Sunday, July 27, 2014

Irregular xyz data and GMT

After much tribulation (I will spare you the embarrassing details), I was finally able to install GMT on a macintosh and figure out the cryptic, yet powerful, GMT commands and options.

Mississippian tops gridded and displayed using open source GMT software. For well tops there are other tools, but for gridding general (x,y,z) data this is fabulous.

Might not seem like much, you could probably do it in Petra, Matlab, etc. But how about 1200 electrical conductivity values? No problem, but forget about posting the data values, just points this time.

About 1200 ground conductivity readings from an EM31 meter.  Negative values indicate metal objects in the near surface.  Conductivities between 5-20 mSm relate to areas with fresh groundwater.  High values (>30) probably represent shallow contamination by a conducting agent.

Here is the content of the raw text file, columns are (line, trace, depth)

101 70 2103
102 78 2130
101 64 2102
90 72 2103
91 64 2094
93 58 2107
78 70 2092
93 82 2088
66 82 2115
69 71 2106
69 60 2108
69 48 2138
36 21 2150
102 46 2160
66 21 2165
101 70 2103

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Research cruise on Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake in NW Arkansas has 480 miles of shoreline along the flooded White River valley, much of it with important geological exposures. Our first exploration trip on July 18 logged 34 new locations and 700 high resolution photos for lab analysis.

Measuring section

A kayak (exactly 10 ft long) is a convenient scale bar when operated near the rock face.  Students John Gist (shown) and Thomas Liner are experienced kayak pilots, a benefit of growing up in Arkansas. 

Miss Boone outcrop L160 with kayak near face for scale and water line as natural level.
Import photo to ImageJ, zoom to Kayak and pull line tip-to-tip, then set scale of this distance to 10 ft.  Walah, a scaled photo with 0.1 ft resolution.  Of course, there is a bit of distortion above the line of site, but certainly more accuracy than a graduate student hanging off a rope down a 100 ft cliff. 

Full image with a few elements marked up using ImageJ. Since the Boone is known to be about 300 ft thick, this one site represents about 1/3 of the entire formation.

Candid moments

MS Students John Gist (L) and Thomas Liner (R) on lunch break.

A fine Mississippian outcrop, or is it a lake crop?

Guest Robert Liner of Stephens Production supervising.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MArkUP Progress Timeline


July 18... Research float on Beaver Lake out of War Eagle Marina to catalog lakeside Miss outcrops. (U Arkansas: C. Liner, J. Gist, T. Liner. Stephens Production Co.: R. Liner.  Lawco Energy: P. Shelby)
July 16... GoogleEarth format finalized for MArkUP outcrop locations.  We currently have 149 sites inventoried.  Download kmz for site L149C
July 15... Liner manuscript iPhone Geology accepted for publication in September issue of World Oil Magazine (40,000+ subscribers in 127 countries) Download preview here
July 7... Based on discussions with Ron Doering, Liner signs contract with Springer for late 2015 book titled The art and science of seismic interpretation.  This will be a contribution to the SpringerBriefs in Energy.
May 2... Liner and MS candidate Alex West meet with Mac McGilvery of ConocoPhillips to discuss thesis work on Penn stratigraphy from 3D seismic data in northeast OK.
Apr 25... Liner presents MArkUP work at China University of Petroleum
Apr 11...
Richard Benson defends MS thesis: 3D Seismic Mapping of Probable Tripolitic Chert Bodies in Osage County, Oklahoma(Hired by Chesapeake Energy, OKC)
Caleb Jennings defends MS thesis: Mechanical Stratigraphy of the Mississippian in Osage County, Oklahoma(Hired by Schlumberger, Houston and Abu Dhabi)
Apr 10... Adam Martin defends MS thesis: Depositional History and Stratigraphic Framework of Upper Cretaceous (Campanian to Maastrichtian) Strata in the Minerva-Rockdale Oil Field of Milam County and Adjacent Counties, Texas. (Hired by Noble Energy, Denver)
Mar 27... Liner gives Heiland Lecture at the Colorado School of Mines on MArkUP project.
Mar 17... Liner talk at GSA Southcentral Meeting Upper Mississippian seismic reflection characteristics in Osage County, OK with co-authors Caleb Jennings and Richard Benson. Ron Doering of Springer was in the audience (see July 7, 2014).  Student poster at this GSA meeting by J. Gist and T. Liner, and oral presentation by K. Liner.
Feb 13... Liner talk to Ardmore Geological Society. Thanks to host Chuck Price.
Feb 10... Liner talk to Ft. Worth Geological Society, approximate attendance 100.  Thanks to host Melody Hacker.
Jan 28...Success running MJSystems LogSleuth software to get raster logs.  We have all of Arkansas and much of Oklahoma.  A key asset for our students.  Thank you MJSystems!
Jan 27... Liner talk to Geophysical Society of Oklahoma City, approximate attendance 100.  Thanks to host Kim Guyer.
Jan 25... Lauren Persing and Caleb Jennings GPR acquisition at Red River Crenshaw site.  Geomorphology study looking at recent river channels.


