ISGS Seminar Series

Template-based modeling: Bridging the gap between quantitative outcrop studies and subsurface reservoir characterization

Monday, April 29, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Lisa Stright (Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, Colorado State University)

Abstract

Reservoir modeling workflows that test sensitivity to fluid flow and/or seismic response are typically performed at a sector-scale (i.e., grid cells at 10’s meters areally and ~1 m vertically). Even at this “fine scale”, there is a gap between observations gathered from core and analogue outcrops at the bed-scale and the model scale. Furthermore, the link between the sector model and subsurface seismic responses are often difficult to understand. Outcrop modeling studies designed to investigate realistic heterogeneity through the construction of single deterministic 2-D or 3-D interpolated models are often limited in direct application to subsurface modeling workflows.

This work introduces the use of model templates derived from outcrop analogue studies that explicitly capture bed- to geobody-scale architecture (i.e., grid cells 2 m areally and 0.25 m vertically). The model templates serve as foundational depositional system building blocks and are used to gain a fundamental understanding of the impact of sedimentologic architecture in deep-water channels on subsurface fluid flow and seismic responses. Specifically, the objectives of this work are to use template-based models to investigate how intra-channel (bed-scale) and inter-channel (geobody-scale) stacking patterns control 1) both static and dynamic connectivity, and 2) seismic reflectivity response.

Template-based models are constructed from the Laguna Figueroa section of the well-exposed Upper Cretaceous Tres Pasos Formation in Chilean Patagonia. The models are derived from observations and statistical analyses from >1,600 meters of cm-scale measured section from an ~2.5 km long by 130 m thick outcrop belt. A single representative deep-water channel element is constructed as a base case. Fluid flow and seismic amplitude responses are compared from a single channel element to those from a model composed of two stacked channel elements. This simplified approach fosters the ability to differentiate influences of stacking patterns from changes in internal architecture on connectivity and imaging.

Results show that flow connectivity and seismic responses are a function of both intra-channel architecture (bed-scale) and inter-channel architecture (stacking patterns) at the scale of sub-seismic and subsequently, sub-sector grid scale heterogeneity. Under waterflooding conditions, axial channel element deposits act as thief zones to injected water with vertically stacked templates, while marginal channel element deposits baffle and block flow between elements in laterally-offset stacked templates. Bed-scale architecture and smaller model grid-cell sizes are therefore more critical in channel systems (or parts of the channel systems) that predominantly contain laterally-offset stacked elements. Seismic amplitude and apparent thickness responses show discernable differences between single element and dual element models at realistic subsurface frequencies, particularly in vertically stacked templates and laterally-offset stacked templates. Two channel elements are more difficult to differentiate from one channel element in intermediate stacking patterns, but clues to multiple elements are revealed in interpreted horizon rugosity and in the length-scale of the seismic amplitude ( > than 1 channel element width). These models produce guidelines for coarse-scale model building (e.g., optimal grid-cell size and degree of fine-scale detail) and more informed seismic interpretation. This work also provides foundational models for seismic- and/or flow-based machine learning approaches.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190429.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Stright is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Colorado State University. She has five years of industry experience as a reservoir engineer with (RC)2/VeritasDG and Denver-based consulting company, MHA Petroleum Consultants. Her research and teaching interests are in bridging the gap between sedimentology, reservoir characterization and modeling, geophysics and reservoir engineering.

Stright received a bachelor’s degree in civil/environmental engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a master’s degree in geological engineering from Michigan Technological University, a master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Geosciences, both from Stanford University.


