Quantitative Clastics Laboratory

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News 2004

QCL research team members Lesli Wood, Paul Mann, Lorena Moscardelli, Nysha Chaderton, David Soto, and Trevor Aitkens spent the day with scientists from BhpBilliton reviewing recent research results from QCL work. They gave several talks regarding the progression of work in the northern Trinidad offshore and inner deformation from west of Barbados, presented seismic results and newly acquired seismic data, and discussed ongoing seismic geomorphologic studies in the eastern offshore Trinidad regions. In addition, several volumes were loaded to VoxelGeo and viewed in the BhpBilliton's visualization facility. These types of visits are provided to consortium members as part of their annual membership subscriptions.


Sean Sullivan received a $500 award from the Earth and Space Foundation for a study titled "Mud Volcanoes on Earth and Mars." In the study, Sean will investigate possible similarities between mud volcanoes in offshore Trinidad and certain features on Mars. He will present his work at the December 2004 GCS/SEPM meeting. For more information, visit the Earth and Space Foundation Website.


Lorena Moscardelli has been invited to present her poster titled “Debris Flow Processes and Architecture” at the AAPG Prospect and Property Expo (APPEX), meeting on September 14–16 in Houston. Her poster, coauthored by Lesli Wood and Paul Mann, scored high when it was evaluated for an award at the AAPG annual meeting.

A poster produced by UT Graduate Student Kristine L. Mize and coauthors Lesli J. Wood and Paul Mann received the SEPM Best Poster Award at the 2004 AAPG/SEPM meeting. The poster is titled "Controls on the Morphology and Development of Deep-Marine Channels, Offshore Trinidad and Eastern Venezuela." Nearly 230 posters were presented at this annual meeting.


Lorena Moscardelli presented her research to the MSEA student group at the TACC Visualization Facility. MSEA is a precollege outreach program known as the Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Academy (MSEA). The goal of MSEA is to create a continuous pipeline of minority and female students, from ninth grade through the Ph.D. level, to major in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering. The Jackson School is partnering with Fort Valley State University in Georgia to host MSEA students for a week of intense summer training.

Analogs for other Worlds: Mud Volcanos of Earth and Mars.

The island of Trinidad is located along the southeastern margin of the Caribbean Plate, near the eastern terminus of the Barbados Accretionary Prism. Numerous mud volcanoes are found on the island itself and are found in prolific numbers in the near offshore. These volcanos rise to over 250 meters high on the seafloor and show multiple episodes of eruptive activity. Their morphology indicates very recent activity with numerous individual flows spilling from the central cone. Subsurface data show these systems to have been active at least throughout the past million years. Numerous mud volcanoes dotting the surface of Mars show similar geometry and morphology to those found in offshore Trinidad. The lack of active flows on the cones surface and the pock marks caused my post-development impact of meteors attest to the dormant (?) or dead nature of these features today. Lack of preserved flow architecture on the cone's surface may be a function of wind erosion on the Martian surface.

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