Nov 21... (1) Reached agreement with IHS for well scout data for complete state of AR. (2) Completed MJSystems donation of well log data for parts of OK (T12-29N R21-27E;   118,932 wells; 251,879 logs; 300GB). Market value: $130K.
Nov 14... Liner talk to Geophysical Society of Tulsa. Title: Geophysics on the Rocsk: Unsolved Mysteries of the Mississippian Outcrop
Nov 12... Liner talk to Tulsa Geological Society. Title: Mississippian Research in NW Arkansas
Nov 8... Final agreement with MJSystems for complete state of Arkansas log data (30,916 wells; 59,906 logs; 94GB). Market value: $29K.
Oct 29... Thank you to our wonderful data donors! (1) Initial agreement with MJSystems for donation of AR state well log data. Log data for parts of OK, KS, and MO to come later.  (2) Dovetail agreement with IHS for AR state well data is in process.  (3) Initial agreement with Southwestern Energy on 9 square mile 3D project data with wells, production, etc in Fayetteville Shale play area. 
Oct 15... Liner presentation at AAPG Midcontinent meeting along with 6 MArkUP student posters
Oct 9... APAC Hindsville Quarry GPR field work (tripolite!)
Oct 5...Geophysical equipment demonstration at Ozark Hall to Advisory Board and alumni.
Sep 25... Liner presentation at SEG Annual Meeting in Houston.  First SEG talk by U Arkansas geoscience faculty since 1984.
Aug 27...Physics/Geology double major plan approved by Geosciences faculty.
Aug 7...MArkUP newsletter emailed to friends and supporters of the project.  Download here
Aug 1…Seismic system acquisition test on Old Main lawn (see Seismos blog entry).
July 17/9...Liner does carbonate sequence stratigraphy fieldwork in Spain with Lluis Ardevol of Geoplay.
Jun 27/8...Mississippian research float on Buffalo River from Woolum to Gilbert. Liner, John, Caleb, Richard, and guest/guide Robert Liner. Dozens of sites documenting Lower Boone and Boone/St. Joe contact. 
Jun 24...First successful ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data test in MLK lab. For those new to GPR, an archeological case history can be found here.
Jun 18...Scout UA Cole Research Station near Goshen, AR.  Adjoining the site is an 80-foot exposure of Mississippian Lower Boone Limestone on the cut bank of the White River.  Site donated by mechanical engineering professor Jack Cole, who was guide for the site.  Discussions are underway to propose this as a calibration test site for wireline logging, surface seismic, cross well seismic, and civil engineering near-surface site characterization.
Jun 15...Abstract accepted to Houston SEG Annual MeetingGeophysics on the rocks: Unsolved mysteries of the Mississippian Outcrop (PDF)
Jun 12...Liner meets  UA Physics Professor Gay Stewart to scope out (1) Geology minor for Physics majors, and (2) Physics/Geology double major. The double major would require little modification of the existing BS Geology program and prepare undergrads to attend top US schools for grad work in Geophysics.
Jun11...Expanded Osage County, OK Pearsonia 3D survey SMT project with abutting Antelope 3D survey (credit to Steve Milligan).
Jun 6...Liner tours Century Geophysical production facility in Tulsa.  Considering a purchase of well logging equipment including gamma and electric logs,  full wave sonicacoustic televiewer, and caliper. Initial use would be logging of water wells to characterize Miss Boone limestone in NWA area as a supplement to outcrop and existing log data. 
Jun 4...First pass on a comprehensive regional Mississippian bibliography.
May 30....All available Arkansas Geological Survey quadrangle geology maps and worksheets in Google Earth (credit to John).
May 29...Return GPR equipment for checkout/repair (transmitter, receiver, network interface controller, fiber optic connectors). ETA for equipment return is two weeks.