On-Site Energy Systems

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 2:00pm

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Mr. Tony Amis (Senior Vice President for GI Energy)

Abstract

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) are a rapidly advancing low-carbon heating and cooling technology which can be used as an economical alternative to standard heating & cooling solution. This presentation will provide an overview of commercial-scale GSHP systems for buildings using energy foundations and other solutions, and most importantly how GSHP systems can be integrated into other renewable solutions to provide enhanced energy savings and deliver net zero building. Topics will include practical design, build and long-term management considerations along with cost estimating criteria and how projects can be funded.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190416.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Amis for most of the 35 years working in the construction industry has managed large foundation projects in the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore. For the past 15 years, he have been raising the profile and opportunities associated with ground sourced heat pumps, especially using energy piles, while at the same time building my own house and incorporating a GSHP for heating and hot water powered by PV. Mr. Amis initiated the trial at Lambeth College in 2007 with Cambridge University, to answer the many questions from sceptics about impacts on foundation performance and provide clear guidance regarding the effect of heating and cooling on foundation piles. He was a key author for the UK’s GSHPA Thermal Pile Design, Installation & Materials Standard. He is Chairman of the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI’s) Energy Foundation Committee. To date GI Energy have installed geothermal loops into energy piles on almost 60 projects, ranging from many commercial offices, Schools, Universities, to Central London Network Rail and Crossrail stations and depots. A key player within the GI energy organization, Mr. Amis is currently involved with one of the largest energy pile projects in the world being installed in California, and importantly raising the profile of integrated renewable energy solutions in the USA & UK. He has authored / been coauthor on more than 15 industry publications related to Energy Foundation solutions.


Let's Talk: A conversation on how we communicate in Science

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 3:30pm

Room 2079, Natural History Building

AEG RICHARD H. JAHNS DISTINGUISHED LECTURER IN APPLIED GEOLOGY

Ms. Deborah Green (Geologist Writer)

 

Abstract

Like members of any group with a common passion, geologists love to talk with each other about our work. That communication is important – it’s how we share the results of our research and experience, and build our knowledge base as individuals and as a profession. It’s also well within our comfort zone.

There’s been a troubling shift in recent years in how scientific information is received outside of our own community, by the public and policy makers. As scientists, we must assume responsibility for at least part of the negative perceptions; we’ve separated ourselves, and in some cases talked down to our audiences, to the extent that we’ve failed to convey the importance of environmental and engineering geology. Speaking with those who don’t know or understand our geologic “language” isn’t necessarily comfortable, and doing it well certainly isn’t easy. But we need to embrace that pursuit, communicating science well, as much as we embrace the work itself. Advocating effectively for our work will make it possible to do more of the science we so value, and for society to realize that value. In this presentation, we’ll talk about the challenges of conversing with non-scientists about science, and why we must face those challenges head on.

 

About the speaker

Ms. Green has worked as an environmental and engineering geologist for 34 years in consulting and industry. For more than 20 of those years she’s been self-employed. Ms. Green discovered her love for geology as a kid when her earth science teacher father informally taught her all sorts of things about rocks on their summer camping adventures. She earned a B.S. in geology from the University of Rochester and an M.S. in engineering geology from Texas A&M University.

These days, Ms. Green spends most of her work time writing. She recently completed her first novel, which is loosely based on a period in her late husband’s life when he was the Chief Foundation Geologist for a large dam in East Central Turkey from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. On her web site, www.geologistwriter.com, you can read essays in which Ms. Green strives to understand and convey the wonder of the landscape and the complexity of earth processes, while also exploring the terrain of our lives.


The Glasford Structure (Peoria County, Illinois): A Marine Target Impact Crater with a Possible Connection to the “Great Ordovician Meteor Shower”

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Mr. Charles Monson (Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

