Category Archives: PGS

Potomac Geophysical Society

PGS: Sumy on induced earthquakes

Please join us for the December 14, 2017 meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society at 7:00 p.m. at DoubleTree by Hilton McLean Tysons, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Orchard Cafe restaurant on the second floor of the hotel. The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues) and students, and $40 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity. Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Orchard Cafe, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Peachtree Room in the Orchard Cafe, second floor DoubleTree by Hilton

This Month’s Speaker:

Danielle Sumy, PhD

Induced Earthquakes: Past Lessons and Future Research Directions

Hydraulic fracturing, wastewater injection, reservoir impoundment, and geothermal activity, to name a few, are all known causes of induced earthquakes around the world. Small to moderate events in Ohio, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have shed light on the induced earthquake issue in the central and eastern United States over the past decade. These earthquakes have been particularly newsworthy and well investigated, and have created debate amongst communities on how to best regulate the causes and mitigate the risk of earthquake activity. In this talk, I will provide a general overview on the history and mechanisms that induce earthquake activity, discuss my own research on the 2011 Prague, Oklahoma events and the research of others, and look forward to the future in the context of how these recent discoveries shape the dialogue between government regulators, community leaders, and the public.

Biography: Dr. Danielle Sumy earned her PhD from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in 2011 in marine geology and geophysics, where she specifically focused on the hydraulic mechanisms of earthquake activity at mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. She brought that expertise to the subject of induced seismicity during her postdoctoral fellowships at the USGS in Pasadena, CA and at the University of Southern California. In 2014, she joined the IRIS Consortium, a National Science Foundation large facility that focuses on the operations and management of regional and global seismic networks and the storage of data from these networks, as well as education and outreach efforts to students, professionals, and the public

www.potomacgeophysical.com

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PGS: W and L’s Conners on Alaskan tectonics

November 16th, 2017 Meeting
Willow Room, DoubleTree Hotel, Tysons Corner, Va.
Located at 1960 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22102

Social: 6:00-7:00 PM O’Malley’s Pub
Dinner: 7:00- 8:15 PM Willow Room, 2nd floor DoubleTree Hotel
Presentation: Begins at 8:15 PM Willow Room, 2nd floor DoubleTree

Chris Conners, PhD
Washington and Lee University

Subsurface Expression of the Tectonic History of Arctic Alaska and Adjacent Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

If you wish to attend dinner ($30 members; $40 non-members), please inform us via email at dcgeophys@gmail.com . Or if you wish, please feel free to attend only the talk without dinner. Non-members and guests are always welcome. To obtain more details
about the meeting and society, please visit our website at:
http://www.potomacgeophysical.com

PGS: Nadeau on the US shale oil/gas revolution

Please join us for the February 16, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  This month only, the optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members and non-members ,and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza.

This Month’s Talk: 

The US Shale Oil/Gas Revolution: An Historic Opportunity to Advance American Society* 

Paul H Nadeau, University of Stavanger, Inst. Petroleum Technology

ABSTRACT: Potomac Geophysical Society, Crown Plaza, Tyson’s Corner, VA, 16th February, 2017

Recent technical advances in unconventional or “tight” shale oil and gas extraction1 are reviewed in light of the dramatic rise in US oil and gas production volumes over the last 5 years.

This unprecedented increase in energy production and reserves additions has catapulted the USD into the world leadership position. Using petrophysical analysis and other data, estimates of recoverable US oil reserves are now on the order of 1 Trillion barrels, equal to one-half of the original global conventional oil endowment, or the total volume of oil produced on our planet over the last 100 years.

The strategic significance and geopolitical implications of this remarkable achievement cannot be overstated2. The geological foundations of these energy reserves rest on the development of an extensive Palaeozoic foreland basin along the SE Margin of North America during the formation of the Pangea super-continent, followed by an even greater Mesozoic foreland basin along the western convergent margin from Alaska to Mexico during Pagean break-up and associated creation of the Atlantic Ocean3. No other continent is so favoured with respect to the accumulation of multiple organic-rich shale intervals, source rock deposits, and related mature petroleum systems.

Now the effective and efficient management of these strategic energy reserves must reside with the responsible governmental organizations, which alone can establish policies and regulations to ensure that these vital national resources are not squandered, or adversely impact domestic as well as global environments4.

