Technical Program

Technical Program

Technical sessions are scheduled for oral and poster presentations beginning 8 a.m., Thursday 4 April and concluding at 5:30 p.m., Friday, 5 April.

Speaker Ready Rooms
AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Rooms 212 and 214 .
Wed., 3 April 3:30p.m.–8 p.m.
Thurs., 4 April 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Fri., 5 April 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Poster Venue
AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Rooms 107 and 108.
Thurs., 4 April, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Fri., 5 April, 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Oral Presentations
Conveners and chairs for all oral sessions are required to keep their sessions on schedule with the help of student volunteers. Speakers are provided with a laser pointer and timer. Each speaker is allotted 20 minutes which includes approximately 17 minutes for presentation and 3 minutes questions. All oral sessions use a single LCD projector and Microsoft PowerPoint software running on Windows-platform computers. The Speaker Ready Room and session rooms have hardwired Internet access. Presenters should have presentation PowerPoint files on a USB memory device to load onto the computer in the session room at least 1-hr before the start of the session if possible. If the presentation uses a MAC system, the presenter must confirm formatting compatibility for presentation using a Windows system. Several Windows platform computers are available in the Speaker Ready Room to review presentation. Those with talks Thursday morning can upload directly to the computers in the session rooms.

Each poster board is 4ʹ × 8ʹ (48ʺ by 96ʺ) horizontal (landscape), with presentation area of approximately 44ʺ × 90ʺ. Posters can be attached by push pin or Velcro, which presenters are encouraged to bring, but which are available in limited quantities from the poster assistant prior to the session. Poster sessions are 8:30 a.m.–noon, Thursday and Friday mornings, and also 1:30 p.m.–5 p.m., Friday afternoon. Authors of posters for the morning session are asked to have their posters in place by 8:30 a.m., and should remove their posters by noon. Authors of posters for the afternoon session are requested to have their posters in place by 1:30 p.m., and should remove their posters by 5:30 p.m. Authors are expected to be available 9–11:30a.m. in the morning sessions, and 2:30–4:30 p.m. in the afternoon session.

Hot Topics

3.The Ophiolite Enigma Resolved.
John Dewey, Natural History Museum, London, UK
This special talk focuses on origins of ophiolite, and suggests that none represent obducted sheets from the young oceanic crust and mantle of large oceans.
4. Two Paleontology Keynotes
The Limits of Fossilization (April 4) and The Silurian Herefordshire Fauna - Soft–Bodied Fossils in Volcanic Ash (April 5) by Derek C. Briggs, the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Geology & Geophysics at Yale University and Director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Technical Sessions

