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Geoscience and Utah

How does geoscience affect Utah?
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is currently releasing State Geoscience Information factsheets that show the role geoscience plays in powering our state’s economy. The Geoscience and Utah Factsheet highlights information from many Utah geoscience areas including, employment, water, minerals, energy and hazards.
Below is page 1 of the Utah factsheet showing an overview of the economic contributions that geology and geoscience bring to Utah.

AGI’s Geoscience Policy team created State Geoscience Information factsheets to inform geoscientists and decision makers on how geoscience impacts their state.

Download the Utah Geoscience Information factsheet

2017 Crawford Award

The prestigious 2017 Crawford Award was presented to State Paleontologist James Kirkland in recognition of his work in “The Lower Cretaceous in East-Central Utah—The Cedar Mountain Formation and its Bounding Strata”, from Geology of the Intermountain West, Volume 3, Utah Geological Association.

Most think of Utah as the “real Jurassic Park” because of the important dinosaur collections excavated from the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation. However, the number of new and existing dinosaurs that Jim has discovered, excavated, and described from the Cedar Mountain Formation rivals the Morrison. His contributions demonstrate that the Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation is as productive and important to understanding dinosaur diversity and evolution. He has put Utah on the map for Early Cretaceous dinosaur research. Because of his work, Jim is recognized throughout the world as the expert on the Cedar Mountain Formation, its stratigraphy, and dinosaur fauna. This publication is the culmination of a career of studying this formation and the vertebrate fossils it contains; it is the quintessential reference on the Cedar Mountain. It solidifies the regional understanding of the Cedar Mountain lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and environments of deposition. It also formalizes the member names, which he and a co-worker first applied a decade ago. It is well written and well organized with many annotated photographs and detailed illustrations.

The Crawford Award recognizes outstanding achievement, accomplishments, or contributions by a current UGS scientist to the understanding of some aspect of Utah geology or Earth science. The award is named in honor of Arthur L. Crawford, first director of the UGS.

The Gothic Shale of the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation, Greater Aneth Field (Aneth Unit), Southeastern Utah: Seal for Hydrocarbons and Carbon Dioxide

NEW PUBLICATION

The Gothic Shale of the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation, Greater Aneth Field (Aneth Unit), Southeastern Utah: Seal for Hydrocarbons and Carbon Dioxide
By: Jason E. Heath, Thomas A. Dewers, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Stephanie M. Carney, and S. Robert Bereskin

Greater Aneth oil field, Utah’s largest oil producer, has produced over 483 million barrels of oil. Located in the Paradox Basin of southeastern Utah, Greater Aneth is a stratigraphic trap producing from the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation. Because Greater Aneth is a mature, major oil field in the western U.S., and has a large carbonate reservoir, it was selected to demonstrate combined enhanced oil recovery and carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The Gothic shale seals the underlying Desert Creek oil reservoir, both in the Paradox Formation. Within the Aneth Unit in the northwestern part of the field, the Gothic is remarkably uniform, consisting of 7 to 26 feet (2–8 m) of black to gray, laminated to thin-bedded, dolomitic marine shale.

This 31-page Miscellaneous Publication is a detailed evaluation of the Gothic seal in the Aneth Unit and its effectiveness at supporting large CO2 and hydrocarbon columns in the Desert Creek reservoir below. This study includes geochemical, petrological, petrophysical, and geomechanical analyses that determined (1) the geologic controls on sealing effeciency, (2) effects of pressure changes on the seal due to CO2 injection and storage, and (3) possible chemical interaction between CO2 and the seal at its contact with the reservoir through time.

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