Quantitative Clastics Laboratory

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News 2013


Kristie Ramlal, Jessica Hudock and Dallas Dunlap will be part of the Jackson School of Geosciences December 2013 graduating class, each having completed their Master degrees. Kristie is in "talks" with a company who shall go un-named at present regarding full time employment, Jessica has taken a full time geoscience position with BHP Billiton in Houston, and Dallas Dunlap will remain a key component of our success in the QCL IA and the large BEG and JSG organizations. Congratulations to all our graduates! They join a list of over 30 young scientists graduated from the University of Texas through the support of the QCL IA. Dec 2, 2013


During the month of November Dr. Lorena Moscardelli attended the 6th International Symposium on Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences in Kiel, Germany where she presented work on the "Influence of MTD-related relief on the stratigraphic architecture of subsequent gravity-flow and current-controlled deposits." This was a collaborative effort that included contributions from Drs. Christopher Jackson (Imperial College of London), Lesli Wood (BEG), David Hodgson (University of Leeds) and Mason Dykstra (Statoil RDI EXP Austin). We are hoping to expand this line of research in the near future. Dr. Moscardelli also attended the post-conference field trip that was led by Prof. Rüdiger Henrich from the University of Bremen, the group visited a series of spectacular deep-water outcrops in the German/Austrian Alps (Mount Muttekopf). Click on photo to view larger.
Nov 21, 2013


QCL researchers continue to make contributions in the area of terrestrial analogs for Mars. Next February GSAToday will be publishing a paper on "Boulders of the Vastitas Borealis Formation: Potential Origin and Implications for an Ancient Martian Ocean" by Dr. Lorena Moscardelli. In addition, Dr. Moscardelli will be presenting a talk at the 2014 Annual AAPG meeting in Houston on the "Relevance of Oil and Gas Exploration Activities for Planetary Science: The Martian Ocean Hypothesis Case Study" [abstract, .pdf] Nov 21, 2013


Migdalys Salazar recently submitted the first draft of a paper to Basin Research and she is currently waiting for the reviews while working on her second manuscript. The title of the paper is "Utilizing Clinoform Architectures to Understand the Drivers of Basin Margin Evolution: A Case Study in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand." Migdalys is pursuing a Ph.D. degree under the watchful supervision of Drs. Lorena Moscardelli and Lesli Wood.
Oct 28, 2013


Khushboo Arora will be working as an intern next summer in the brand new Statoil Research, Development and Innovation Center in Austin, Texas. Khushboo will be working under the supervision of Dr. Lorena Moscardelli in a project in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). Khushboo is one of a handful of selected candidates from a pool of very competitive applicants from top universities around the country. Nov 21, 2013

Peter Flaig

Dr. Peter Flaig recently returned from the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Denver Colorado. Peter gave a talk entitled "Sedimentology and ichnology of Permo-Triassic strata at Lamping Peak, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica: Paleopolar forests, lakes, and braided rivers in a greenhouse world." The talk was part of a half-day session dedicated to "Ancient Polar Ecosystems and Climate History in Deep Time." This session not only featured work done by Peter in the Central Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica but also included talks on his collaborative research with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, and the University of Kansas on Cretaceous fluvial-deltaic sediments of the North Slope of Alaska. Nov 20, 2013


Dallas Dunlap is currently spending several weeks offshore in a second data acquisition cruise for the Hi-Resolution 3D Seismic Data acquisition systems with Dr. Tip Meckel. These data should allow us to image the entire interface between the stratigraphy and the salt diapir located offshore Bolivar Peninsula. Oct 28, 2013


Khushboo Arora (Ph.D. Candidate) is the recent recipient of a Chevron Fellowship. The $4,500 Fellowship will assist with her support and research in the coming 2014 Spring Semester. Oct 28, 2013

Peter Flaig

Dr. Peter Flaig attended an NSF-sponsored planning meeting for continued work in the Central Transantarctic Mountains (CTAM) of Antarctica. Dr. Flaig has done significant field work (2003–2004 and 2010–2011 field seasons) on Permian-Triassic sediments deposited within the Beacon retroarc foreland basin of Antarctica. These spectacular outcrops range in environments from proximal fluvial to fluvial-deltaic to deepwater submarine channels and fans. They are related to strata found in the Bowen Basin of Australia, Karoo Basin of Southern Africa, and the Parana basin of South America. Dr. Flaig has submitted a new proposal for future work along the CTAM in 2014 or 2015. Oct 28, 2013

Responding to requests from members, QCL has produced a new version of its QCL Geomorphology Toolkit plugin for Petrel with support for Petrel 2012. Going forward, Petrel 2012 will be used as the primary development target for the plugin. The Petrel 2012 version of the plugin is available immediately from the QCL SAND website, under the Tools section. The current 2011-compatible version will remain available, but will not be updated with new features. Development of the plugin is ongoing, with exciting new features planned for 2014. Sep 12, 2013