May28....Research Mississippian float on Kings River; from Rockhouse to Kings River Outfitters. Liner, John, Richard, and guest Robert Liner. Locations documented = 15.
May 24.... Field trip Penn/Miss: Liner, John, Richard, Caleb and Thomas.
May 22...Nemaha Resources contributes fullwave sonic data for two wells in Chautauqua County, KS.
May 15.... (1) Liner meets with Tim and Pat Shields (Ft. Smith) to discuss Boone gas production in Batson and Ozone fields of the Arkansas Arkoma Basin.  The data they have includes N-S regional 2D seismic lines from the Arkoma Basin north toward the Ozark Plateau.  Digital data may be available. 
(2) Met with Robert Liner (Stephens Production Co.) who developed a Petra project template for MArkUP subsurface work in NW Arkansas. 
May 8....Granite fieldtrip to Spavinaw, OK with side trip to Picher, OK. Liner, Kevin, Thomas, John, Steve Milligan and Robert Liner. Outstanding. Also found granite wash and measured adjacent dips. 
May 7.... (1) Briefing by recent MS graduate Brett Whitmann about large Petra subsurface project containing Miss Lime information in several thousand wells across norther Oklahoma. This will form the nucleus of a MArkUP Petra project ultimately spanning the entire Miss Lime oil play and into the outcrop area of NW Arkansas.   
(2) APAC Hindsville Quarry visit: Liner, Doy and Liz.  Great projects here!
May 2.... Research posters for Department Spring Banquet presented by all MArkUP students.
Apr 28.... First 3D seismic interpretation class at U. of Arkansas completed (taught by Liner).
Apr 25....(1) Meeting with Alex Warmath (K3 Exploration) to plan donation of 3D seismic and well data in Lane County, Kansas.
(2) APAC Sharp's Quarry visit: Liner, Zachry, Manger, Liz, Richard, John, Thomas and Reid.
Apr 24....Thesis Proposal, Adam Martin, Navarro SS in Minerva-Rockdale Field, TX.
Apr 3....APAC Avoca quarry visit: Liner, Zachry, Manger, Liz Marchese, and Reid Beecher (SLB).
Apr 2.... (1) All seven abstracts submitted for AAPG Mid-Continent Meeting are accepted.
(2) Presentation to Ft. Smith Geological Society, MArkUP: An unconventional look at the Mississippian.
Mar 22...Liner submits abstract to SEG Annual MeetingGeophysics on the rocks: Unsolved mysteries of the Mississippian Outcrop (PDF).
Mar 21...Software ordered: IXRefraX from InterpeX (refraction analysis for near-surface model)
Mar 18...Liner attends SAGEEP meeting.
Mar 14.....Liner on Brad Smith well site inspection (850 ft water well S. of Prairie Grove).
Feb 28....MArkUP presentation to GeoHog alumni group in Houston.
Feb 26....7 abstracts submitted to AAPG mid-continent meeting.  Also, equipment ordered; Geometrics Geode system (48 ch, 1C and 3C phones, hammer source).
Feb 22....Lawco Energy donates Osage County, OK well log data.
Feb 21....Osage Mineral Council donates Osage County, OK 3D seismic data (Antelope, Big Heart, Gray Horse, Hominy, Wild Creek)
Feb 13....Paper accepted; Convolutional Time-Lapse Seismic Modeling for CO2 Sequestration at the Dickman Oifi eld, Ness County, Kansas (Geophysics, Liner 2nd author)>
Feb 8.....Liner meeting with Senator Jim Hendren (Gravette)
Feb 5....(1) Equipment ordered; Sensors & Software Ground Penetrating Radar system (50, 100 MHz).
(2) Proposal submitted: NSF CZO ($5M, Liner Co-PI)
Feb 1....Presentation to Marathon Oil Corporation in OKC office
Jan 31...Presentation to GeoHog alumni group in OKC
Jan 28...2nd Sponsor (in-kind) Schlumberger (wireline logging service in multiple wells TBD, including triple-combo, FMI, and ECS or Litho-Scanner)
Jan 25...1st Sponsor (in-kind) APAC-Central (HSE training for UA personnel and quarry access, beginning with Avoca quarry)
Jan 17...Current students; Adam Martin, Caleb Jennings, John Gist, Kevin Liner, Richard Benson, Thomas Liner.
Jan 7.....Equipment ordered: Geonics EM-31 conductivity meter


