The Department of Geosciences at Western Michigan University sponsors a seminar series, a writing workshop series, student proposal sessions, and thesis and dissertation defenses.

Graduate Student Thesis Proposals

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, at 11 a.m. in 1192 Rood Hall
Jeffrey Hudson: "Influence of Persulfate on Solidification/Stabilization Characteristics of ISS Treatment"

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, at 11 a.m. in 1192 Rood Hall
Tom Brubaker:
"Stable isotope investigations of two components of the cryosphere: Lake effect snow and icicle formation"

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. in 1192 Rood Hall
Rozkar Ismael:
"Slugtests in unconfined aquifers"

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at 3 p.m. in 1192 Rood Hall
Scott Feldpausch:
"Gravity and passive seismic methods used jointly for understanding and modeling the subsurface in a glaciated terrain: Dowling and Maple Grove Quadrangles, Barry Co., MI"

Fall 2015 Seminar Series

Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, from 4 to 5 p.m. in 1104 Rood Hall
Regional Reservoir Characterization and CO2 Storage Resource Assessment in a Geologically Complex, Deep Saline Formation, Middle Ordovician St. Peter Sandstone, Michigan Basin, USA
The middle Ordovician St. Peter Sandstone is widespread in the Midwest, USA. The formation is an important aquifer, gas storage reservoir, and source of proppant sand with typically friable and super-mature mineralogy/texture in shallowly buried occurrences. In the Michigan basin, the formation ranges in thickness from a stratigraphic pinch-out to more than 335m in thickness and occurs at depths of burial of greater than 800m to in excess of 3.35 km throughout much of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The St. Peter has been the target of hydrocarbon exploration/production activity in the basin since the early 1980’s. As a result, substantial modern subsurface geological data is available including conventional core and core analysis data from nearly 100 wells and modern, down-hole logs from complete formation penetrations in over 250 wells. Geological carbon (CO2) storage resource estimates (SRE) were developed as part of US DOE-NETL sponsored (ARRA) project led by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) focusing on the regional site characterization of high-potential geologic carbon storage formations in the Michigan and Illinois basins. The St. Peter is an important, deep saline CO2 storage target in Michigan with SRE of between 3.0 to 50.1 GT (109 metric tons) of supercritical CO2 based on various SRE methodologies and a range of confidence intervals. We present the results of high resolution, reservoir characterization studies using an extensive subsurface data set to determine a more reliable SRE, compared to more simplistic approaches, in this geologically complex, deep saline reservoir. Stratigraphic, petrographic and petrologic analysis, including special core analysis studies were used to characterize and quantify reservoir petrophysical properties in the formation throughout the basin. Regional stratigraphic thickness, sedimentary facies trends, and depth of burial-related diagenesis are the first order controls on reservoir quality and the spatial distribution of CO2 storage capacity. Sedimentary facies variations typically template complex diagenetic modification of primary textures, mineralogy and reservoir quality and these factors have a substantial influence on regional variation in reservoir properties and storage resource potential. Application of high resolution reservoir characterization methodologies justifies significantly reduced uncertainty in net-to-gross reservoir area, porosity and effective to total porosity and increased storage efficiency factors (SEF) used in SRE calculations.
Dr. David Barnes
Professor of Geosciences, Western Michigan University

Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, from 4 to 5 p.m. in 1104 Rood Hall
Application of Petrophysical Logs and XRF Data for Mudstone Facies Classification
The study demonstrates integrated application of core and Pulsed Neutron Spectroscopy logs to build detailed shale facies model, and combine with XRF derived chemostratigraphy to better decipher depositional environment of shale formations. Two world-class shale formations- Bakken and Eagle Ford Shale of North Dakota and Texas are chosen as examples. In particular, relations among trace element geochemical data and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content coupled with well log derived crossplots and petrophysical solutions are explored to understand vertical and areal heterogeneity of the different shale members. The results show that shale members are heterogeneous, in terms of mineralogy and TOC, which can be classified into five different facies.

Highly organic-rich shale facies unit was deposited in euxinic environment, whereas relatively organic-poor shale units were deposited in anoxic and dysoxic conditions. Statistical analyses suggest that trace element data can be applied to a significant degree of confidence to compare with petrophysical log derived facies model to characterize different mudstone facies, interpret depositional environment, and refine horizontal drilling targets for hydrocarbon production.
Shuvajit Bhattacharya
PhD candidate in geology, West Virginia University

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, from 4 to 5 p.m. in 1104 Rood Hall
Multiscale 3D Geologic Mapping in Northeast Illinois
The need for improved geologic information is ever increasing as environmental and land-use issues continue to grow, with particular relevance to water resources. In northeast Illinois, bedrock aquifers are under regional stress and Lake Michigan sources are nearly fully allocated.  Some communities are already undergoing significant groundwater-resource stress due to suburban expansion, and they are well aware of the urgency for water resources planning.  The ISGS has helped in their response by developing multiscale 3D geologic models of the shallow sand and gravel aquifer systems.  Intensive acquisition of drilling and geophysical data, coupled with a variety of 3D mapping workflows and visualization software, has been key to efficient and confident 3D map product development.  These geologic models have been the framework for numerical groundwater flow models, and they have led to new insights into local glacial history, stratigraphy and associated hydrogeologic variability.
Dr. Jason Thomason
Associate Hydrogeologist and Section Head, Hydrogeology and Geophysics, Illinois State Geological Survey

Fall 2015 Writing Workshop Series: Writing in the Geosciences

Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, from 2-3:30 p.m. in 2209 Rood Hall
Preparing For Battle
Submitting to Journals
So you’ve written a manuscript. Now what? Learn how to understand submission requirements, navigate official versus in-house style guides, and collaborate with editors.