The QCL has begun development of a Landmark DecisionSpace plugin for Seismic GeoMorph. The software will be accessed directly from the DecisionSpace Desktop interface with development work beginning in Q1 2014 ahead of the fall 2014 release of OW/DS8.10. The QCL has been granted access to the early release of the 8.10 SDK and access to LGC R&D support. Development will go in parallel to additional enhancements and functionality extensions incorporated into the Ocean version of Seismic GeoMorph. Sep 12, 2013


Dr. Lesli J. Wood will present a talk on September 27th, 2013 to the Four Corners Geological Society in Farmington, New Mexico, titled "Exploring for Low Net:Gross Reservoirs in the Late Cretaceous-age Transgressive Systems of the San Juan Basin: El Vado, Tocito, Gallup Sandstone Members of the Mancos Shale, Northwestern New Mexico." The meeting will be preceded by dinner and be held at the Farmington Courtyard by Marriott.

For information on how to attend you can contact Paul Spear at geospear2000@yahoo.com Sep 12, 2013

WoodPeter Flaig

Drs. Lesli Wood and Peter Flaig just returned from reconnaissance of several New Mexico outcrops. These outcrops will be used to showcase the Gallup, Tocito, Torrivio, Yazzi, and Dilco Coal Measures during the Quantitative Clastics Laboratory annual fluvial-deltaic–shallow-marine meeting in late September. Click on photos to view larger. Aug 15, 2013

Peter Flaig

Dr. Peter Flaig recently attended the 10th International Conference on Fluvial Sedimentology held in Leeds, England. Peter presented his work on the sedimentology and ichnology of Permian river dominated deltas of Antarctica. He also attended three field trips relevant to QCL research interests including: a visit to the (modern) Severn Estuary outside of Bristol, an excursion to the Pennsylvanian (Westphalian) coal-bearing fluvial-lacustrine deposits outside of Leeds, and a field trip to the Western Irish Namurian Basin to investigate the Carboniferous fluvial-deltaic-shallow marine "cyclothems" exposed along the coast of western Ireland. Click on images to view larger. Aug 14, 2013


Dr. Lesli Wood spent early July working with new QCL IA member INPEX and their Petronas partners in the Sabah fold belt of offshore Malaysia. In addition to teaching a short course, and spending time in office looking at seismic data, they spent one day examining core from the area at Petronas's new core warehouse facility.
Click on photo to view larger.
Jul 22, 2013

Yanlei Dong

QCL held a luncheon on June 26th, 2013, for Dr. Yanlei Dong, a visiting scholar from China University of Petroleum—Beijing (CUPB). Dr. Dong will be heading back home this month after spending a year-long sabbatical working at the QCL. As a geologist, Dr. Dong investigated a 3D-seismic survey of Paleocene-Miocene sediments within the Mad Dog oil field, located in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Dong participated in the Sequence Stratigraphy, Clastic Depositional Environments, and Subsurface Mapping and Petroleum Workstations courses at the Jackson School of Geosciences. Click on photos to view larger. Jul 10, 2013


Dr. Peter Flaig recently returned from leading his fourth GeoFORCE 10th Grade Academy trip to the southwestern United States and the Grand Canyon. This year's trip included an inaugural visit to Barringer (Meteor) Crater near Flagstaff Arizona to compare craters formed by volcanoes to those formed by bolides. Jul 2, 2013

Khushboo Arora

Khushboo Arora has received the Isaac J. Crumbly Minorities in Energy Named Grant from AAPG for her field and experimental research in combined flow processes and their implications for sand transport in shelf systems. The grant of $2500 will be applied to her research this summer. Congratulations Khushboo! Jun 7, 2013

Lesli WoodLorena Moscardelli

Drs. Lesli Wood and Lorena Moscardelli spent Thursday and Friday of this week at member offices for BHP Billiton. In addition to reviewing the overall science plans for QCL IA in 2013, Dr. Moscardelli reviewed the state of knowledge in Mass Transport deposits and processes, and they reviewed work with the Australia and Gulf of Mexico teams. BHP Billiton has been a supporter of the QCL IA program for 11 years.
Jun 7, 2013

Peter FlaigDarrin Burton

Drs. Peter Flaig and Darrin Burton are leading a team of field geologists over the next week to perform a detailed analysis of the Late Cretaceous Loyd shallow marine to coastal plain transitional stratigraphy as well as investigate several well exposed, enormous incised valleys that cut the Sego/Loyd shorelines in northwest Colorado. This work is part of ongoing research that extends our knowledge of paleoenvironments of the Loyd and the tidally influenced Sego Shorelines, along strike into the fluvially dominated portions of the shoreline in southwest Wyoming. These units were the subject of a three day field trip last year for the QCL IA members. Click on images to view larger. Jun 7, 2013

