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Departments & Programs


Outcrop Analogs of Subsurface Deep-water Systems

Burqan Formation, NW Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, northern Red Sea

The Midyan peninsula is located at the junction of the northern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba in NW Saudi Arabia. It contains uplifted syn-rift sediments from the Lower Miocene, including a deep-water unit, known as the Burqan Formation.

Cody Trigg (PhD 2018) is working on the facies relationships and overall sedimentary mechanics in this proximal, coarse-grained system.

Ventura Basin, California

Jon Rotzien (PhD 2013) worked on the sedimentology and stratigraphy of the braided lobe complexes of the Pliocene Repetto and Pico Formations from the Ventura Basin. His work was published in the Journal of Sedimentary Research.
Rotzien, J.; Lowe, DR; and Schwalbach, JR.
Processes of sedimentation and stratigraphic architecture of deep-water braided lobe complexes: The Pliocene Repetto and Pico Formations, Ventura Basin, USA

Outcrops in the San Joaquin Basin.

San Joaquin Basin, California

Larisa Masalimova's research will focus on the sedimentary mechanics, depositional setting, mud properties and content of the slurry flows of the Monterey Formation of the San Joaquin Basin. The research on slurry flow formation, evolution and deposition will be documented through integration of borehole images, thin section study, and geochemical analysis. Reservoir architecture and depositional setting will be determined using well logs and seismic data. This study will be beneficial for oil exploration, as it will document reservoir quality (porosity, permeability) and predict the occurrence and lithological changes of the slurry beds as potential reservoirs for hydrocarbons...

A slurry bed from the Jackfork Formation, Ouachita Basin.

Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas and Oklahoma

The Ouachita Trough was a predominantly fine-grained, quartz-rich, continent-sourced depositional basin along the southern margin of the North American Craton that evolved from a sediment-starved passive continental margin from the Cambrian to the Mississippian. Subsequent closing of the basin, initiated in the Mississippian, formed an elongate, narrow foredeep and orogenic highlands to the south (Mississippian-Pennsylvanian).

Outcrop of Hikuwai Sandstone in Tolaga Bay, NZ

East Coast Basin, New Zealand

The Raukumara Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand is the northernmost area of the East Coast Basin and contains numerous deep-water sequences deposited within an active forearc basin beginning in the Early Miocene. Cliff outcrops along the coast enable evolutional and architectural studies of deep-water systems, and provide useful analogies for forearc and piggy-back basin deposition. The East Coast Basin is part of an active petroleum system although has never been substantially developed. Recent interest has prompted an extensive 2D seismic survey by Crown Minerals, vastly improving the formerly spotty data set of the region...

Coastal outcrop of the upper-slope Waiau Channel, part of the upper Mioce

Taranaki Basin, New Zealand

Outcrops along the north Taranaki coast, North Island, New Zealand provide an opportunity to examine a variety of deep-water deposits. The lateral continuity of the exposures and slight tilting of the strata provide a nearly continuous sequence of many kilometers of vertical stratigraphy exposed along tens of kilometers of coast. Outcrops include the volcaniclastic Mohakatino Formation, the sandstone Mount Messenger Formation, and the siltstone-dominated slope deposits and sandstone and conglomerate filled slope channels of the Urenui and Kiore formations...

Margin of the Wildcat Channel Complex outcropping on the eastern side of Sierra

Magallanes Basin, Chile

The Magallanes Basin in southern Chile was formed in the Jurassic through continental rifting and was subsequently closed and filled in a retroarc foreland setting from the Early Cretaceous to the middle Tertiary. The major deep-water phase lasted from Early Cretaceous to Late Cretaceous and involved deposition of over 5000 meters of siliciclastic rocks belonging to the Punta Barrosa (Lower-Upper Cretaceous), Cerro Toro (Upper Cretaceous), and Tres Pasos (Upper Cretaceous-Tertiary) Formations. The general geology and sedimentology of the Magallanes Basin sequence was studied in the 1960's and 1970's (e.g. Winn and Dott, 1977, 1979). SPODDS research in the basin was initiated in 1999 and has continued to the present...