Palaeoenvironmental interpretation of a classic deep-marine outcrop: Aberystwyth Grit and Data set : Outcrop

Order Description

Format:
The thesis should be in a format that would be suitable for submission as a paper to Petroleum Geoscience: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/en/Publications/Journals/Petroleum%20Geosciene
• Information for formatting can be found here:
https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/en/Publications/Journals/Petroleum%20Geoscience/Information%2
0for%20Authors . By format we do not mean number of columns as all text should be one column, but reference style, length of captions, etc
• Note in particular reference style and length, max. 10,000 words including references, captions,etc, max. 25 figures; composite figures allowed.
• As part of the marking criteria it will be assessed if the report follows these guidelines. Thus it is not bulk or volume that the thesis is marked on, but quality and scientific merit.
• For comparison and template for how to present the work the paper Underhill (2009) is suggested: https://pg.lyellcollection.org/content/15/3/197.full.pdf+html?sid=01870ee8-2aa4-4830-a6d1-536b5d577c01.
• Additional material may be added as Appendices (large scale maps, correlations etc.) This is in addition to the journal page limit for submissions.
CONTENT:
• The structure of the thesis will follow the main points:
– Abstract
– Introduction
– Geological Setting/Background
– Methodology and Data
– Data Analysis
– Results
– Discussion
– Conclusions and Recommendations
– Acknowledgement
– References
• A literature review should be performed but should not form an extensive part of the submitted thesis. Instead the review should be used to inform the Introduction, Geological Setting and Discussion parts of the write up.
• A summary of the main results in one or two conceptual diagrams is highly recommended toconvey the findings to the reader, who is not familiar with the data set.
ASSESSMENT:
Credit will be given for:
• Identifying aims and objectives and providing a critical background review to the topic area.
• Describing methodologies used.
• Generating appropriate data that are relevant to the research question. The data can either
by generated from own primary observations or existing published or unpublished data can
be used. Data analyses (e.g. using statistics, grouping individual units into facies) to detect
pattern and systematic variability in the raw data.
• Providing appropriate critical interpretation of data/literature using consistent arguments
with reference to related published literature.
• Making reasonable conclusions in the context of the stated aims and objectives and give
justified recommendations for future work.
• Intelligible, well presented (with both text and illustrations) work with a comprehensive and
accurate bibliography.
• Specific marking criteria include: identification of aims; quality of conclusions; degree of understanding; signs of independent study; quality of argument; originality; conceptual content; factual content; use of appropriate examples; use of references; quality of writing; structure; spelling and grammar; standard of bibliography; standard of illustrations; overall presentation.
• Passages copied verbatim from previously published works or websites and
unacknowledged will be interpreted as an intention to deceive. Depending on its extent,such plagiarism will result in either substantial loss of marks or outright failure.
Checklist of typical errors
Use this and refer to this when you are writing your theses, and use it at the end to finally check your work.
1. All figures need a scale, location data (Lat / Long) and maps need North Arrow.
2. Show your study area as a box on any regional maps you present.
3.North should always be to the TOP of a map
4. All seismic needs to be located on a map (this can be an insert, or use a map at start and highlight location of each seismic / fig you show.
5. Make sure maps, figures are legible when PRINTED, NOT TOO SMALL. Bigger is better.
6. References: make a final check that all references in text and figure captions are in your reference list, and vica versa
7. Reference list format: find a format from a typical journal and ensure all references follow that format.
8. Conclusions and abstract are VERY important. Take time at end to get abstract right and
get this checked. Needs to be 1 page a 4 max and clear and well written.
10. Conclusion cannot bring in any new data or ideas, and need again to be 1 page maximum. But it does need to be comprehensive. So to prepare for writing this, go through thesis and make a list of ALL the work you have done: ie interpreted 6 horizon, maps show basin deepening to south, evolution of basins shown by seismic to be rift with inversion in Aptian etc, identified gas escape, defined 6 leads, 2 prospect, reserves sire rangewas 50 to 500 mmbo etc. Then using this list, write your conclusions to present al of this. Start of with a one line review of data location and project aims.
11. Check References again
Proposal:
MSc project: Textural characteristics of deep-marine gravity flow deposits
The Aberystwyth Grit, a Silurian age formation cropping out on the coast of West Wales, is a classic area of study for geologists. Since Wood & Smith (1958), many sedimentologists have visited these outcrops owing to their excellent exposure of a wide range of interesting and enigmatic facies types. The exposures span the proximal to distal ends of the system in a relatively narrow slice which is thought to represent the basin axis. Thus, a wide range of the typical facies and architectures anticipated in deep-marine settings can be easily accessed. Consequently, the area has been a hotspot for hydrocarbon geologists and academic geologists, over the last 60 years.
However, there has been little development of the geological models in terms of palaeoenvironmental interpretation. Recent work has highlighted the typical stacking patterns of various deep-marine elements (e.g., lobes, channels, levees) and it is the aim of this project to apply modern geological and sedimentological understanding and concepts to a particularly well-exposed section of these rocks.
