SEPM2020 ISGC

 Courses and Workshops AT A GLANCE



Short Course 1: Distinguishing Storms and Tsunamis
                      Date:              Sunday April 26 (One Day)
                      Leaders:         Alexander R. Simms (UC Santa Barbara) and Bruce Jaffe (USGS, Santa Cruz)

A 1-Day workshop investigating the similarities and differences between the sedimentary records of storms and tsunamis.  Tsunami and storms threaten coastal lives and infrastructure.  Documenting past events within the sedimentary record provides an important means of assessing the hazards associated with storms and tsunamis.  However, distinguishing storm and tsunami deposits within the sedimentary record remains a very difficult problem.  Recent work has shown that even storms can produce large infragravity waves thus calling into question basic assumptions about how the two might differ in their sedimentary products.  The purpose of this session is to bring together scientists working in the laboratory, field and with computer simulations on storm and/or tsunami deposits who might be able to shed light on this fundamental problem.  We imagine the workshop as a mini-research conference.  

Short Course 2: What Happens After Deposition?  Controls on Sandstone Diagenesis
                      Date:               Sunday April 26 (One Day)
                      Leaders:          Linda Bonnell and Rob Lander (Geocosm LLC), and María Ochoa and Laura Net (Repsol)

Sandstones undergo enormous changes after deposition as they transform from loose sediment to hammer ringing rock.  For instance, thicknesses typically decrease by about 20% and permeability can be reduced by a factor of ten million compared to the depositional state.  In the short course we will discuss how depositional framework grain compositions and textural characteristics exert a fundamental control on the nature of diagenetic changes that can occur with burial.  We also will review the physical and chemical processes that lead to compaction and cementation and how they respond to stress and temperature conditions over timescales of millions of years.  

Short Course 3: Paleoceanography and Cyclostratigraphy
                       Date:               Sunday April 26 (One Day)
                       Leaders:          Ken MacLeod (University of Missouri, USA), Sietske Batenburg, and Stuart Robinson (Oxford University, UK)

This workshop will explore novel perspectives on depositional systems at the intersection of cyclostratigraphy and paleoceanography. Inferring time is fundamental to organizing and interpreting the stratigraphic record. Increasingly precise, well-constrained and well-documented cyclostratigraphic models are providing a powerful chronometer. Studies of cyclic variations in sedimentary rocks have long used biostratigraphic, radiometric, paleomagnetic, and chemostratigraphic data to cross check and confirm orbital interpretations. More recently, orbital solutions are being used to precisely calibrate geological events and boundaries. With advances in cyclostratigraphic techniques and replication of astrochronologies across multiple sections it is also becoming possible to sometimes consider time as an independent observation and examine patterns of synchronicity and/or diachroneity of events within and among sections on time scales approaching millennial resolution. That is, temporal relationships among paleontological, paleoclimatic, and sedimentary patterns can be studied locally to regionally on the times scales at which deep ocean processes operate. The workshop will be a one day event.


Short Course 4: Ocean Chemistry and Carbonate Sediment Production
                       Date:               Sunday April 26 (One Day)
                       Leaders:          Marcello Minzoni (University of Alabama) and Dr. Kimberly Lau (University of Wyoming)

Carbonate sediment and rocks are natural archives that store vital records of the Earth’s recent and deep-time ocean, climate, and biological evolution; these long records provide critical boundary conditions with which we can predict ecological response of modern bioclacifiers to changing climate scenarios. Carbonate rocks are also important but challenging energy reservoirs that store an estimated 60% of conventional reserves globally. Understanding these natural archives is of paramount importance both for modelling future biotic and abiotic carbonate sediment production and preservation, including reef systems, and for predicting reservoir quality in hydrocarbon exploration.

The workshop includes invited presentations from both academia and industry to bring together scientists and explorers engaged in tackling outstanding and fundamental questions in carbonate system science.

Short Course 5:  Big data, machine learning, and digitization forum
                       Date:               Tuesday Evening April 28 (One Evening)
                       Leaders:          Thomas Martin (Colorado School of Mines, USA) and Liz Hajek (Penn State University, USA)

Big data, machine learning, and digitization have been buzzwords in the past few years, but how can our community leverage these tools and workflows? This SEPM 2020 Unsession will provide an opportunity for participants to explore exciting opportunities associated with big data and machine learning in a free-flowing, participant-driven interactive format; no power points, programming, posters, or panels! The goal of the unsession is to foster discussion and brainstorming about the future of computer-facilitated science in sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, and paleontology. Participants will gain familiarity with emerging concepts and tools and will have the opportunity to network with other researchers and explore how these new approaches may be incorporated into research, teaching, and resource management.

Expect post-it note chaos, great conversation and a good time. Everyone is invited, especially participants with zero machine learning or programming experience!

