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Departments & Programs


Seismic Studies

Gulf of Mexico

The northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) basin is an ocean basin that formed as a
result of sea-floor spreading associated with the break-up of Pangea between
the early to mid-Jurassic. Following the formation of the basin, the deposition
of the widespread “Louann Salt” took place during Callovian due to aridity and
restriction of connection to other oceans. Another remarkable time in the geologic
history of the GoM is the episodes of high sedimentation during the Miocene
related to the formation of uplands by the Laramide Orogeny which shed sediments
into the Mississippi river. The episodes of high sedimentation resulted in
rapid salt tectonism due to mobilization by sediments load. This resulted on a
complex structural framework reshaped by dynamic interplay between
sedimentation and salt movement.

Salinas Basin California and South China Sea (Past Projects)

Salinas Basin California

Classical deep-water outcrops of California have been a focus of SPODDS since its inception in the early 90's. The sedimentary and stratigraphic architecture of channel, canyon fill and submarine fan deposits have been an important focus, as has the process sedimentological analysis of various types of sediment gravity-flow deposits. SPODDS supported dissertations focused at least partially on ancient gravity-flow deposits in California.

South China Sea

Mangzheng Zhu (2007) used seismic reflect data sets along the east coast of China in the South China Sea to explore migrating submarine canyons and mass transport deposits.

RMS amplitude extractions from the top and middle of overbank deposits in the Pu

Molasse Basin, Austria

The Oligocene to Early Miocene Molasse Basin in Austria was developed between the Alpine fold and thrust belt to the south and the Bohemian massif to the north. Channels ran along the axis of the narrow basin and were fed sediment derived mainly from large deltaic systems to the west and partially from the Alpine thrust front to the south. Smaller intraslope basins were developed along this front and some of the major sand reservoirs in the basin are intraslope basins located on this structurally complex southern slope, as studied by Jake Covault (2008). Stratigraphic and structural traps in the main channel complex also contain significant amounts of natural gas...

Map view of submarine gullies imaged on a slope clinoform in the Giant Foresets

Taranaki Basin, New Zealand

Lauren Shumaker (PhD 2016) is investigating upper slope sediment transport by tracking the
evolution of submarine gullies in the Pliocene Giant Foresets Formation, using
two overlapping 3D seismic datasets. 
Glenn Sharman (PhD 2014) and Lauren Shumaker used offshore 2D and 3D seismic near
the Taranaki Coast to augment understanding of the stratigraphic relationships
of the Mohakatino Formation, and associated North Awakino MTD, with adjacent