Dolores van der Kolk

Dolores van der Kolk presented a dynamic multi-media poster at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meeting and expedition entitled "Applying GigaPan Robotic Photo-Panorama Technology to Enhance Facies and Architectural Analyses of the Upper Cretaceous Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Fms. at Shivugak Bluffs, North Slope of Alaska, USA." She incorporated two printed poster panels as well as a projector to not only discuss stratigraphy and architecture, but actively investigate gigapans with scientists who stopped by her booth. Dolores' poster created quite a buzz at the meeting and was so well attended that she left it up through the lunch hour to accommodate interested conference participants. Click on images to view larger. May 24, 2013

Peter Flaig

Dr. Peter Flaig gave a talk at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meeting and expedition entitled "Lower Permian Antarctic marine deltas of the Mackellar Formation: Turnabout Ridge, Beardmore Glacier Region, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica." Click on image to view larger. May 24, 2013


Dr. Lesli Wood will present a talk to the Houston SIPES monthly luncheon and meeting, on Thursday May 15 at the Petroleum Club in downtown Houston. The title of the talk will be "Quantitative Seismic Geomorphology: Revolutionizing our picture of the paleo-Earth." For more information see the site at sipeshouston.org. May 14, 2013

WoodLorena Moscardelli

On May 6th and 7th, Lesli Wood and Lorena Moscardelli visited IMP (Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo) offices in Mexico City where they talked about deepwater deposits and the regional geology of the GOM. Most of the meeting was devoted to discussions associated with the nature of hybrid flows on deepwater deposits and how to recognize them.
Click on images to view larger. May 9, 2013

WoodLorena Moscardelli

From April 20th to 22nd, Lesli Wood and Lorena Moscardelli visited outcrops of the Jackfork Formation in Arkansas. The field trip was led by Dr. Roger Slatt from the University of Oklahoma and included visits to the Baugartner and Big Rock quarries, the DeGray and Dierks spillway locations, a "parking lot" outcrop located next to the McCain Mall in Little Rock and the Pinnacle State Park. The Jackfork Formation is a Pennsylvanian unit that contains spectacular deep-water deposits, including sheet sands, channelized features and mass transport deposits. May 9 2013

Maria Prieto

Maria Prieto has been granted $500 by the Ed Picou Fellowship Grant for Graduate Studies (GCSSEPM Foundation) to continue her work on the study of gravity-driven versus current-controlled processes and interactions in the ultra deepwater region of the Gulf of Mexico. Maria's work is supervised by Drs. Lorena Moscardelli and Lesli Wood. Congratulations to Maria!
Apr 22, 2013

Peter FlaigDolores van der Kolk

Dr. Peter Flaig visited with faculty, scientists, and students at the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University and gave an invited talk at entitled "The Late Cretaceous coastal plain of Arctic Alaska: Placing Pachyrhinosaurus Perotorum and other North Slope dinosaurs in a paleoenvironmental context." The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas Texas houses a collection of Alaskan dinosaurs including Pachyrhinosaurus Perotorum. Dr. Flaig and Dolores van der Kolk assisted in the collection of those dinosaurs and the interpretation of the paleoenvironments found on the Cretaceous Arctic Alaska coastal plain. The collection is curated by Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, a paleontologist who specializes in taphomomy (the study of the processes such as burial, decay, and preservation that affect animal and plant remains as they become fossilized) and focuses on Alaskan Dinosaurs.
Click on images to view larger. Apr 16, 2013

Migdalys Salazar

And Migdalys Salazar has done it again! The 2013 GSA Research Grant committee has awarded Migdalys with $2,125 to continue her research in the Taranaki Basin. This is in addition to recent awards that Migdalys has obtained from the Ed Picou Fellowship Grant for Graduate Studies ($1,000), the AAPG Peter Warren Gester Memorial Grant ($1,500) and the Jesse L. Brundrett Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship ($3,500). Grand total: $8,125! Migdalys is studying the Giant Foresets Formation in the Taranaki Basin under the watchful supervision of Drs. Lorena Moscardelli and Lesli Wood. Congratulations to Migdalys. Apr 11, 2013

Brian KielDolores van der KolkJessica HudockMaria Prieto

Brian Kiel, Dolores van der Kolk, Jessica Hudock, and Maria Prieto exhibited and discussed their current research at the Bureau of Economic Geology Industry Day held at the Core Research Center on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus. Mar 27, 2013

Lorena Moscardelli

On March 22, Lorena Moscardelli was the featured speaker at the BEG Friday Seminar Series. Her talk was entitled "From Mass Transport Deposits to Mars: 10 Years Later—The Journey!" The abstract and streaming video link are available here. Mar 26, 2013