The learnings from Norway, a small nation of 5 million people, and their ability to create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund of c. 1 Trillion dollars over the last 20 years5 on a volume only 5% of current estimated US reserve base, is advocated for the repayment of the 20 Trillion dollar US national debt over the coming decades.

The repayment period could then be followed by the creation of a US wealth fund to advance health, education, infrastructure, scientific research, and environmental stewardship on historic global scales.

* https://www.researchgate.net/project/The-US-Shale-Oil-Gas-Revolution-An-Historic-Opportunity-for-America

REFERENCES:

  1. Scotchman, I.C., Shale gas and fracking: exploration for unconventional hydrocarbons. Proc. Geol. Assoc. (2016) in press http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2016.09.001
  2. IMF Working Paper, Middle East and Central Asia Department, An analysis of OPEC’s strategic actions, US shale growth and the 2014 oil price crash. by Alberto Behar and Robert A Ritz, Authorized for distribution by Tim Callen, July 2016. https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2016/wp16131.pdf
  3. Nadeau P.H. and Reynolds, R.C.Jr., 1981, Burial and Contact Metamorphism in the Mancos Shale, Clays and Clay Minerals, 29, 249-259. http://www.clays.org/journal/archive/volume%2029/29-4-249.pdf ; Nadeau P.H. and Reynolds, R. C. Jr., 1981, Volcanic Components in Pelitic Sediments, Nature, 294, 72-74. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v294/n5836/abs/294072a0.html ; Passey, Q.R., Bohacs, K.M., Esch, W.L., Klimentidis, R., and S. Sinha, My Source Rock is Now My Reservoir -Geologic and Petrophysical Characterization of Shale Gas Reservoirs. Search and Discovery Article #80231 (2012) Posted June 25, 2012, Adapted from 2011-2012 AAPG Distinguished Lecture. ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co., Houston, Texas. http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/pdfz/documents/2012/80231passey/ndx_passey.pdf.html
  4. US Dept. of Energy, Shale Gas 101. http://energy.gov/fe/shale-gas-101 ; Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Guidance on fracking: developing shale oil and gas in the UK. Updated 11 April 2016. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/about-shale-gas-and-hydraulic-fracturing-fracking/
  5. NorgesBank Investment Management, https://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/history/

e-mail distribution address of the Potomac Geophysical Society

www.potomacgeophysical.com

PGS: Geophysics as a way of life

Please join us for the December 15, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  This month only, the optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members and non-members ,and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza.

This Month’s Talk: 

Catherine Cox

ATR Corp

Geophysics isn’t Just a Study, It’s a Way of Life

Abstract:

A location is characterized by its people and culture, but Geophysics is not typically the first thing that comes to mind when describing the culture of a place.  Catherine will share perspective as a Geophysicist from a cultural and professional’s point of view how geophysics plays a key role in a location’s cultural  identity.

Bio:

Catherine Cox is a Senior Engineer at ATR Corporation since 2015. Prior to her arrival in Washington, she was a Geophysicist and academic liaison with Signal Hill Petroleum in Long Beach, California . She received a B.S. in Geology in form Middle Tennessee University and completed a M.S. in Geophysics from the University of Oklahoma. She has also worked with the Bell Geospace in Houston. In her free time, Catherine enjoys running and being outdoors.

Dear PGS Members,

Please reply by December 12, 2016 at noon if you plan to attend the dinner and/or the meeting at Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner.  Please find the flyer for this talk attached this email, feel free to post and spread the word.

Please join us for the December 15, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  This month only, the optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members and non-members ,and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza.

This Month’s Talk: Geophysics isn’t Just a Study, It’s a Way of Life

Abstract:

A location is characterized by its people and culture, but Geophysics is not typically the first thing that comes to mind when describing the culture of a place.  Catherine will share perspective as a Geophysicist from a cultural and professional’s point of view how geophysics plays a key role in a location’s cultural  identity.

