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Tue, May 10


Fort Worth

FWGS May 2022 Luncheon

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FWGS May 2022 Luncheon
FWGS May 2022 Luncheon

Time & Location

May 10, 2022, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM CDT

Fort Worth, 777 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA


Event Details

Baylor – Ben Sadler

Ben Sadler grew up in Dallas, received his B.S. degree from Purdue University in 2018, and is now a 4th year geophysics PhD student at Baylor University, where he is advised by Dr. Jay Pulliam. His work focuses on using teleseismic earthquakes as sources for modeling deep crustal structure in the American Southwest.


Modeling Lithospheric Structure in the Permian Basin by Waveform-Matching P Receiver Functions and Autocorrelations with Particle Swarm Optimization

Although the shallow lithospheric structure of the Permian Basin has been studied intensively, primarily for oil and gas exploration, the deep lithospheric structure is poorly constrained. This is the case for several reasons. First, the basin possesses a thick sediment cover that hinders traditional survey techniques. Second, the state was monitored only sparsely by sensitive, three-component broadband seismometers until recently. Yet the region’s structure most likely contains artifacts from numerous tectonic events that, if identified and modeled, would provide valuable constraints on, for example, the assembly of Laurentia in the West Texas region (~1.4 Ga), the Grenville Orogeny (~1.1 Ga), the development and evolution of the Tobosa/Permian Basin, and the formation of Pangea and the Ouachita Orogeny (~300 Ma).

Data appropriate for receiver function (RF) imaging are now available from the statewide TexNet, as well as from EarthScope’s USArray and Transportable Array (TA). Each TA station was installed for two years and TexNet station installations began in 2017, which together provide rich datasets with broad coverage of the region. In my talk, I will describe receiver functions, show how imaging with RFs is similar to seismic reflection imaging, and give examples and preliminary results for the Permian Basin region of a technique that matches both RFs and autocorrelations jointly.

TCU – Aurore Manzi

Aurore Manzi is a geochemist with interest in organic-mineral interactions as they pertain to environmental and industrial applications. She holds a BS (honors-Magna Cum Laude) and MS degree both from Texas Christian University (TCU). Her master’s thesis focused on measuring the energy associated with the interactions of organic molecules on the iron mineral (ferrihydrite). Specifically she studied how these molecules bind and debind to and from the mineral surface. During her scholastic journey she has worked for 3 years as a student research assistant, 1 year as a graduate teaching assistant, and earned a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Her work has been published in a peer reviewed journal most recently in the ACS publication Earth and Space chemistry. As of fall 2022 she will be taking up the fully funded offer to pursue her PhD in environmental engineering at Northwestern University. Aurore hopes to contribute to addressing key societal questions in energy, water, climate, food security, and pollution. In her spare time, Aurore enjoys cooking for friends and talking to her family back home in Rwanda.


New Insights into Organic-Mineral Interactions

Organic-mineral interactions exhibit controlling effects on environmental and industrial processes. Primarily, these effects are observed in soils where minerals control nutrients available for plants and microbes uptake through binding and debinding reactions. With increasing push towards green chemistry, organic-mineral interactions have also opened doors to new technologies in industrial processes. For instance, organics and metal nanomaterials are used to improve the efficiency of solar panels and as alternatives to traditional coatings in the oil and gas industry. In my presentation, I will focus on the interactions between amino-bearing organics, which are building blocks of proteins, with a common iron mineral (ferrihydrite). Specifically, I will address the effect of size and structure of these organics on the energy associated with their interactions on the iron mineral.

UTA – Khawaja Hasnain Iltaf

Khawaja Hasnain Iltaf is a first-year doctoral student and a graduate research assistant in Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Texas at Arlington, studying under Prof. Qinhong Hu. His Ph.D. research is related to geochemical and petrophysical characteristics of the New Albany Shale in Indiana and Illinois. Before coming to UTA, he completed his master’s degree in Geological resources and geological engineering from the China University of Petroleum Beijing (2020) on a fully-funded CSC scholarship. Before that, he received a bachelor’s degree in Geology (2016) from The University of Haripur, Pakistan. He served as an intern and research assistant in different E&P companies and academic institutions. He is also a part of renowned geoscience societies (AAPG, SPE, EEGS, SPWLA, EAGE) and holds a treasurer position for the AAPG-UTA chapter. He also has publications in well-known scientific research journals (Lithosphere, Journal of Earth Science, Energy Geoscience). He can be contacted at


Geochemical and petrophysical characteristics of the New Albany Shale in Indiana and Illinois

The upper Devonian New Albany Shale has become one of the most promising targets for hydrocarbon exploration in the Illinois Basin. The average thickness of the New Albany Shale is 100-140 ft and towards the southwest part of the Illinois Basin the thickness reaches up to 460 ft near the intersection of Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. Geochemical and petrophysical properties of the organic-rich source rocks are key in predicting their hydrocarbons potential. This research utilized 40 rock samples of two drilled wells from the Illinois and Indiana Basin. Here total organic carbon content (TOC), Rock-Eval pyrolysis and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis were performed on the studied samples to decipher the abundance of organic matter, organic matter type, thermal maturation level via vitrinite reflectance and quantitative mineral composition of the New Albany Shale. TOC values of the New Albany Shale range from 0.04-8.59 wt.%, with an average of 4.57 wt.%. Moderate hydrogen index values have been noticed in the studied specimens, with a mean value of 350 mg HC/g TOC. Van Krevelen diagram using pyrolysis oxygen index (OI) and hydrogen index (HI) exhibit the existence of mixed type II/III kerogen with the potential to produce oil/gas. The vacuum saturation technique was utilized to obtain the porosity, bulk density, and grain density. Additionally, the mercury injection and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques were used to understand better the surface features (especially pore characterization) on a smaller scale. Mineral composition using XRD shows high values of quartz, feldspar and clay minerals (illite and kaolinite). The size of the pore throat diameter mostly ranges from 2.8-50 nm zone with an average porosity of 5%. The SAXS results show the average pore size diameter of 1-5 nm in Illinois and Indiana samples. For the more comprehensive unconventional potential, paleoenvironmental conditions and pore characterization, more techniques will be adopted, such as GC-MS, XRF, FE-SEM, thin-section studies (maceral identification), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).


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