The ‘Other’ AAPG Bulletin: Environmental Geosciences

The AAPG Bulletin is the flagship publication of the AAPG and is a publication we can all be justifiably proud of. How many of you realize that the AAPG publishes a second scientific bulletin that is just as technically excellent with a long history of publishing cutting-edge research?

I am talking about the DEG’s Environmental Geosciences (EG), which has been in publication for over 20 years.

Each of the published papers undergo an extensive peer review process, like the Bulletin, and over the years there have been a number of special issues that could have been published separately as a book, but were instead published as an EG issue at no additional cost to members.

These have included the issues on Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems (2008), Geologic Carbon Sequestration (2009), Geophysics for Environmental Investigation (2010) and the upcoming volume on CO2 Sequestration and Dissolved Methane (2016).

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The AAPG Bulletin is the flagship publication of the AAPG and is a publication we can all be justifiably proud of. How many of you realize that the AAPG publishes a second scientific bulletin that is just as technically excellent with a long history of publishing cutting-edge research?

I am talking about the DEG’s Environmental Geosciences (EG), which has been in publication for over 20 years.

Each of the published papers undergo an extensive peer review process, like the Bulletin, and over the years there have been a number of special issues that could have been published separately as a book, but were instead published as an EG issue at no additional cost to members.

These have included the issues on Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems (2008), Geologic Carbon Sequestration (2009), Geophysics for Environmental Investigation (2010) and the upcoming volume on CO2 Sequestration and Dissolved Methane (2016).

Notable Issues of Environmental Geosciences

Environmental Geosciences has broken the ground with some extraordinary papers over the years such as the 1994 paper by Robert C. Laudon, et. al., “Determination of Flow Potential From Oil Reservoirs to Underground Sources of Drinking Water in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico.”

In this paper the author(s) not only developed a methodology for an Area of Review (AOR) used to this day but demonstrated a (positive) lack of flow from the petroleum reservoir to the overlying aquifer.

Methane identification has been a topic of interest for a long time in the EG and two key papers have set the standard on methane identification practices:

  • “Isotopic Identification of Landfill Methane” by Dennis D. Coleman, Chao-Li Liu, Keith C. Hackley and Steven R. Pelphrey in 1995.
  • “Identifying the Sources of Stray Methane by Using Geochemical and Isotopic Fingerprinting” by “Frank” Fred Baldassare and Christopher Laughrey in 1997.

The latter concerned investigating sources of stray gas in Pennsylvania before the EPA had identified it as a potential problem.

Deep well injection issues appear to be a topic that “bubbled to the surface” last year but the EG published key papers on the topic with “CO2 Injection and Sequestration in Depleted Oil and Gas Fields and Deep Coal Seams: Worldwide Potential and Costs,” by Scott H. Stevens, Vello A Kuuskraa, John Gale and David Beecy in 2001.

This paper looked at the feasibility of performing enhanced gas recovery, enhanced oil recovery and enhanced CBM recovery in coal basins worldwide, and discussed the challenges associated with the science.

It talked about building on existing technologies from the EOR, storage and CO2 production industries. This was a paper well ahead of its time.

Also published was “Aspects of induced seismic activity and deep-well sequestration of carbon dioxide” by Joel Sminchak and Neeraj Gupta in 2003.

This was at a time when geologic sequestration was just starting to take off as a topic of research. Not only did this study carbon capture and storage but the impact of induced seismicity and how to minimize it.

The DEG, through the excellent work of the Environmental Geosciences, has worked to advance the science of environmental geology. The EG is available to members of the DEG in electronic format.

The DEG also supports the work of environmental geosciences through sponsoring sessions at the AAPG’s annual convention.

This year at the Annual Convention and Exhibition in Calgary, Canada, the DEG is sponsoring Theme 3, “Energy and the Environment,” with three technical sessions, co-sponsoring the oilsands workshop, and a fieldtrip to the glaciers.

Francois Marechal, the DEG Calgary technical co-chair, and I hope to see you in Calgary.