Bio:

Catherine Cox is a Senior Engineer at ATR Corporation since 2015. Prior to her arrival in Washington, she was a Geophysicist and academic liaison with Signal Hill Petroleum in Long Beach, California . She received a B.S. in Geology in form Middle Tennessee University and completed a M.S. in Geophysics from the University of Oklahoma. She has also worked with the Bell Geospace in Houston. In her free time, Catherine enjoys running and being outdoors.

e-mail distribution address of the Potomac Geophysical Society

www.potomacgeophysical.com

PGS: Schmerr on Greenland’s firn aquifer structure

Please reply to the Potomac Geophysical Society <dcgeophys@gmail.com> by November 14 by noon if you plan to attend the dinner and/or the meeting at Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner.  Please find the flyer for this talk attached this email, feel free to post and spread the word.

Please join us for the November 17, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues) and students, and $40 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza.

This Month’s Talk:  Active Source Seismic Investigation of Firn Aquifer Structure in Southeastern Greenland by Nick Schmerr, University of Maryland

Abstract:

In 2011, it was discovered that there is perennial storage of water in the firn of the southeastern Greenland ice sheet, a region of both high snow accumulation and high melt. This aquifer is created through percolation of surface meltwater downward through the firn, saturating the pore space above the ice-firn transition. The aquifer may play a significant role in sea level rise though storage or draining freshwater into the ocean. Our team carried out a series active source seismic experiments that used refracted P-wave arrivals, inverted with a transdimensional Bayesian approach, to identify the seismic velocities associated with the base of the aquifer. When our seismic approach is combined with a radar sounding of the water table situated at the top of the firn aquifer, we are able to quantify the volume of water present. In our study region, the base of the aquifer lies on average 27.7±2.9 meters beneath the surface, with an average thickness of 11.5±5.5 meters. We found the aquifer had an average water content of 26.7±6.3%, with considerable variation in volume fraction of water along the studied regional flow line. Between 2015 and 2016, we observed a 1-2 km uphill expansion of the aquifer system, with a site dry in 2015 with over 4000 kg m-2 water in 2016. We estimate the volume of water stored in the aquifer across the entire region upstream of Helheim glacier to be 7.9±3.3 gigatons. Elucidating the volume of water stored within these recently discovered aquifers is vital for determining the hydrological structure and stability of the southeastern Greenland ice sheet.

Bio

Dr. Schmerr has over a decade and a half of experience in seismology and geophysical research on planetary objects. He received his PhD in geophysics from Arizona State University in 2008 where he worked with Dr. Ed Garnero on deep Earth research topics. He was a postdoc at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 2008-2010 where he worked on terrestrial mantle seismology with Drs. Paul Silver and David James. He went on from DTM to another postdoctoral position at NASA Goddard from 2010-2013, where he became involved in a number of planetary research problems, including studying the interiors of the Moon, Mars, and the icy worlds of the outer Solar System. He has since become an assistant professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Geology where he leads a group of 3 PhD students and multiple undergraduates in Earth and planetary research. He has conducted seismic experiments in the United States, Greenland, and Canada, has grown his interests in terrestrial and cryosphere seismic science. Dr. Schmerr is a science collaborator on the upcoming InSight mission to place a seismometer on Mars. He resides in Seabrook, MD with his wife, Dr. Amy McAdam.

PGS: Michael Ryan on magma physics of Hawaii

Welcome back from summer break!  Please join us for the September 15, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues) and students, and $40 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Dr. Michael Ryan, The Magma Physics Project, Hilo, Hawai’i

“Rock-, mineral-, and melt-physics and magma neutral buoyancy in Hawai’i”

Talk Abstract:

