Category Archives: Uncategorized

New graduate student Sebastian Kaempfe

I’m very happy to welcome Sebastian Kaempfe to the VT Sedimentary Systems Research group. Sebastian is starting a M.S. degree and his research will be part of the Chile Slope Systems program, which is in the first year of another three-year phase.

Sebastian is from southern Chile (Punta Arenas), not far from the field area that is the focus on this research. He received a Bachelor’s in Geology at the Universidad de Concepción in 2009. Sebastian came to us after finding out from a mentor and friend that we were doing sedimentary geology research in Chilean Patagonia. He approached us a few years ago and asked if he could help out as a field assistant and learn about what we were doing. This relationship grew and he’s now working on his own project in the group.

We are excited to have him on board. ¡Bienvenidos Sebastian!

Sed Systems Research group at AAPG 2015

aapgNext week is the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in Denver, CO. Sedimentary geology plays an important role in AAPG so there will be a strong contingent of the Sedimentary Systems Research group there presenting our latest research. As you’ll see below, the majority of our presentations are updates on the multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional Chile Slope Systems project, which had an incredibly productive past year.

[Unfortunately, I can’t link to static pages of each abstract — they have one of these systems where you have to log in and create an itinerary and all that. The entire technical program is here.]

Monday, June 1st:

  • Steve Hubbard (Univ of Calgary) is presenting a poster (Brian Romans is a collaborator and co-author) in the SEPM Research Symposium Channels: From Geomorphic Expression to Stratigraphic Record with a poster titled “How many turbidity currents pass through a submarine channel and what is their stratigraphic expression?” I know you want to know the answer to that question.
    • when: 8:30am-5:00pm
    • where: Exhibition Hall

Tuesday, June 2nd:

  • Brian Romans is co-chairing the first of two oral sessions as part of the SEPM Research Symposium Channels: From Geomorphic Expression to Stratigraphic Record, which will include talks from Mike Blum, John Holbrook, Kyle Straub, and many more. (And make sure to check out the second oral session later that afternoon.)
    • when: 8am-11:50am
    • where: Four Seasons Ballroom 4
  • Casey Meirovitz (Univ of Utah) is presenting poster (Brian Romans is a co-author) in session ACE 13 titled “Quantifying inter- and intra-channel architecture controls on reservoir performance in a deep-water slope channel system, Tres Pasos Formation, Magallanes Basin”
    • when: 8:30am-5:00pm
    • where: Exhibition Hall
  • Ph.D. candidate Cody Mason is presenting poster in session ACE 04 titled “Quantifying sediment supply in stratigraphy using cosmogenic nuclides: Insights from the Pleasant Canyon complex, Panamint Mountains, California”
    • when: 8:30am-5:00pm
    • where: Exhibition Hall
  • Jake Covault (Chevron) is giving a talk (Brian Romans is a collaborator and co-author) in the SEPM Research Symposium Channels: From Geomorphic Expression to Stratigraphic Record with a poster titled “Geomorphic and stratigraphic records of the composite evolution of submarine channels”
    • when: 2:20-2:40pm
    • where: Four Seasons Ballroom 4
  • Ph.D. candidate Neal Auchter is giving a talk in session ACE 04 titled “Outcrop example of intrastratal slope deformation controlled by depositional architecture, Tres Pasos Formation, Magallanes Basin, Chile”
    • when: 4:45-5:05pm [last talk of the day, stick around for it!]
    • where: Room 605/607

Wednesday, June 3rd:

  • Allie Jackson (Univ of Utah) is giving a talk (Brian Romans is a co-author) in session ACE 04 titled “Characterizing static reservoir connectivity of deepwater slope deposits using sub-seismic outcrop-based facies models, Tres Pasos Formation, Magallanes Basin, Chilean Patagonia”
    • when: 8:45-9:05am
    • where: Room 501/502/503
  • Lisa Stright (Univ of Utah) is giving a talk (Brian Romans is a co-author) in session ACE 04 titled “Optimizing the preservation of deepwater intra-channel architecture and model connectivity during upscaling, Tres Pasos Formation, Magallanes Basin, Chilean Patagonia”
    • when: 10:30-10:50am
    • where: Room 501/502/503
  • Sarah Jancuska is presenting a poster in session ACE 00 titled “Stratigraphic expression of the transition from basin plain to slope sedimentation in outcropping strata of the Magallanes Basin, Chilean Patagonia”
    • when: 8:30am-noon
    • where: Exhibition Hall
  • Daniel Niquet (Univ of Calgary) is presenting poster (Brian Romans is a co-author) in session ACE 04 titled “The orientation of sandstone-filled U-shaped trace fossils as indicators of deepwater channel axis position, Tres Pasos Formation, Chile”
    • when: 8:30am-noon
    • where: Exhibition Hall
  • Ben Daniels (Univ of Calgary) is presenting poster (Brian Romans and Neal Auchter are co-authors) in session ACE 04 titled “Constructing a seismic-scale 3-D geo-model of stacked slope channel deposits grounded in high-resolution outcrop observations, Magallanes Basin, Chile”
    • when: 8:30am-noon
    • where: Exhibition Hall


Fall 2014 Update — New Faces for the New Academic Year

The VT Sedimentary Systems Research group has a combination of continuing ‘veterans’ and some new faces to start off the 2014-2015 academic year.

Ph.D. candidates Neal Auchter and Cody Mason are starting their 3rd year and are plugging away at their respective research projects. Neal will be working on sample preparation for strontium isotope analysis this semester. Cody is anxiously awaiting cosmogenic radionuclide results from PRIME Lab, where he spent several weeks this summer preparing his samples for analysis. We expect those data to come in any time! In addition, both Neal and Cody will be taking their Ph.D. preliminary examinations (aka ‘prelims’) later this semester.

New master’s candidate, Sarah Jancuska, joined the group this semester and will be part of the Chile Slope Systems consortium examining Cretaceous deep-marine strata in southern Chile. Sarah is diving right into graduate school by helping me teach our undergraduate Sedimentology-Stratigraphy course as a teaching assistant in addition to taking courses and starting research.

Undergraduate researcher Rachel Corrigan started some work last spring semester and will be continuing this semester, which is her last in the department. Rachel is investigating the response of a long-lived abyssal current in the deep North Atlantic Ocean to climate change at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. She’ll be documenting changes in terrigenous grain size, including amounts of outsized material that is likely ice-rated debris.

New undergraduate researcher Eric Lahart, also in his last semester before graduating, will be doing similar work as Rachel, but over the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

Finally, sophomore Rob Ulrich will be investigating grain-size and textural differences in thin sections of Cretaceous submarine channel sandstones. Rob will be developing and testing image-analysis methods to detect and quantify differences between sandstone deposits as a function of stratigraphic architecture.

I am teaching Sedimentology-Stratigraphy, as I do every fall, and co-teaching a graduate Basin Analysis course with colleague Dr. Ken Eriksson. In the meantime, I’m also working with co-authors on a review paper for the journal Earth-Science Reviews that discusses the propagation of tectonic and climatic signals through sedimentary systems at different timescales. We are within a few weeks of submitting and excited about the contribution.