Theme Sessions

  1. Tectonic Evolution of South-Central Laurentia: Megacontinents and Exotic Terranes, Orogenic Belts and Rifts: Celebrating the Career of Wm. R. Muehlberger.
    Ian W. D. Dalziel (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Institute for Geophysics); Staci Loewy Mickler (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Dept. of Geological Sciences); Patricia Wood Dickerson (American Geosciences Institute and University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences).
    DESCRIPTION: Cratons have converged to create megacontinents, continental fragments have been accreted and torn away, crust has formed and been consumed, oceans have opened and disappeared along this margin for more than 1.3 Ga. We invite presentations on the tectonic episodes that have shaped this region from Mesoproterozoic to the present: events for which Muehlberger contributed to our understanding throughout his distinguished career. If presentations of sufficient quality are offered for the session, there is the potential for publication of a memorial research volume or themed issue of a journal.
  2. Origins of Granites: A Tribute to Chappell and White.
    Co-sponsored by TXESS Revolution Program at UT Austin; National Association of Geoscience Teachers
    David London (University of Oklahoma, ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics) and Calvin G. Barnes (Texas Tech University, Dept. of Geosciences).
    DESCRIPTION: Bruce Chappell and Allan White were two of the most influential and dynamic voices in the study of granites and their origins. Their departures leave big shoes to fill in this field. If you identify your work or interests with the origins, properties, or tectonic environments of granites and their many textural variants (at any scale or by any means of study) then we invite you to volunteer a presentation for this theme session. Let your voice be heard.
  3. Teaching Central Texas Geology: Honoring the Career of Leon Long.
    Co-sponsored by GSA Geoscience Education Division; National Association of Geoscience Teachers
    Hilary Olson (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Institute for Geophysics); Laurie Schuur Duncan (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences).
    DESCRIPTION: Dr. Leon Long, fondly known as Captain Geo, has inspired generations of Central Texas geology students and teachers over a career spanning almost 50 years. As a tribute to Leon, we invite K-graduate faculty, as well as geoscientists involved in outreach and teaching beyond the classroom, to present innovative classroom, laboratory and field teaching ideas to an audience of passionate scientists and teachers who have been inspired by Captain Geo and other master educators like him. Ideas and activities with a Central Texas twist are particularly welcome, as are demonstrations or descriptions of interactive, non-traditional teaching methods that go beyond the standard PowerPoint show. There will be an educators' Share-a-thon following the oral session, and we hope that presenters will take advantage of this opportunity to discuss your ideas further and share materials with interested teachers. Note: reduced rates available for K-12 educators.
  4. The Paleontology of Texas: A Session in Honor of Wann Langston, Jr.
    Co-sponsored by GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division
    Michelle R Stocker, William Parker, Ernie Lundelius (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences), Chris Brochu (University of Iowa).
    DESCRIPTION: For over 60 years, Dr. Wann Langston, Jr., has influenced the field of Texas paleontology. Dr. Langston's work encompasses much of the diversity of vertebrates, spans fossils from the Permian to the Tertiary, and contributed heavily to the understanding of the Cretaceous of West Texas. We invite volunteers for presentations honoring Dr. Langston's scientific work for the South-Central GSA meeting in Austin, Texas, April 4-5, 2013.We encourage contributions that mirror his diverse range of research interests, including advances in our understanding of dinosaurs, flying reptiles, crocodilians and other fossil vertebrates, the paleontology of the Big Bend area of Texas and other regions in Texas and the south-central US, as well as field techniques in vertebrate paleontology and the reconstruction of the fossilized skeletons.
  5. The Ouachita Orogenic Belt: Structure, Foreland Basins, Tectonics, and Geophysics.
    Ibrahim Cemen (University of Alabama, Dept. Geological Sciences); Gregory Dumond (University of Arkansas, Dept. of Geosciences); Randy Keller, University of Oklahoma, ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics).
    DESCRIPTION: The Ouachita and Marathon Orogeny appears to be one continuous fold-thrust belt.  Synorogenic sediments derived from the evolving fold-thrust belt were deposited in associated foreland basins and, in some cases, incorporated into the thrust belt as the orogen evolved. The hinterland was strongly deformed and metamorphosed while rocks in the frontal belt were less metamorphosed and undeformed in the foreland basins.  The foreland basins and associated stratigraphy in the fold-thrust belt contain a large amount of unconventional gas-shale and oil shale reservoirs. Therefore, a better understanding of the structural/tectonic evolution is very important to determine their economic significance. This session will explore the geometry and kinematics of these transitions, including the stratigraphy, provenance, characteristics, and the economic potential of rocks within the foreland basins and the fold-thrust belt. This session will be a showcase for researchers who study fold-thrust belts and associated foreland basins of the Ouachita-Marathon Orogeny and provide a formal discussion for understanding many important questions related to the sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, and tectonics of the orogen.
  6. Delving Deeper into Petrogenesis: Advances in Petrology and Geochronology with Applications to Tectonics.
