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AAPG 2017 Sessions

August 23, 2016
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The AAPG meeting in Houston next spring (April 2-5) is the centennial meeting, and should be a good one. In recent years, AAPG has organized the technical program into broad ‘themes’ rather than allowing specific session proposals, and then just grouped the submissions into sessions after the deadline. People have generally rebelled against this and just organized sessions with their colleagues in order to have coherent sessions. These are only sent out via email, however, and are hard to find. I wanted to collect all the emails I have been getting about different sessions, so here it is. If you have one to add, please make a comment below, and I will add it to the list.

If you want to submit an abstract to one of these ‘sessions’, just write your abstract in such  a way that it incorporates the ideas in the proposal, and submit it to the theme listed (seems more complicated than it needs to be, doesn’t it?).

The broad ‘themes’ are listed here. 

The abstract submission site is here. (DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 22)


Stratigraphic Architecture of Deepwater Systems: Subsurface, Outcrop, and Modern Analogs (Submit to Theme 5).

Primary Convener: Zane Jobe (Colorado School of Mines), Steve Hubbard (Univ. Calgary), and Brian Romans (Virginia Tech)

Session description: Submarine depositional systems are large and persistent features on the Earth’s surface, and their deposits form significant reservoirs for hydrocarbons. Knowledge of the stratigraphic architecture of these systems enables prediction of reservoir quality and connectivity. We welcome contributions that document and examine the stratigraphic architecture of deepwater depositional systems, particularly those with applications to hydrocarbon reservoir prediction. Contributions utilizing modern (seafloor) and ancient (outcrop, subsurface) data as well as numerical and experimental models are encouraged.


Mixed Siliciclastic-Carbonate Systems  (Submit to Theme 5).

Primary Convener: Jake Covault, UT/BEG

Session description: Mixed depositional systems are increasingly important deepwater exploration targets near the Atlantic continental margins and have been extensively studied in the Permian basin of West Texas and Southern New Mexico. Recent seafloor and shallow subsurface observations show that siliciclastic and carbonate deepwater depositional systems exhibit remarkably similar three-dimensional stratigraphic architectures associated with mass-transport, channel, levee, and lobe elements. However, questions remain regarding the long-term depositional processes and accumulation patterns of mixed systems. In particular, how do siliciclastic and carbonate systems interact to form stratigraphy in petroliferous sedimentary basins? We solicit contributions using outcrop, seafloor, and/or subsurface data to study the dynamics and controls of mixed deepwater systems.


Deep-marine sediment gravity flow deposits: new insights relevant to deep-water exploration and production (Submit to Theme 5).

Primary Conveners: Anna Pontén (Statoil) and Ian Kane (Univ. Manchester)

Session description: Sediment gravity flows are responsible for the transport and sorting of sediment from terrestrial and shallow marine environments to deep-marine basins. The resulting sedimentary accumulations are amongst the largest sedimentary bodies on earth, submarine fans. Owing to their size and large volumes of sand grade sediment within them, submarine fans represent significant, yet challenging, exploration targets. These potential reservoirs present challenges during exploration, owing to their often deep burial depth and deep-water setting resulting in poor seismic imaging and limited core calibration, and at the development and production stages owing to their complex internal heterogeneity distribution. Developing an understanding of the range of flow behavior, such as runout length, grain fractionation, erosion and flow transformation, and the subsequent character of their deposits enables prediction of lithofacies and likely reservoir qualities and stratigraphic compartmentalisation. In addition, the effects of burial diagenesis on the different facies types is non-uniform, and this may be considered in addition to the primary depositional reservoir property distribution. This session therefore seeks presentations that address the theme of relating flow processes to reservoir quality and to the sealing potential and distribution of stratigraphic baffles and barriers in deep-water settings.


 Integrated Source to Sink Sedimentary Systems and Basin Scale Stratigraphy (Submit to Theme 5 or Theme 1).

Primary Conveners: Tor O. Sømme (Statoil), Lorena Moscardelli (Statoil), Vanessa Kertznus (Shell)

Session description: We welcome contributions that cover wide spatial and temporal scales of source-to-sink systems, using modern analogues, outcrops, subsurface data or modeling experiments. Source-to-sink analysis investigates relationships between sediment production, transport and deposition in the onshore and offshore domains of sediment routing systems. Understanding the stratigraphic record in these areas relies on an integrated understanding of how these sediment routing systems respond to allogenic forcing and autogenic processes at various spatial and temporal scales. Similarly, analysis of the stratigraphic record can reveal how ancient landscapes and sediment routing have changed through time in response to tectonic forcing and climate change. The recent interest in interdisciplinary source-to-sink studies have partly been driven by higher quantity and quality of seismic data, global cover of high resolution remote sensing data, as well as better geochronological tools, allowing higher resolution studies to be conducted both in modern and in deep-time settings. Being able to predict stratigraphic variability in source-to-sink systems is crucial for the hydrocarbon industry in order to define the distribution of reservoirs, sources and seals in the subsurface


Gulf of Mexico Regional Depositional and Structural Studies: Key to Deep-water Exploration (Submit to Theme 5)

Primary Conveners: John Snedden (UT Austin) and Paul Mann (Univ. Houston)

Session description: Regional studies in the greater Gulf of Mexico Basin have and continue to illuminate the complex depositional and tectonic history of this prolific hydrocarbon basin.  Advances in our understanding of sedimentary processes from onshore to deep-water realms, the interplay of salt tectonics and deposition, and the transport pathways from mountain source to basin sink will be covered in this technical session.  We expect presentations ranging from Mesozoic to Pleistocene, subsalt to Pleistocene fans, case studies of successes and insights from play tests that have extended the life of this remarkable habitat for oil and gas exploration.   Papers about regional studies from the US, Mexico, and Cuba are welcome. 


