Over 4,000 geologists gathered today in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the annual convention of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Hundreds of technical papers and poster sessions will highlight the latest advances in geologic understanding and technique.
The convention includes displays from more than 300 exhibitors presenting technology ranging from laboratory equipment to sophisticated 3D interpretation systems. Field trips and short courses round out the AAPG offerings.
Nine themes comprise this year's technical presentations: The Business Side of Geology; Environmental Issues; Reservoirs, Structure and Tectonics; Technologies – New & Proven; Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, and Paleontology; Petroleum Systems and Geochemistry, and Student Presentations.
The AAPG's highest award, the Sydney Powers Memorial Medal, will be presented to Peter R. Vail for his original ideas of sequence stratigraphy, first developed while he was a research geologist for Exxon. His concepts brought together stratigraphic geology and seismic interpretation providing a new conceptual framework for exploring the world's oceans. The Outstanding Explorer Award will go to William Bennett.
Sequence stratigraphy relies on the concept of eustatic sea level cycles, the global rise and fall of seal levels. The global change of sea level throughout geologic history alters the sedimentation patterns within ocean basins creating distinct "genetic units" of layered rock that are linked in time. The sequence boundaries can be clearly traced on marine seismic data, either 2D or 3D seismic. This concept revolutionized marine seismic interpretation and opened the world's oceans to detailed geologic investigation.