ExxonMobil Bighorn Basin field course

I had the opportunity this past week to join ExxonMobil and a select group of students from across the U.S. in a field course throughout the Bighorn Basin of northwest Wyoming. The trip was a great way to connect with ExxonMobil employees and students alike outside of the classroom in a unique geologic setting. The course included field-based, team-orientated analyses of hydrocarbon play elements and highlighted the sensitivity and complexity of an oil/gas system. Many thanks to ExxonMobil for a great experience!

Forelimb of a textbook fault-propagation fold (verging to the right in photo), Cedar Mtn.
Pondering late Cretaceous bentonite flatirons
Methane blowout with associated bioturbation in the Cretaceous Frontier Ss
The crew investigating the role of an angular unconformity in play potential
Laramide deformation

Photos courtesy of Tim Henderson (Purdue Univ.)

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Summer 2017 update

Rachel and I have finally finished the move to Blacksburg and I’ve started my day-to-day at VT. It’s been a relatively smooth transition but we’re still getting used to hills…

A bulk of my summer is devoted towards sample prep of sediment from IODP Exp. 342, Site U1406 (offshore Newfoundland; for grain-size analysis. At VT, we measure the mean of the terrigenous fine fraction (<63 microns) and analyze the sortable silt proxy (10-63 microns). This range is thought to be a useful indicator of water velocity, as smaller grains/particles (i.e. clay minerals) tend to act cohesively and create aggregates which behave as larger grains and deposit accordingly. Lab work this summer includes decarbonation, sieving, and running samples through our x-ray Sedigraph.

I will also be incorporating seismic reflection data to my dissertation, with the major goal of further interpreting the broad depositional patterns of the North American Atlantic margin. I hope to identify a number of lines along the margin to help with this. As you can see, we aren't really hurt for data…

seismic coverage

Lastly, I am working to polish up a few manuscripts for submission. Updates to follow.