Meeting to Match Spectacular Locale

850 Papers Set for Salt Lake City

AAPG turns its sights this month toward a city surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful and spectacular geology.

Salt Lake City is the setting for the 88th AAPG Annual Meeting, to be held May 11-14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

An enormous technical session featuring more than 850 talks, 18 field trips and a variety of short courses has been built around the theme “Energy, Our Monumental Task.”

Complementing the technical program, of course, is the huge exhibits hall showcase, where about 300 commercial and non-profit exhibitors will be demonstrating and discussing their products and services — much of it featuring the very latest in cutting-edge technology. Also in the exhibits hall will be the Career Center and Virtual Café.

Image Caption

The entrance area to the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, site for most of the activities of the AAPG Annual Meeting.
Photos courtesy of Utah Travel Council

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AAPG turns its sights this month toward a city surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful and spectacular geology.

Salt Lake City is the setting for the 88th AAPG Annual Meeting, to be held May 11-14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

An enormous technical session featuring more than 850 talks, 18 field trips and a variety of short courses has been built around the theme “Energy, Our Monumental Task.”

Complementing the technical program, of course, is the huge exhibits hall showcase, where about 300 commercial and non-profit exhibitors will be demonstrating and discussing their products and services — much of it featuring the very latest in cutting-edge technology. Also in the exhibits hall will be the Career Center and Virtual Café.

Special technical offerings include four forums:

  • History of Petroleum Geology Forum: Lessons from Discoveries, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 11.
  • An EMD/DPA session on Bullish Commodities, Crisis in Investor Confidence and Meeting Regulatory Challenges, at 8 a.m. Monday, May 12.
  • An EMD/AAPG session on The EarthScope Initiative — A New View Into the Earth, at 10:15 a.m. Monday, May 12.
  • A DPA/EMD/DEG Governmental Affairs Forum on Public Lands Access in the Rocky Mountains, at 3:20 p.m. Monday, May 12.

And this year’s Michel T. Halbouty Lecture, slated at 5:10 p.m. on Monday, May 12, will feature W.J. “Bill” Barrett and Peter Dea talking about Rocky Mountain Monumental Gas Discoveries — ROCKS AND ROLES — Five Decades of Talent, Mentors, Old and New Breed of Leadership and Entrepreneurship.

“We have something for everyone,” said Tom Chidsey, this year’s convention general chairman.

“The technical sessions cover a wide range of topics,” he continued, “including new play concepts, deepwater sequence stratigraphy and deposition, reservoir modeling, salt tectonics, biostratigraphy, lacustrine reservoirs, coalbed methane and national security as it relates to petroleum.

“Anyone who attends is going to get the most bang for the buck because of the training, field trips, state-of-the-art technology and latest petroleum research offered here,” he said.

The Salt Palace, site of the only previous AAPG annual meeting ever held in Salt Lake City (1998), is located in the downtown area near hotels, the new light rail system, various tourist attractions, restaurants and shopping.

Optional social activities planned for attendees include a dinner cruise on the Great Salt Lake; an “AstroEvent” at the Clark Planetarium; and a “Springfest” at the nearby Snowbird Ski Resort.

But a big reason for attending a meeting in Salt Lake City is the setting itself.

“Utah is perhaps one of the greatest geologic natural laboratories, many located in five national parks and eight national monuments and national recreation areas,” Chidsey said. “The field trips offer visits to ancient lacustrine, fluvial, deltaic, carbonate and eolian reservoir analogs; there are spectacular thrust faults, normal faults, folds and salt tectonic features.

“In fact, from downtown Salt Lake City you can observe anticlines and synclines composed of the same Jurassic strata that produce oil in the Thrust Belt only 40 miles away,” he said.

“Southeast is the spectacular Wasatch Range, displaying Precambrian through Mississippian metamorphic and sedimentary rock and Tertiary granite, rises over 11,000 feet, sculpted by Pleistocene glaciers,” he continued. “To the southwest is one of the world’s largest open pit copper mines, and to the west the Pennsylvanian-Permian outcrops of the Oquirrh Range.

“The valley was formed by major Basin and Range normal faults and modified by shoreline deposits of Lake Bonneville 12,000 years ago,” he said. “Its salty remnant and the valley’s namesake, Great Salt Lake, lies just to the northwest.”

As usual, pre-meeting events — various short courses, field trips and social activities — will be held for early arrivers. The Teacher Program, for example, begins on Saturday, May 10.

The meeting begins in earnest at 4 p.m. Sunday with the opening session and awards ceremony, followed by the traditional Icebreaker in the exhibits hall. Technical sessions begin at 8 a.m. Monday, May 12.

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