 The Glasford Structure in Peoria County, Illinois, was recognized as a buried meteorite impact crater in the early 1960s but has gone largely unstudied for the past several decades. Recent, multidisciplinary re-examination of Glasford in light of 21st-century planetary science has revealed a wealth of new information about the crater and the processes that created it. The Glasford Structure was formed by the impact of a ~200-m-diameter meteorite into shallow Ordovician seas. The impact profoundly disrupted the target rock on both a macroscopic and microscopic scale to a depth of several hundred meters. After rock was ejected from the transient crater by the force of the impact, underlying strata rebounded upwards to fill the void, creating a megabrecciated uplift in the center of the crater. The high-pressure shock wave generated shatter cones and shocked quartz grains that serve as proof of a hypervelocity impact. ‘Impact fracking’ shattered the carbonate target rocks and injected cataclasites that propped open the newly formed cracks, facilitating impact-induced hydrothermal circulation. Resurge processes and subsequent normal marine deposition produced unique crater fill deposits (the “Kingston Mines” unit) which contain marine fossils. Graptolite specimens retrieved from the Kingston Mines place the time of deposition at approximately 455 ± 2 Ma (Late Ordovician, Sandbian). This age determination potentially links the Glasford impact to the “Great Ordovician Meteor Shower,” an increase in the rate of terrestrial meteorite impacts attributed to the breakup of a large object in the main asteroid belt.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190408.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Monson is a member of the Petroleum Geology section of the Illinois State Geological Survey. He has been employed at ISGS since 2010. Monson holds a B.S. in geology and an M.S. in paleontology from the University of Iowa and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Geology Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include clastic sedimentology and stratigraphy, Lower Paleozoic paleontology, meteoritic impact processes, and the history of geology.


Collaboration and synergies between the Department of Geology and the ISGS: Current status and potential enhancements

Monday, March 25, 2019 - 11:00am

Room 439, Natural Resources Building

Dr. Thomas Johnson (Professor and Head, Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

The UIUC Department of Geology and the Illinois State Geological Survey have a long history of productive collaborations.  The two groups have complementary strengths that provide important synergies and opportunities for both entities to do more than they could individually.  Although there are minor barriers that hinder collaborative work, these can be navigated well if one knows what to expect.  Probably the most important task for us all is to maintain channels of communication, find areas where we share interests, and identify important scientific problems that can be addressed via collaborative projects.  It’s likely there are good opportunities that require both sides to stretch a bit, think outside the box, and try things that carry some risk.  There will be plenty of time for discussion, so please come prepared with your ideas and suggestions. 

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190325.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Johnson has been at Illinois in the Department of Geology for over 22 years, and has served as department head for almost eight years.  His research interests lie in water quality studies, stable isotope geochemistry, and the development of novel “heavy stable isotope” measurements to trace contaminant sources and detect chemical reactions that control contaminant mobility and impact.

 


Aguacate: Water Resources and Systems Resilience among Avocado Growers in San Diego County, California

Monday, March 11, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Mr. Riley Balikian (Illinois State Geological Survey)

Abstract

San Diego County is considered an urban county, but has more farms than any other county in the United States, with over 5,700 operations. San Diego County is losing farmland at the extremely high rate of 8.4% every year, much of that land considered “prime.” This land is also among the most productive farmland in the United States in terms of crop production value, and is some of the last remaining land in agriculture in southern California. I take an interdisciplinary, systems approach to identify and describe the factors driving system change in the agricultural production sector in San Diego County, especially among avocado growers. Stakeholder interviews and a survey of avocado growers were supplemented by social and biophysical data to examine the issues at stake. Water-resource related issues—especially the cost of water—were identified as the most important issues facing avocado growers, but socioeconomic drivers and environmental drivers were identified as well, including land resources, drought conditions, tax laws, zoning ordinances, and commodity markets.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190311.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Balikian is a hydrogeologist and geophysicist at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His field work for ISGS involves collecting and analyzing geophysical data for geologic mapping, analysis of aquifer and aggregate resources, and the detection and visualization of various other subsurface materials in Illinois.

In addition to geophysical data collection and analysis, Riley is currently pursuing a PhD in Geology with research focused on understanding and managing the interactions between the natural and built environment, emphasizing how people approach and prepare for geohazards using frameworks of resilience, transformation, and adaptability. He received M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Environmental Science and Urban and Regional Planning, where he studied the interdisciplinary approaches needed for effective water resources management in complex environments. His thesis focused on the drivers limiting water availability for avocado farmers in San Diego County, CA. He holds a B.S. in Geophysics from Wheaton College, Illinois.