    Co-Sponsors: GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division; GSA Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology Division
    Jeff Marsh (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Dept. of Geological Sciences); David Young (University of Texas, San Antonio); Eric Kelly and Spencer Seman (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Dept. of Geological Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: Much of our understanding of deep crustal and mantle processes depends upon petrological and geochronological studies of natural rocks. Continued advances in laboratory analytical techniques and quantitative modeling of mineral-chemical systems have improved the precision and accuracy of chemical and isotopic analyses, as well as our understanding of links between petrological and geochronological data, and breadth of applicability to geological problems. As a result, carefully integrated petrological and geochronological data have become increasingly important in defining the (sub)grain-scale to lithosphere-scale processes that accompany plate motion. This session welcomes contributions from a range of topics within the fields of structural geology, metamorphic and igneous petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology that present new developments in these fields and/or their application to regional or process-oriented tectonics research.
  7. New Ideas about the Geologic Evolution and Petroleum Potential of the Gulf of Mexico.
    Robert J. Stern (University of Texas at Dallas, Geosciences Dept.); Peter D. Clift (Louisiana State University, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics).
    DESCRIPTION: Rifted continental margins around the Gulf of Mexico provide remarkable opportunities for collaborative investigations by academic and industrial geoscientists. In this session we solicit presentations from both more experienced and student workers concerning the tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico, the stratigraphic evolution of its margins and the implications that these processes have for the accumulation of hydrocarbons in the basin. We are particularly interested in understanding the nature of rifted crust, how strain was accommodated during Mesozoic rifting, the tectonic setting that caused the basin to open, and the nature of the sediment fill. The Gulf of Mexico has become a classic area for the study of salt re-mobilization, as well as for the growth of major deltas and their impact on subsidence and sedimentation patterns. How have salt and delta interacted over geological time and how has the tectonic development of the Gulf of Mexico related to that of surrounding crust in North America? How has the climatic evolution of North America influenced the stratigraphy and basin structure of the Gulf of Mexico?
  8. Novel Geochemical and Isotopic Approaches to Reconstructing Sedimentary Provenance, Sediment Dispersal, and Paleogeography of the Gulf of Mexico.
  9. Temporal and Kinematic Linkage Between Rifting in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Atlantic Margins and the Influence of CAMP.
  10. Results from EarthScope and Related Studies in the South-Central United States.
    Co-sponsored by GSA Geophysics Division; GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division
    Jay Pulliam (Baylor University and University of Texas at Austin); Harold Gurrola (Texas Tech University, Dept. of Geosciences).
    DESCRIPTION: EarthScope's Transportable Array will complete its traverse across the South-Central Region in 2013 and new results concerning the structure of the region's crust and mantle are emerging from transportable array and other data acquisition efforts.  GSA's South-Central region should benefit disproportionately compared to many other regions of the U.S. from the densification of seismological instrumentation provided by EarthScope because it has historically been under-instrumented and the very thick sediment cover. This session will provide a forum for presenting new results concerning the region's basement and lithospheric structure that are being facilitated by these new geophysical data.  Presentations that synthesize data analyses will be encouraged as well.
  11. Magmatic and Metamorphic Petrology in the South-Central United States.
  12. Desired Future Conditions and Modeled Available Groundwater: The New Groundwater Management Paradigm in Texas.
    W F (Kirk) Holland and John Dupnik (Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, Austin TX).
    DESCRIPTION: This session focuses on science, policy, and the intersection of science and policy in implementing the statutorily required approach to groundwater management in Texas.  Topics address the methods, tools, challenges, and pitfalls in the following areas: developing Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) of aquifers; converting DFCs to Modeled Available Groundwater estimates (MAGs) of total withdrawals that are consistent with achieving the DFCs; estimating non-permitted exempt use as part of MAGs; monitoring compliance with adopted DFCs; subdividing Groundwater Management Areas on the basis of hydrogeologic characteristics for improving groundwater management; managing private-property groundwater for the common good in a property-rights state; evaluating and regulating over-allocated aquifer resources; and regionalizing groundwater management via multiple decentralized jurisdictions.
  13. The Role of the Geosciences in Water Sustainability: Examples, Challenges, and Societal Impacts.
    Co-sponsored by GSA Hydrogeology Division; GSA’s Geology and Society Division
    David M. Borrok, Durga D. Poudel (School of Geosciences, University of Louisiana at Lafayette), and Johnathan R. Bumgarner (US Geological Survey).
