The International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or IMAGE ’21, the integrated annual convention of AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in conjunction with the Society for Sedimentary Geology, is all set for its inaugural event to be held online and in-person in Denver, Colo., Sept. 26 to Oct. 1.
This gathering of the industry’s top thinkers, leaders and innovators boasts an impressive schedule of special sessions, workshops, field trips and other offerings to expand geoscience and professional skills.
There were more than 1,900 combined abstracts submitted, and the technical program will have approximately 1,200 presentations. The technical program is diverse and will highlight geology including siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentary systems, petroleum systems and geochemistry, structure and tectonics, innovative multidisciplinary workflows, machine learning and coding, data management, unconventional resources, sustainable energy development (including carbon capture, utilization and sequestration), new energy frontiers, commercial skills and regulatory framework, history of petroleum geology, student research and SEPM Research Symposium.
Discovery Thinking and Halbouty Lecture
This year’s Discovery Thinking forums, “Giant Discoveries I and II,” will be on Monday, Sept. 27 at 1:20 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 8 a.m., respectively, and chaired by AAPG past President Charles Sternbach, AAPG Editor Robert Merrill and John Dolson. Check out the September issue of the EXPLORER for more details.
Following that first Discovery Thinking Forum on Monday, Sternbach will deliver this year’s Halbouty Lecture, beginning at 5:25 p.m.
“I plan to talk about the lessons we have learned from five years of super basin programs and publications,” Sternbach told the EXPLORER. “This is summed up in my December 2020 paper for the AAPG Bulletin: ‘Super Basin Thinking: Methods to Explore and Revitalize the World’s Greatest Petroleum Basins.’ I plan to discuss the ‘Super Basin toolkit’ – a way to approach each basin based on global observations from many basins.”
Courses and Workshops
In the field of geophysics, the IMAGE ‘21 program will also include exciting new developments in seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation with a breathtaking array of cutting- edge technical developments, as well as a full range of virtual postconvention workshops, enabling attendance for all. Technical and special sessions will highlight fiber optic technology, including a special DAS tutorial session on Monday. Other presentations not to miss include highlights from the 2020 Unconventional Resources and Technology Conference, as well as geoscience opportunities beyond oil and gas.
IMAGE ’21 will offer a variety of short courses and special panels allowing attendees to increase the scope of their knowledge while interacting and networking with like-minded professionals. Find out more about these educational offerings and featured events on the following pages.
There are also five in-person field trips available to explore the local geology.
On Monday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m., SEG will host a trip to Dinosaur Ridge and Triceratops Trails, which are world-class locations close to Denver that feature Jurassic- and Cretaceous-age (145 to 66 million-year-old) tracks, bones and sedimentary structures. Among other sights, there are triceratops, iguanodon, theropod, ornithopod and hadrosaur tracks; raptor and crocodilian tracks; dinosaur bones; bird and beetle tracks; palm fronds and ripple marks.
SEPM will host a two-day trip, from Sunday Oct. 2 to Monday Oct. 3, to examine classic exposures of the middle to Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian to Campanian) strata of the southern Denver Basin near Pueblo, Colo. Although the focus is on exceptional mudrock and tight sandstone outcrops of the Graneros, Greenhorn, Carlile, and Niobrara formations, currently of great interest for oil and gas exploration, lessons learned are directly applicable to other unconventional systems.
Prior to the convention, from Wednesday Sept. 22 to Sunday Sept. 26, SEPM will also host a four-day field trip to the Book Cliffs of eastern Utah, which are among the most spectacular outcrops of marginal marine strata anywhere in the world. Gentle structural dips and desert-like environments allow for the correlation of stratal units across miles of superb exposure. The Book Cliffs have served as a field analog and laboratory for siliciclastic alluvial and marginal marine systems as well as sequence stratigraphic concepts.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists will host a field trip examining the Codell and Niobrara outcrops of the Northern Front Range. Unconventional petroleum reservoirs productive in the Denver Basin include the Niobrara Formation and the Codell Sandstone. Both units are characterized by low porosity and permeability. These units are well exposed in outcrops along the west flank of the basin and will be the subject of this field trip.
Finally, on Thursday, Sept. 30, SEPM will host a field trip to the Colorado Front Range to revisit some of the outcrops of the Dakota Group described by Bob Weimer and Cooper Land in their landmark paper on the Dakota Group Stratigraphy along the Colorado Front Range in the Golden-Morrison area.