Hawaii’s Volcanic Eruption of 2018

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Stephen Marshak (Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Between early May and early August of 2018, a volcanic fissure along the eastern edge of the big island of Hawai'i erupted large quantities of lava, and the summit caldera of the Kilauea volcano erupted clouds of pyroclastic debris.  This eruption, the largest to take place on the island in decades, sadly destroyed over 700 homes and displaced thousands of residents.  It covered housing developments, roads, and a geothermal power plant with meters of new rock, and moved the coastline of the island eastward by up to 500 m.  Due to the efforts of geologists at the USGS and the University of Hawaii, all aspects of the eruption were well documented.  The speaker traveled to Hawai'i during the eruption, and was able to observe the active lava front on the ground (thanks to temporary press credentials supplied by the editor of Champaign News Gazette), as well the flow of lava into the sea (as seen from a boat), and the 200 m-high lava fountain feeding a river of lava that burned its way across the island to the sea (as seen from a helicopter).  This talk summarizes the geologic context of the eruption, the various components of the eruption, the chronology of the event, the eruption's societal consequences, and the response of emergency services.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190225.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Marshak received his A.B. from Cornell, M.S. from Arizona, and Ph.D. from Columbia, all in geology.  He was on the faculty of the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, from 1983 to 2018.  During this time, he served as Department Head for eight years and, more recently, as the Director of the School of Earth, Society, & Environment.  Steve's research in structural geology and tectonics has taken him in the field in North America and on other continents.  He has published on fold-thrust belts, Midcontinent tectonics, Precambrian geology, and the development of foliations.  At Illinois, he taught introductory geology, structural geology, geotectonics, and field geology.  These efforts were recognized by undergraduate teaching awards at both college-level and campus-level.  In addition, he received the Neil Miner Award from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers for "exceptional contributions to stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences."  In addition to research publications, Steve authors undergraduate geology textbooks (Earth--Portrait of a Planet; Essentials of Geology; Earth Science; Earth Structure; Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology; and Basic Methods of Structural Geology), and he developed aMOOC(massive open online course) called Planet Earth, and You, which has reached thousands of viewers in over 170 countries.  Currently, Steve is continuing his research and book writing, and is teaching a course on energy resources for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Champaign.


Applied marine and coastal morphodynamics: a few examples of research projects at Deltares, Netherlands

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Thaienne van Dijk (Deltares, Netherlands)

Abstract

Knowledge of marine, coastal and river morphodynamics is crucial for the management and safety of low-lying countries like the Netherlands, bordering on the North Sea. Our natural coastal defence is being reinforced by beach and shoreface nourishments, river dykes are carefully monitored and maintained, offshore and river bed dynamics are investigated for safe navigation and hydraulic engineering purposes, and geological mapping is applied for natural resources. A wide range of methods, from empirical research and experiments, to geologic, groundwater, and hydro- and morphodynamic modelling are used at Deltares for researching surface processes and predicting surface evolution and the occurrence of subsurface sediments.

In this seminar, a brief introduction to Deltares, an applied research institute in the Netherlands in the fields of water and the subsurface, will be given, then zooming in on a few applied research projects on sea-bed dynamics for risk-based monitoring and offshore wind farm design, and a coastal mega-nourishment “Zandmotor” (Sand Engine), and a brief outlook to just commenced and nearby projects on seabed sediment mapping and river dune dynamics.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190211.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Van Dijk was educated in Physical Geography at the University of Amsterdam (B.Sc./M.Sc.) and Keele University, UK (Ph.D.) in glaciofluvial morphology and sedimentology, with fieldwork in Greenland, Ireland, Canada and Iceland. She then took up a position as a Marine Geologist at the Geological Survey of the Netherlands in 2002, carrying out projects on offshore Quaternary mapping, marine eco-morphodynamics and benthic habitat mapping. Since 2010, she is a Marine Geologist at Deltares. For 9 years she also has been a part-time lecturer (Marine Systems) at the University of Twente and from last August, she is affiliated to the University of Illinois. Recent projects at Deltares focus on sand wave morphodynamics, river dunes, and sea-bed sediment mapping in the North Sea.


