KICC students include the following:
Karin Abrahamsson is a second-year Master’s student working with Dr. Luis Gonzalez in studying the modern displacement of corals and other back reef biota by crustose coralline algae and rhodoids in southwestern Puerto Rico. High resolution analysis (petrographic, elemental, isotopic, and geomicrobiological) will be conducted on crustose coralline algae and rhodoids collected from reefs near La Parguera in southwestern Puerto Rico and Isla de Mona. This study integrates diverse quantitative data to investigate the controls of climate and ocean chemistry on the recent genesis and distribution of rhodoids in shallow environments. Results will offer an increased understanding of carbonate systems containing crustose coralline algae and rhodoids as important hydrocarbon reservoir rocks in the geologic past.
Mohammed Alqattan is a first-year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Gene Rankey. His research interests include carbonate petrography and diagenesis with emphasis on the controls of porosity and permeability in reservoir rocks. His Ph.D. project explores the characteristics of the various diagenetic processes that operate on or slightly below the seafloor in modern and ancient carbonate systems. The study will provide an improved understanding on how early diagenesis can influence the development and distribution of porosity and permeability. The results will then enhance reservoir characterization practices, especially in heterogeneous carbonate reservoirs.
Craig Bennett is a first-year Master’s student working with Dr. Evan Franseen and Dr. Bob Goldstein on understanding depositional controls on the character of fine grained, chalky facies within the Agua Amarga Basin, SE Spain. His research will integrate field data collected from excellent 3D exposures with preserved paleotopography and a known local sea-level history, with analytical analyses such as total organic carbon percentage, siliciclastic to carbonate material ratio, and X-ray fluorescence. The results of this study will provide an improved understanding of how the interplay of various environmental controls, such as paleotopography, sea-level, nutrients, and climate is reflected in the rock record, with implications for improved prediction and evaluation of production targets in fine grained carbonate plays.
Elson Core is a second-year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Evan Franseen. Elson’s research interests include sedimentology, stratigraphy, and especially sequence stratigraphy of carbonate systems in the Caribbean region. He obtained his bachelor and masters degrees at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. His masters project focused on sequence stratigraphy of a Neogene mixed carbonate-siliciclastic system in the Dominican Republic. Elson’s Ph.D. project will evaluate controls on deposition and reservoir character of Cenozoic heterozoan-dominated carbonate systems, with a focus in the Caribbean. The goal is to develop predictive sequence stratigraphy and sedimentologic models for exploration and reservoir characterization of heterozoan systems. The study will have direct application to Cenozoic heterozoan-dominated reservoir systems in the Caribbean and the Indo-Pacific regions.
Arwin Dobber is an M.S. student working with Dr. Robert Goldstein to determine the main geologic controls on diagenesis and their impact on porosity evolution, thermal maturity, and hydrocarbon migration, focusing on the mixed carbonate-siliciclastic Wolfcamp and Bone Spring Formations in the Delaware Basin, West Texas. The results will be used to calibrate the burial and thermal history of the region, and to develop a conceptual diagenetic model for the controls on reservoir performance. A better understanding of the diagenetic controls on the character of these basin-centered deposits will aid in predicting spatial and temporal trends in reservoir properties in the Delaware Basin, as well as similar unconventional carbonate-rich reservoirs elsewhere.
Adam M. Jackson is currently a Ph.D. student who is using ichnocoenoses, ichnofacies, and ichnofabrics to examine and describe differences in ichnodiversity, abundance, and tiering of nearshore to deltaic marine deposits between high- and low-paleolatitudes of icehouse and greenhouse global climates. These ichnological approaches will relate how endobenthic communities vary with physiochemical settings attributed to latitude and climatic regime. His research focuses on the icehouse Permian Mackellar Formation in Antarctica and the greenhouse Upper Cretaceous Dakota Group in western Colorado. He is currently working with Dr. Stephen T. Hasiotis and is partially funded through NSF.
Tom Neal is a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Gene Rankey on carbonate platforms. His research explores the controls, patterns and variability of sediment accumulations of carbonate platforms by studying the relationships between physical oceanography, geomorphology, and sedimentology on both modern and Miocene carbonate buildups in the South China Sea, offshore Malaysia. His projects include a field and numerical hydrodynamic modeling study of Pulau Layang-Layang, a modern atoll off the northwest coast of Borneo and paleogeographic reconstruction and hydrodynamic modeling study of Miocene carbonate platforms of Malaysia’s Central Luconia Province. Overall, these analyses will improve the qualitative and quantitative understanding of the influence of physical processes on sediment production and distribution within carbonate platform systems and lead to the improvement of conceptual models of the variability within other analogous ancient platform reservoirs (e.g. Miocene, Southeast Asia; Carboniferous, Precaspian Basin).
Ian Thompson is a first-year M.S. student working with Dr. Evan Franseen and Dr. Bob Goldstein on understanding paleotopography as a depositional control on Miocene-Pliocene-Pleistocene carbonates in the Cabo de Gata region of southeast Spain. His project will integrate previously measured sections, geologic map data, photomosaics, and smaller scale reservoir models with original fieldwork to develop regional scale paleogeographic reconstructions of major depositional periods. Results will inform more accurate subsurface prediction of reservoir quality in topographically influenced carbonates.
Adam Yoerg is a second year Masters student studying the role of organic matter surfaces on low temperature dolomite precipitation and dolomitization. He is using controlled, bench-scale batch experiments, followed by microscopy, XRD, and Raman Spectroscopy to explore this problem. The results of this work will deepen understanding of the efficacy of organic matter surfaces in promoting dolomite precipitation in chemical environments analogous to sites of modern dolomite deposition. Additionally, the use of high resolution techniques such as TEM and Raman Spectroscopy will clarify the mineralogy of nanoscale precipitates, addressing concerns regarding the nature of laboratory produced dolomites.
Fan Zhang is a second-year Master’s student in Geophysics working with Dr. Chi Zhang. His research focuses on better understanding the petrophysical properties of reservoir rocks (i.e. carbonate and tight sandstone) using combined method of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and spectral induced polarization (SIP). The project is now mainly focusing on investigation of carbonate and aiming to quantitatively evaluate pore structure and its effect on NMR T2 relaxation time, complex electrical conductivity and permeability in carbonates. Results hope to generate 2-D or 3-D correlation cross plots of complex pore geometries like pore size distribution, dominant pore size, porosity with NMR and SIP response and finally improve the estimation of petrophysical properties and calibrate the parameters of permeability models in carbonate.
Katherine Kuklewicz graduated recently and is now employed at ExxonMobil.
Yousuf Fadolalkarem now is employed at Saudi Aramco.
Mark Villarreal has graduated, and is with Newfield Exploration.