretaceous Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek formations of northern Alaska. Jan 15, 2015