Dec 20....Stephens Production Co. donates Eagleford 3D seismic data (Pedernales) 
Nov 28....Mac McGilvery (MS Arkansas, PhD Texas) awarded Adjunct status
Nov 19....Spyglass Energy Group donates Osage County, OK 3D seismic and well data (Pearsonia)
Nov 14....Mississippian field trip with Atlas Energy L. P.
Oct 20.....Pennsylvanian field trip for type Morrow
Oct 19.....Presentation to UA Geosciences Advisory Board
Oct 11.....FairfieldNodal donates Gulf of Mexico 3D seismic data (UofHGoM) 
Aug 14....Liner joins UA as Maurice F. Storm Endowed Chair in Petroleum Geology

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Advice to high school senior

Jul 13, 2014, at 1:55 PM
My name is Ross [----] and I will be a senior at [----] High school in Missouri this year.
 I am considering either geology or geophysics as a major for college. I am specifically looking for guidance regarding the future job outlook for both of these careers in the next 20 years. 
I am also considering majoring in petroleum engineering and need some insight about the advantages and disadvantages concerning this career compared to geology/geophysics. Also, would it benefit me do double major in two of these three careers.
   My final question is regarding colleges.  Currently,  Missouri University of Science and Technology is my top choice. I have also looked into University of Kansas and Texas A&M. What is your opinion on these colleges and are there any other colleges you would recommend for these majors?
  Thank You and could you please email me back at [----]
********* my reply ********
Dear Ross,

I would suggest you go for petroleum engineering at the best school you can get into and afford. If you start in  petroleum engineering and find it not to your liking or too difficult, you can fall back on geophysics or geology. The situation in reverse is generally not true, to change into engineering is quite difficult.

Of the schools you mention only Texas A&M has all 3 degrees: petroleum engineering, geophysics, and geology. Another option if your grades are good enough is the Colorado school mines, which offers all three.

If you wind up majoring in geology or geophysics, I strongly suggest you minor in the other field. The minor is generally a small amount of effort using technical electives, yet increases your chance of employment later.

Finally, petroleum engineering allows you to go to work with a BS degree (but there are very few elective courses). Both geophysics and geology are more flexible but require a masters degree to go to work, which means an extra two years.

Employment outlook in any of the three fields is excellent for the next 20 to 30 years. Despite all the talk about renewable energy sources, over 60% of the world's energy comes from fossil fuels. This is unlikely to change over the career timeframe you're talking about.

Good luck

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lab work with Students

I'm spending time this summer with MS students Thomas Liner (blue shirt) and John Guist (red hat). Recently we had a day in the lab trying to get the EM–31 conductivity meter figured out. Thomas worked through every manual we have and found out that batteries were dead or depleted, the system had been stored with power on, and we were missing some software on the PC. 

After a drydock experiment in the lab, we took it out in front of Ozark Hall for a couple of test lines. Returning to the lab we realized we were stuck, so a quick call to Geonics support quickly resolved the issues.

It turns out to get data off the recorder, you have to undo two screws and remove the GPS attachment, then I'm due to more screws with a special screwdriver, remove the top of the unit, and withdraw a flash memory card. With a common camera accessory the flash memory card go to USB and files can be brought to the computer. The raw file format has extension R31 which must be converted  in the PC  software to a G31 extension file before plotting. Not exactly an automatic process. But within a few minutes we had a plot of our conductivity profile with GPS coordinates. Eureka!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MArkUP 3D Seismic near Osage Co, OK

Snapshot of current MArkUP 3D seismic inventory in and around Osage County, Oklahoma.  We gratefully acknowledge new data provided by Lawco and Ceja.