    DESCRIPTION: The geosciences are playing an increasingly important role in understanding key societal challenges, ranging from energy production to the sustainability of water and food resources.  Although the scale of these challenges often necessitates large inter- and multi-disciplinary collaborations, geosciences play a central role.  Here we invite contributions that focus on the role of geosciences (e.g., geochemistry, hydrology, biogeochemistry, water resources, engineering geology, climate science, environmental science) in the rapidly-developing research area of water sustainability. This topic includes both surface and groundwater resources and covers a broad range of environments, including the deserts of West Texas, the Gulf Coast, and urban settings. Contributions dealing with any aspect of geosciences' role in water sustainability are welcome; however, we particularly encourage contributions that synthesize multiple aspects of the sustainability problem. We encourage contributors to highlight the emerging challenges and opportunities in this research area.
  14. Proxy Records of Abrupt Holocene Climate and Environmental Change.
    Mark R. Besonen (Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences); Peter D. Clift (Louisiana State University, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics); Rong Fu (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Dept. of Geological Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: This session focuses on abrupt climate and environmental change events that have occurred during the Holocene. Records from all locations and using any type of proxy are welcomed. We further encourage studies that attempt to consider the relationship between environmental impact and early human societal development and explore the concept of the anthropocene. We particularly welcome abstract submissions from graduate students.
  15. Climate Change, Earth Process and Human Impacts in Determining Earth's Landscapes.
    Rong Fu (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Dept. of Geological Sciences); Suzanne A. Pierce (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy).
    DESCRIPTION: Understanding of interaction between climate change, earth's processes and human impacts represents a great challenge in advancing our ability to understand the earth's past and to predict earth's future environment.  However, the interaction between these research communities is very limited.  This interdisciplinary session aims at bringing together climate, earth process and land use researchers to facilitate a dialog among them.  The session welcomes abstracts that address climate variability on all time scales, especially based on proxy data, related to earth process and human impacts.  Studies that address interactions between climate, earth processes and human impacts are especially encouraged.
  16. Scientific Ocean Drilling and the Reconstruction of Past Environments.
  17. Coastal and Estuarine Sedimentary Processes in Modern and Holocene Systems.
    Tim Dellapenna (Texas A&M University, Marine Sciences, Galveston); Elizabeth Heise (University of Texas at Brownsville, Dept. of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: This session will focus on linkages between sedimentary process and stratigraphy within coastal and estuarine systems, with special emphasis on records of processes in modern strata and linkages between sedimentary processes. Coastal and estuaries are dynamic marine sedimentary systems that operate through a series of feedback loops, both responding to natural as well as anthropogenic alterations.  These responses vary widely and are often recorded either in the geomorphology or stratigraphy of the system.  These systems can host highly productive ecosystems, which can have varying influences on the sedimentology and morphodynamics of the system and which can also be greatly impacted by these alterations.  This session will broadly address sedimentary dynamics of coastal and estuarine systems as well as the natural record of these systems, including responses to anthropogenic, climatic, episodic storm, and seismically driven impacts, and linkages between sedimentary processes and benthic habitats, using high-resolution geophysics, stratigraphic analyses, field observations, and modeling.
  18. Reefs and Reef-like Buildups of North America: Modern and Deep-time Biological and Climate Records and Exploration Potential.
    Ann Molineux (Texas Natural Science Center, University of Texas at Austin); Robert W. Scott (University of Tulsa, Dept. of Geosciences).
    DESCRIPTION: Throughout geologic time the array of key framework and mound constructing biota has changed in response to major paleoclimatic changes and evolutionary innovations. This session will examine the record and significance of these paleocommunity modifications as records of climate and oceanographic changes as well as the relevance of these changes to an understanding of modern reefs and to hydrocarbon exploration models.
  19. From Micro to Nano: Applications of Electron Microbeam Techniques in the Geosciences.
  20. Frontiers in 3D Imaging for Geoscience.
  21. Fractures, Faults, and Fluids: From Observations to Numerical Models.
    Estibalitz Ukar (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Bureau of Economic Geology); John M. Sharp (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Dept. of Geological Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: The flow of hydrocarbons, water, and solutes and colloids (including contaminants) through rock systems is highly dependent on fault and fracture networks. A fundamental understanding of coupled mechanical and chemical processes is necessary in order to advance our ability to understand the way in which fracture networks form and evolve, and their ability to transport fluids. We encourage contributions that integrate field, laboratory, and numerical modeling, from the macro-scale geometry to finer-scale microfractures. We seek contributions from varied backgrounds, such as groundwater, hydrocarbon resources, and CO2 sequestration that highlight recent advances and future directions in the characterization of fractured media as well as fluid flow and transport monitoring.