Modeling of Deepwater Systems: Understanding Reservoir Architecture and Predicting Reservoir Presence (Submit to Theme 5)

Primary Conveners: Anjali M. Fernandes (U-Conn), Peter Burgess (Univ. Liverpool), Zoltan Sylvester (Chevron)

Session description: The gradual shift in deepwater exploration and production to tackle reservoirs that display more challenging porosities and permeabilities requires a more realistic characterization of reservoir geometries and permeability heterogeneities. In this session, we will welcome abstracts that address this characterization problem across a range of spatial and temporal scales, from the dynamic construction and distribution of sand-rich reservoirs on continental margins, to the distribution and properties of individual architectural elements, to the details of grain size partitioning- and/or facies distribution. We solicit submissions that combine process analysis, measurement, and prediction, including but not limited to experimental, numerical, reduced complexity, or geostatistical modelling methods. We especially encourage submissions that bridge the gap between observations and models to better understand the impact of stratigraphic architecture on fluid flow through reservoirs.


Recent developments in sequence stratigraphic concepts and their application to deepwater deposits (Submit to Theme 5)

Primary Conveners: David Hodgson (Univ. Leeds), Cristian Carvajal (MBARI)

Session description: The widely applied sequence stratigraphic framework for deep-water deposits related cyclic change in shelf accommodation (due to relative sea level variations) to repeated changes in the character of the lithology and stacking of depositional elements. However, the stratigraphic record of deep-water systems results from the interplay of many autocyclic and allocyclic controls. Therefore, caution is needed in the simple translation of sequence stratigraphic terminology and principles that have been defined for shallow-water systems. Recent developments include: 1) the importance of source to sink configurations and the timing of waxing and waning sediment supply cycles and the development of highstand fans, 2) the documentation of exhumed deep-water systems over large areas, 3) the availability of high resolution seismic reflection datasets with well control, 4) the time transgressive nature of key surfaces in deep-water, and 5) the introduction of stacking-pattern analysis to investigate relationships between architecture, and relative base level changes and sediment supply. This proposed session is an opportunity to review and discuss recent advances in the refinement and application of sequence stratigraphy in deep-marine systems using modern, subsurface, ancient and modelled systems.


Non-turbidite deepwater units as reservoirs, seals, and trap elements: Towards a paradigm shift (Submit to Theme 5, co-sponsored by S4SLIDE)

Primary Conveners: Rachel Brackenridge (Shell, UK), F. Javier Hernández-Molina (RHUL, UK) & Derek Sawyer (Ohio State Univ., USA)

Session description: This session aims to address recent findings and case studies of non-turbidite deepwater deposits including contourites and Mass-Transport Deposits (MTDs), in siliciclastic and carbonate systems and their roles as reservoirs, seals, and trap elements. Deepwater sand deposits are frequently interpreted as turbidites and have been the single most commonly interpreted facies in the rock record. However, are all of these sands truly turbidites? In addition, there is an increasing catalogue of reservoirs worldwide with anomalous reservoir qualities, and mixed (turbidity-contourite) systems are more common on continental margins than previously thought. MTDs can exhibit variable and complex physical properties owing to their deformational history and composition and can act as reservoirs or seals. Contourites and other along-slope systems are often neglected in classical models, mainly due to many unknowns regarding mixed-drift systems. This can lead to significant differences between reservoir models and core information. Accordingly, conceptual models for mixed-drift systems need to be defined and the potential for enhanced turbidite play exploration considered.
Adopting new perspectives involving non-turbidite deepwater deposits would enhance understanding of the variability in deepwater deposits and aid in developing accurate deepwater petroleum play and reservoirs models. This understanding has great implications for identifying new hydrocarbon reservoirs in the future and re-assessing existing reservoirs.


Other sessions (that I don’t have all the information for):

How Seismic and Sequence Stratigraphy Have Advanced: 40 Years after AAPG Memoir 26 and 30 Years after SEPM Special Publication 42 (co-sponsored with Themes 5 and 12)

Innovative Techniques and Workflows for Characterizing Sedimentary Systems (co-sponsored with Theme 9)

Continental to Shallow Marine Depositional Systems and Sediments

Clastic Diagenesis, Reservoir Quality and Geochemistry

Impact of Structure on Sedimentary Systems and Reservoir Properties

Challenging Basins – Mixed Systems, Seismically-Challenged, etc. (co-sponsored with Themes 2 and 5)

New Insights From the Sediments of Mexico and Eastern North America

Contributions from Physical, Numerical and Forward Models (co-sponsored with Theme 5)

Sea-level, Climatic, and autogenic Controls on Coastal and Marine Stratigraphy: A Session Honoring the Career of John B. Anderson

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