Short Course 6: Systematics of Diagenetic and Geochemical Techniques in Carbonates
                       Dates:              Thursday - Friday, April 30 - May 1 (Two Days)
                       Leaders:           Robert Goldstein (University of Kansas, USA) and others

This two day short course is focused on a survey of and instruction into the systematics of the techniques that are currently used in studies of carbonate diagenesis. For each of the modules, experts on those techniques will: introduce the technique and what problems can solved with it; provide a theoretical basis for its application; review pertinent literature and summarize where discipline is today and where it is going; provide some practical summaries of sampling strategy, preparation, and analysis; and will work with participants to solve example problems.
Speaker Program
     •    An introductory module focusing on the integration of geologic context and multiple techniques to solve problems and isolate variables.  Robert Goldstein and Colleagues
     •    Basic techniques of sample preparation, staining methods and basic carbonate petrology - Jay Greg and Jim Hendry
     •    Advanced imaging and elemental mapping methods - Mike Grammer
     •    Fluid Inclusion petrography and microthermometry – Robert Goldstein
     •    Carbon and Oxygen isotopes – Franek Hasiuk and Art Saller
     •    Clumped Isotopes – Cedric John
     •    Radiometric dating – Troy Rasbury
     •    Sr isotopes – Art Saller
     •    Elemental compositions – Franek Hasiuk
     •    Novel isotopic tracers - Noah Planavsky

Short Course 7: Fluvial Paleohydraulics
                       Dates:              Thursday - Friday, April 30 - May 1 (Two Days)
                      Leaders:           Brandon McElroy and Robert Mahon, (University of Wyoming, USA) and Sheila Trampush (University of Delaware, USA)

Strata left by ancient rivers contain a rich record of Earth's past conditions.  By applying models derived from modern fluvial systems to measurements of preserved ancient systems, it is possible to quantitatively constrain a wide range of past conditions and processes. We will introduce and demonstrate models for river channel geometry, bar and bedform geometry, sediment flux and water discharge, longitudinal river slope, basin area, and precipitation.  These parameters provide insight into environmental, geodynamic, and tectonic conditions during their period of deposition and provide landscape-scale constraints on sediment transport networks.


Short Course 8: Applications of Ichnology
                       Dates:              Thursday - Friday, April 30 - May 1 (Two Days)
                      Leaders:           James MacEachern (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Murray Gingras (University of Alberta, Canada)

Ichnology – the science of classifying and interpreting trace fossils in the context of their sedimentary environments and stratigraphic relationships – is a fascinating scientific tool for providing very detailed interpretations of sedimentary rocks. Ekdale et al. (1984) suggested that “the ichnologist is Sam Spade or Sherlock Holmes – following footprints, searching for traces of dastardly deeds, studying artifacts, attempting to reconstruct a sequence of events from subtle clues, pursuing the identity of someone (or something) long dead.” In that spirit, this short course presents the latest ichnological approaches and interpretations, and how these have been built from earlier workers who based their understandings on rock record and present-day observations.

The short course begins with introductory ichnology and its conceptual basis, trace fossil taxonomy, and the range of applications of ichnology. The bulk of the short course then focuses on more advanced applications of ichnology, including how to extract detailed interpretations in shoreface, delta, estuary, tidal fluvial and offshore depositional successions, the impact of bioturbation on permeable media (i.e., reservoir ichnology), and the use of trace fossils in refining sequence stratigraphic interpretations. The course will be taught with detailed lectures delivered through powerpoint, and employ posters and/or cored examples of bioturbated units. Attendees will receive pdf versions of the lectures and trace fossil atlas.


Short Course 9: Mudstone Diagenesis-Development of Mudstone (Shale) Hydrocarbon Reservoirs
                      Dates:              Thursday - Friday, April 30 - May 1 (Two Days)
                      Leaders:           Sven Egenhoff (Colorado State Univ), Neil Fishman (PetroLogic Solutions, LLC), Joe Macquaker (ExxonMobil Corp), Juergen Schieber (Indiana Univ), Wayne Camp (Anadarko Petroleum Corp)

This one-day workshop is intended for a broad range of geologists specializing in sedimentology, petrography, diagenesis, geochemistry, and petroleum geology who are interested in the study of the impact of diagenesis on mudstone (shale) hydrocarbon reservoirs. The instructors will provide presentations and lead related discussions in an informal setting based on their exciting new research and extensive background on shale petroleum reservoirs. Although most of the examples are from producing North America reservoirs (e.g., Barnett, Bakken, Marcellus, Eagle Ford, and Wolfcamp), formations outside North America (e.g., Sweden and Argentina) will also be discussed.


Short Course 10: Applied Machine Learning: Fundamentals and Geostatistics
                      Dates:              Thursday - Friday, April 30 – May 1 (Two Days)
                      Leaders:           Michael Pyrcz (University of Texas-Austin, USA) and Didi Ooi (Anadarko, USA)

This two-part course will provide a short yet dense introduction to machine learning (ML) in a geoscientist context leading up to geostatistics. It will provide information on the basic principles of applied Machine Learning, what are the recent applications within the industry using this technique and focused resources how geologists can get started on it.

Via case-studies, short lectures and demonstrations, we will cover:
     •    Fundamentals of supervised learning and unsupervised learning
     •    Recent application of ML within the geoscience community
     •    How geoscientists can set their own learning path to apply ML
     •    Benefits and uses of geostatistics
     •    Common spatial and uncertainty modeling workflows
     •    How to better integrate their domain knowledge into geostatistical model

We would like to stress realistic expectations on the breadth and depth of this topic.
This short course aims to provide a stepping stone for geoscientists with a wealth of accompanying resources as guidance to apply to existing data-heavy problems.