  22. Nano-Petrophysics and Fluid Flow in Porous Media.
    Co-sponsored by GSA Hydrogeology Division
    Qinhong Hu (The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: With the rapid advances in exploration and development of hydrocarbons in unconventional resources, there is new attention on petrophysical characterization of nano-sized pore spaces. Fluid flow and chemical transport in rock are affected by a rock's porosity, permeability, and tortuosity, which are macroscopic consequences of the micro- or nano-scale pore structure.  The pore structure integrates geometry (e.g., pore shape, pore-size distribution) and topology (e.g., pore connectivity). This session will present various experimental approaches to petrophysical characterization, aiming to improve our understanding of how nano-petrophysics affects hydrocarbon recovery in unconventional resources.
  23. Soil as a Mediator of Geological Processes.
    M.H. Young (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Bureau of Economic Geology); T.G. Caldwell (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Bureau of Economic Geology).
    DESCRIPTION: Many important Earth processes are controlled by properties in the upper 2 meter of the biosphere. This interface between soil, plants, and the atmosphere can impact a broad array of processes, including biogeochemical evolution of rock and waters, groundwater recharge, , evapotranspiration, and regional atmospheric circulation patterns. Describing and quantifying surface geological processes cannot be done effectively without site specific soil information.  Moreover, soil-mediated drivers of hydrological and biogeochemical processes are intrinsically heterogeneous across spatial and temporal scales spanning several orders of magnitude. In this session, we seek to highlight the role played by Earth’s biosphere.  We are interested in laboratory, field and numerical approaches that highlight how the soil moderates or controls biospheric (geological, hydrological and biogeochemical) processes. The goal is to more fully connect soil science and geoscience processes to better understand our physical world and to better address critical questions affecting society.
  24. Building Comprehensive Models of Epicratonic Paleoenvironments from Integrated, Basin-Scale, Lithostratigraphic and Chemostratigraphic Datasets.
    Harry Rowe and Stephen Ruppel (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Bureau of Economic Geology).
    DESCRIPTION: The growing need to more closely characterize thick packages of strata for basic and applied purposes, coupled with recent technological advances in analytical instrumentation, has created the opportunity to integrate stratigraphic shifts in rock chemistry and lithology at a fine (sub-meter) scale, and to thus refine our understanding of spatial variations in sediment distribution and type, and the role of water column and pore-water conditions during and soon after deposition. This session seeks to highlight recent advances in linking lithostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, and related datasets of regional scale (e.g., outcrops, subsurface logs, seismic, and geophysics) to better define environmental conditions and depositional processes during deposition. Emphasis is placed on geological case studies that help define the scales of sedimentological variations, the optimum approaches at each scale and their limitations, and methods for scaling up observations to the basin scale. Studies that attempt to address the timeframe of deposition based on the characterization of depositional cyclicity are also welcome.
  25. New Directions on Basin Analysis; Linking Structure with Stratigraphy using Geochemical and Isotopic Techniques.
  26. Engaging the Next Generation of Geoscientists.
    Co-sponsored by the TXESS Revolution Program at UT Austin; DIG (Diversity and Innovation in Geosciences) Texas Alliance
    Kathy Ellins (University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Institute for Geophysics); Laurie Serpa, (University of Texas El Paso, Dept. of Geological Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: Employment in geoscience-related occupations increased by 52,377 (29%) between 2001 and 2010. AGI projects between 145,000 and 202,000 unfilled geoscience jobs by 2021, a workforce need that underscores the importance of preparing students for geoscience careers. Efforts that address this need must include all Americans, especially minorities, who are the fastest growing groups of the U.S. population but the most underrepresented in geoscience careers. This session focuses on successful strategies and innovative programs that engage and prepare the next generation of geoscientists. We welcome abstracts from faculty and researchers, including those at 2-year colleges, K-12 educators, and representative of geoscience industries, state and local agencies, and geoscience consortia.
  27. Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy.
  28. Undergraduate Research (Posters).
    Elizabeth Heise (University of Texas at Brownsville, Dept. of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences).
    DESCRIPTION: This session will highlight the results of undergraduate research projects. All undergraduate researchers are encouraged to participate.
  29. A Tale of Two Aquifers: Deciphering Characteristics of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers in Central Texas.
    Marcus Gary (Edwards Aquifer Authority).
    DESCRIPTION: This special session will be held at Natural Bridge Caverns, a large commercial cave that is formed in both the Edwards and Trinity Group limestones. Includes a poster session, cave tour, dinner, drinks, and a special oral session held underground in the cave.
    Special Note: If you submit an abstract to this session, you must also sign up to attend Field Trip #12.


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