Brian Kiel

QCL Ph.D. Candidate Brian Kiel is attending an Earthcube workshop in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday and Tuesday, March 25–26, 2013. The purpose of the workshop is to identify and articulate the cyberinfrastructure (CI) needs and applications of the broad sedimentary geology community (SGC). The effort is intended to build consensus within the SGC with respect to the National Science Foundation's EarthCube effort (http://earthcube.ning.com/). Mar 11, 2013

Khushboo Arora

Khushboo Arora (GRA with QCL IA) and Menal Gupta (GRA with EGL) placed first in the SEG Gulf Coast Challenge Bowl being held March 5th in Houston, Texas, in conjunction with Geophysical Society of Houston Spring Symposium. The SEG Challenge Bowl is an international contest testing students' breadth and depth of knowledge about the field of geoscience. The quiz show format features intense competition as the contestants attempt to buzz in first with the answers to challenging geoscience questions. Four other teams competed; one from Rice University, one from The University of Texas at San Antonio and two teams from The University of Houston. Khushboo was the top scoring participant among all competing. Congratulations, Khushboo and Minal! Hook 'Em Horns! Click image on right to view larger. Mar 6, 2013

Thomas Brothers

Charles Thomas Brothers will be presenting a paper at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference which will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, The Woodlands, Texas, March 18–22, 2013. Mr. Brothers is addressing the geophysical investigation of various geomorphologic and deeper stratigraphic features found at the Martian North Pole and surrounding area. Mar 5, 2013

Senator the Honorable Kevin Ramnarine, Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA), Trinidad and Tobago

Ambassador from Trinidad and Tobago to the United States, His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan

The BEG and members of the Clastic Research Group will visit today with the Senator the Honorable Kevin Ramnarine, Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA), Trinidad and Tobago

Accompanying the Senator on his visit will be the Ambassador from Trinidad and Tobago to the United States, His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan, as well as

  • Mr. Sheldon Butcher
    Senior Chemical Engineer
    Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs,
  • Mr. Marc Rudder
    Senior Petroleum Engineer
    Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, and
  • Mr. Anthony Syms
    Governor & Member of the Energy Advisory Committee,
    National Energy Skills Centre (NESC).

It is a wonderful opportunity to thank the Minister for their support to the QCL IA's research program and lay plans for continued interaction in the future. Mar 4, 2013

Dolores van der KolkPeter Flaig

Dolores van der Kolk and Peter Flaig are rocking the Department of Geosciences Colloquium this week at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Go check them out if you are up in Milwaukee. Click image on right to view larger. Mar 4, 2013

Jessica HudockPeter Flaig

Jessica Hudock and Peter Flaig are visiting the Calgary Core Research Facility this week at the invitation and with the funding support of Marathon. They are collaborating with the Marathon team on the study of a large washover fan systems in the McMurray.
Click image on right to view larger. Mar 1, 2013

On February 14th and 15th, the QCL IA consortium held its annual Deep-Water Systems 2013 Meeting at the BEG Houston Research Center. This meeting focused on those components of the research program involving deepwater depositional systems. The first day was dedicated to talks that involved a wide range of studies being done worldwide, including work in the Gulf of Mexico, New Zealand, Brazil and Norway. The second day was dedicated to a deepwater core workshop that included cores from the Wilcox Formation and from DSDP Leg 96 (GOM). The meeting was attended by more than forty company representatives. Technical talks were given by two BEG researchers plus two graduate students who are working on their Ph.D. projects as part of the QCL research program. View the meeding agenda here. Feb 25, 2013

Lorena MoscardelliPeter Flaig

Visit to IODP Core Repository in College Station
On January 23th, QCL researchers Lorena Moscardelli and Peter Flaig visited the IODP Core Repository in College Station to look at some core from the minibasin province of the Gulf of Mexico. Gregory Frebourg who is currently working for the Mudrock Systems Reseach Laboratory (MSRL) and the State of Texas Advanced Oil and Gas Resource Recovery (STARR) project accompanied them to discuss sedimentological aspects associated with deepwater deposits. The objective of the visit was to examine cores that contain Quaternary mass transport deposits and that might also contain contourites. This research line is part of the doctoral work that Maria Prieto is currently conducting and it will be presenting in the upcoming annual meeting. Click on images below to view larger. Jan 25, 2013


Congratulations to Maria Prieto for successfully defending her dissertation proposal to her committee. Jan 23, 2013


Lesli Wood traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, on Thursday, January 10, to give a luncheon talk to the Mississippi Geological Society. Despite the thunderstorms it was the largest crowd they'd had on hand in many months. Jan 16, 2013


Science-based news Website EarthSky recently published their interview with Dr. Lesli Wood. The topic was "Exploring Gulf of Mexico deep water oil." Read the text of the interview here. Jan 14, 2013

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