You will use sedimentological logging and architectural sketching to develop a detailed 2D picture of the outcrops, and use the data collected as a comparison to analogous systems such as the Jaca Basin, Spain, and to more comprehensive studies (e.g., Prelat et al., 2009) to develop a picture of the palaeoenvironment in terms of facies in terms of 3D geometry, dimensions and facies distribution.
The project will give you a thorough introduction to deep-marine sedimentary systems at a range of scales and thus would be an excellent addition skillset for either industrial or academic careers.
MSc project: gravity flow – substrate interaction, remobilisation and injection
The way that sediment gravity flows (turbidity currents, debris flows) behave and interact with their substrate gives rise to a wide range of deposit types. In recent years, attempts have been made to categorise and interpret the wide range of facies encountered in deep-water environments, as it has been recognised that most of these diverge significantly from the classical turbidite models (e.g., the Bouma Sequence) (e.g., Haughton et al., 2003; Baas et al., 2011; Kane & Pontén, 2012). In addition, this complex range of deposits often show signs of remobilisation, from simple convolution of lamination to wholesale mixing and even injection into surrounding deposits. Understanding these facies, and their distribution is important in hydrocarbon exploration, for example when appraising stratigraphic traps, and is critical at the development and production stages when reservoirs models capturing the heterogeneity of deep-marine systems must be built.
The Aberystwyth Grit, a Silurian age formation cropping out on the coast of West Wales, is a classic area of study for geologists. Since Wood & Smith (1958), many sedimentologists have visited these outcrops owing to their excellent exposure of a wide range of interesting and enigmatic facies types. The exposures span the proximal to distal end of the system in a relatively narrow slice which is thought to represent the basin axis. Thus, a wide range of the typical facies and architectures anticipated in deep-marine settings can be easily accessed. Consequently, the area has been a hotspot for hydrocarbon geologists and academic geologists, over the last 60 years.
You will use detailed sedimentological logging, backed up by observations from thin-section analyses, and tracing of individual beds, to describe the wide range of facies displayed and place them into a depositional framework. The project will give you a thorough introduction to deep-marine sedimentary systems at a range of scales and thus would be an excellent addition skillset for either industrial or academic careers.
MSc project: Textural characteristics of deep-marine gravity flow deposits
Sediment gravity flow processes are the primary control on deep-marine reservoir quality. The deposit grain-size distribution, sorting, clay content, grain alignment, clay coatings on grains etc, are controlled by the sedimentological flow processes. This has been termed ‘depositional reservoir quality’. Following burial diagenesis, this is subject to some modification, but by understating the first-order depositional controls on reservoir quality distribution, we can be predictive in the subsurface (Porten et al., in press – contact IK for a copy).
This case study will examine thin sections to determine textural characteristics of the rocks and link these to the inferred sedimentological characteristics from outcrop. The Aberystwyth Grit, a Silurian age formation cropping out on the coast of West Wales, is a classic area of study for geologists. Since Wood & Smith (1958), many sedimentologists have visited these outcrops owing to their excellent exposure of a wide range of interesting and enigmatic facies types. The exposures span the proximal to distal end of the system in a relatively narrow slice which is thought to represent the basin axis. Thus, a wide range of the typical facies and architectures anticipated in deep-marine settings can be easily accessed. Consequently, the area has been a hotspot for hydrocarbon geologists and academic geologists, over the last 60 years.
A suite of samples have been collected, spanning the proximal to distal ends of the system, and across a range of facies types. You will analyse these samples in the lab, using standard petrological techniques, and combine this with a short reconnaissance fieldtrip to examine the equivalent facies.
MSc Project: Turbidity current stratification, velocity structure and evolution: the Villafranca and Niceto channel-levee systems, Tyhrennian Sea.
Despite technological advances, channelized turbidity currents are still somewhat enigmatic, primarily due to challenges associated with direct monitoring of flows. Numerical and physical models have been developed to partly overcome this, and conceptual models have been developed from outcrop studies. Notably, several studies have used the gross grain-size characteristics of channels and levees from shallow seafloor deposits, to infer flow stratification and velocity characteristics. In this study individual turbidites encountered in a series of cores in a depositional-strike section across a coarse-grained channel-levee system, the Villafranca Channel, are correlated. This allows, for the first time, a true picture of the grain size stratification of individual channelized turbidity currents to be elucidated. In addition, a suite of cores along both the Villafranca and the adjacent Niceto channel allow the general along-slope and across-slope characteristics of channelized turbidity currents to be inferred from the gross grain size distribution of channelized and overbank deposits.
The project will involve the processing of several raw grain size samples by sieving, and the processing of grain-size data already analyzed (the un-processed samples being too coarse for that technique). The data will then be placed within a stratigraphic framework, and suing some basic sedimentological calculations (settling velocity in turbulent flows, shear velocity etc), a picture of the 3D flow field can be developed. This work has the potential for yielding a high-impact publication. You will develop a good understanding of deep-marine sedimentary systems and would be well-placed for an academic or industrial role, by choosing this novel study.

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