Compressional and shear wave velocities in the mafic and ultra-mafic rocks that make up Hawaiian volcanoes and their crustal and upper mantle underpinnings have been combined with additional petrophysical properties to understand the mechanical rationale for the existence and long-term evolution of subcaldera magma reservoirs in active volcanic centers such as Kilauea and Mauna Loa. These additional properties include single crystal elastic constants, high temperature elastic moduli,  thermal expansion coefficients, the pressure-dependence of crack and joint closure, and the P-T dependence of in-situ rock, melt and magma densities. When the data is combined with long-term geodetic, seismic, geologic and 3-D modelling data, compelling and very durable existence and evolutionary criteria have been discovered for these magma reservoirs. Regions of neutral buoyancy are produced by the crossover in the in-situ densities of magmatic fluids and the rocks surrounding subcaldera  magma reservoirs and rift systems. Beneath this region, magma parcels ascend driven by positive buoyancy forces, whereas above it, they decend under the influence of negative buoyancy. Within Mauna Loa and Kilauea, the region of neutral buoyancy is coincident with the location of the subcaldera magma reservoir. Based on laboratory and field measurements of Vp and Vs, the compression of the rock column beneath these volcanoes is divisable into two fields: an upper field of fracture, macropore, micropore and mineral compression (0-9 km depth) and a deeper field of mineral compression only (9 km and deeper). This compression—or contraction—profile, is inherently non-linear: the upper (non-linear) portion reflecting the greater bulk compressibility of rock porosity+aqueous fluids, and the lower (linear) portion reflecting aggregate mineral compressibilities. Velocity-density systematics connect the rock data with the melt and magma data—revealing the in-situ density crossover in the 2-7 km depth range for both these volcanoes: the region of neutral buoyancy. The region of neutral buoyancy combined with the contraction profile that induces it thus provides for the long-term stability (the existence) of subcaldera magma reservoirs and their rift systems. As Hawaiian volcanoes age and evolve, they carry their contraction profile and region of neutral buoyancy upward with them. Thus the evolutionary progression from seamount (Loihi) to subaerial immature shield (Kilauea) to mature volcano (Mauna Loa), is one characterized by the progressive elevation of the summit reservoir complex and rift zones—a process that leaves beneath a wake of high velocity mafic and ultramafic rocks within the core region of the shield. For Hawaiian rift systems, the lateral magma injection process follows the horizon of neutral buoyancy, where countryrock and magma densities are equal. This is the region of preferred dike formation and of magma residence and mixing with the accompanying migrating swarms of microseismicity in the 2-4 km depth interval. Beyond Hawaii, the neutral buoyancy systematics also apply to the Earth’s mid-ocean ridge system, to Icelandic central volcanoes, and to island arc and continental arc volcanoes, among others.

 

Speaker Bio:

Michael Ryan has 42 years experience in physical volcanology. He has worked on active volcanoes in Hawai’i (Kilauea, Mauna Loa), the high Cascades (Mt. St. Helens), Iceland (Krafla, Askja) and Japan (Sakurajima). He has studied the interiors of ancient dissected volcanoes across the U.S., Iceland, and Japan. He has a B. Sci. and M. Sci. in geology from Michigan State University, and a Ph. D. in geochemistry & mineralogy from the Pennsylvania State University with parallel work in engineering mechanics, ceramic science, and petroleum & natural gas engineering. His post-doctoral work was in the Dept. of Mineral Sciences of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C. He has taught graduate courses in geology and geophysics at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa where he also conducted research on active volcanism. He conducted research for 30 years with the U.S. Geological Survey and is now affiliated with the Magma Physics Project in Hilo, Hawai’i. His emphasis is on the pathways and processes that regulate the migration of magma from Earth’s mantle through the crust and into the interiors of active volcanoes.

PGS: Sputnik Planum (Pluto)

The April 21, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Dr. Harold Geller, Observatory Director, George Mason University

“Sputnik Planum: A geologically active impact basin on Pluto”

Talk Abstract:

Dr. Geller will give an overview of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. After providing the audience with the history of the New Horizons mission, Dr. Geller will discuss the latest findings about Pluto including the layering on Pluot’s surface; the cold and hazy atmosphere; and, the geology of an active impact basin known as Sputnik Planum.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Harold Geller is Observatory Director at George Mason University (GMU). He is a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He won six Telly Awards for online educational videos with Astrocast TV. He received the 2008 GMU Faculty Member of the Year Award. He has been Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy; adviser to the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement; President of the Potomac Geophysical Society; tour guide at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; producer of educational multimedia CD-ROMs; faculty at Northern Virginia Community College; doctoral fellow of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and weekend manager of the Einstein Planetarium.  He is author of books, edited volumes, and has published over 85 papers in education, astrobiology, astrophysics, and biochemistry. Dr. Geller has been quoted in the media including USA Today, Washington Post, Huffington Post, WTOP News Radio and News Channel 8.