Virtual Presentation: “Evolution of Antarctic vegetation cover from the Paleocene to the Pliocene: A review of case studies from the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ross Sea, the Sabrina Coast and the Dry Valleys”

Monday, January 28, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Sophie Warny, Associate Professor of Palynology, Louisiana State University

Abstract

Here we review the results of a series of Antarctic palynological studies that were conducted over the past 15 years to evaluate the type of vegetation changes that occurred in Antarctica in the Paleogene and Neogene, and better constrain the timing and amplitude of these changes. Sites reviewed include a Paleogene section sampled off the Sabrina Coast, a Mio-Pliocene outcrop section sampled on King George Island, a Mio-Pliocene record obtained by SHALDRIL core NBP0602A-5D on the Joinville Plateau in the Weddell Sea, the Mio-Pliocene core obtained by the ANDRILL 2A campaign, and a series of Neogene outcrop samples obtained from the Dry Valleys. Fossils of pollen and spores recovered at these sites provide a record of vegetation changes that occurred in each of these regions of Antarctica. The timing of these changes are evaluated against known driving factors such as atmospheric concentration in carbon dioxide, plate tectonic activity (or lack of), precipitation, and temperature (sea-surface and atmospheric) changes.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190128.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Warny is an Associate Professor and the AASP Chair in Palynology in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and a Curator at the Museum of Natural Science (MNS), both at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She grew up in Belgium and France where she received two bachelors’ degrees (one in geology and one in oceanography) and a doctorate from the Université Catholique de Louvain (in Belgium) in marine geology working under the direction of Jean-Pierre Suc. She is the director of the AASP-The Palynological Society Center for Excellence in Palynology (CENEX) and served in 2016 as vice president of the GCSSEPM society. Her center, CENEX, focuses on various aspects of palynological research including the use of pollen, spores and algae in biostratigraphic studies in collaboration with the industry to the use of pollen in forensic applications. The bulk of her research focuses on palaeoceanography and paleoclimate reconstruction, including investigation of the palynological record to decipher past sudden warming events and climate variability in the Antarctic to help constrain their triggering mechanisms. Warny received a NSF CAREER award in 2011 and has published in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Geoscience, PNAS, Geology and Gondwana Research. Warny has supervised 19 theses and dissertations since joining LSU in 2008.


The evolutionary history of cave-dwelling springtails (Collembola) in Salem Plateau karst: a case study of molecular divergence across the Mississippi River Valley in Illinois and Missouri.

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Aron Katz (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Champaign IL)

Abstract

Invasive sClimatic and geological changes have had profound impacts on contemporary patterns of cave biodiversity in North America. The Mississippi River Valley has facilitated the genetic isolation, molecular divergence, and subsequent speciation in many groups of surface-dwelling animals, but its influence on the evolutionary history of cave-dwelling organisms has yet to be evaluated, in part, because the geological history of the Mississippi River and its influence on regional cave-bearing karst remain poorly understood. To investigate the evolutionary and geological processes shaping patterns of diversity in caves along the Mississippi River, we employed DNA to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of two ecologically distinct groups of terrestrial cave‐dwelling springtails (Collembola) from the Salem Plateau—a once continuous karst region, now bisected by the Mississippi River Valley in Illinois and Missouri. We find that cave-obligate springtail populations in Illinois and Missouri diverged 2.9–4.8 Ma, which we attribute to genetic isolation resulting from climatic and geological processes involved in Mississippi River Valley formation beginning during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene—providing prima facie evidence of vicariance across the Mississippi River for terrestrial cave arthropods, and accordingly, the first biogeographic evidence for the initial timing of Mississippi River entrenchment and bisection through Salem Plateau karst in Illinois and Missouri. Lastly, the discovery of many deeply divergent, morphologically cryptic, and microendemic lineages reveals how little we understand microarthropod diversity in caves and presents major concerns for cave conservation biology.

 

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190114.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Katz recently received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is now a post-doctoral researcher at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Champaign, Illinois. His graduate research utilized springtails (Collembola)—a group of tiny, flightless, insect-like arthropods—as models to explore evolutionary and geological processes driving patterns of biodiversity. Dr. Katz has worked on several springtail research projects in Illinois and Missouri Caves, lava tubes in the Galapagos, California, and Hawaii, and beaches along the coasts of Panama.