Learning occurs as students work first in small groups and then as a whole class to compare predicted seismic wave travel times, generated by students from a scaled Earth model, to observed seismic data from a recent earthquakes. This activity uses models, real data and emphasizes the process of science.
Silly Putty™ allows students to discover that the structure we see in rocks provides evidence for they type of stress that formed. Students apply this idea by examining images of faults and folds experimentation with sponge models.
The faults and folds in rocks provide evidence that the rocks are subjected to compressional, tensional, and/or shear stress.
Remember the “stadium wave,” when one person stands and raises his hands in the air and the motion is translated completely around the arena? This simple kinesthetic demonstration uses a similar principal by sending seismic waves through a line of people to illustrate the difference between P waves and S waves propogating through various materials. Lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, students to "become" the material that P and S waves travel through so that once "performed," the principles of seismic waves will not be easily forgotten.
Students will work in small groups to compare the rate of icequake occurrence in Greenland to measured air temperature over time. This activity emphasizes the Earth systems concept by connecting seismic and atmospheric data sets from Greenland, and links climate change, glacial melting, and seismic activity.
In this activity, students explore of the concept of probability and the distribution of earthquake sizes, and then work to understand how earthquake hazards are described by probabilities. Students then work in small groups to collect and analyze data from a simple physical earthquake model and use online data to investigate and compare the earthquake hazards in California and Missouri.
In this multi-step lab, students explore the concepts of seismic wave propagation through materials with different mechanical properties, and examine seismic evidence from a recent earthquake to infer Earth’s internal structure and composition. This lab is designed to be done with an instructor present to answer questions and guide students to conclusions
Students work in small groups to analyze and interpret Global Positioning System (GPS) and seismic data related to “mysterious ground motions” first along the northern California coastline, and then in British Columbia. This activity emphasizes the analysis and synthesis of multiple types of data and introduces a mode of fault behavior known as Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS)
Students work in small groups to evaluate the merit of a predictive hypothesis for volcanoes by analyzing and comparing earthquake event data for the world, region during a time of no earthquake swarms and during an earthquake swarm. This activity uses a global data set as well as a data set form the Yellowstone Hotspot region.
Lecture Material on the concepts of Stress and Strain. Requires knowledge of vectors and tensors, as well as some matrix algeabra. Concepts such as eleastic and plastic deformation are discussed. This material could be used in conjunction with Stein and Wysession, Introduction to Seismology textbook, Chapter 2.
This lecture and exercise material is given as the introduction to a course on the petroleum industry.
The intended audience is undergraduate students majoring in a branch of geosciences. This course assumes that you have had physical and historical geology, and several other geoscience courses.
Seismic reflection provides information about the subsurface stratigraphy and allows geoscientists to makes inferences regarding the geologic structure. This lesson introduces the concepts of frequency, period, and wavelength, and their relationships to velocity and density structure. An introduction to waveform polarity is included, along with the standard Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) convention.
Working in both small groups and as a whole class, students investigate the classic Earth science analogy: "Seismic waves radiate outward from an earthquake's epicenter like ripples on water". A discrepant image connects the unfamiliar concept of the spreading out of seismic waves to the more familiar scenario of ripples on water radiating outwards in all directions after a droplet falls onto a pool.
All buildings have a natural frequency of oscillation or resonance frequency. When seismic waves shake the ground beneath a building at its resonance frequency, the structure will begin to sway back and forth. This concept can be demonstrated in the classroom using the BOSS Model Lite as a discrepant event demonstration to engage students in earthquake-engineered buildings.
In this lab, students investigate a hotly debated topic relevant in the political, economic, and scientific arenas. They will examine the processes involved in unconventional oil and gas resource production, including hydraulic fracturing. In particular, they will examine nearby seismic activity and will be asked to determine if correlations can be established between fluid injection related to hydrofracking or wastewater disposal, and earthquake activity.
This Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) investigation allows students to explore and explain the occurrence of earthquakes and quantify the hazards they present. Students use a physical model, the earthquake machine, to explore the inputs and outputs of a natural system in Earth, to generate empirical evidence about the behavior of that system, and predict how that system may behave in the future.
When organic material is contained and 'cooked' over time with proper temperature and pressure conditions, the formation may be a source rock that contains hydrocarbons. The source rock is the first of the essential elements necessary for hydrocarbon generation. This lesson introduces the source rock concept, and lays out what organic matter is needed and the proper environmental conditions necessary for hydrocarbon generation. The lecture material ends with a discussion about how a basin can be modeled to determine whether hydrocarbons are present.
A reservoir rock is the second essential element for a hydrocarbon play. This lesson follow that on 'Source Rocks', which is the first essential element for an effective hydrocarbon play. Students will learn about different terms (like porosity and permeability) that help to describe different types of reservoirs (conventional vs. unconventional). In addition, students will learn different geologic terms that will help to define and describe different environments of deposition (EODs).
Structural analysis involves examination of all of the significant processes that formed a basin and deformed its sedimentary fill from basin-scale processes (e.g., plate tectonics) to centimeter-scale processes (e.g., fracturing). This lesson explores the seismic processing techniques that can resolve the formation and deformation of potential hydrocarbon fields.
Hydrocarbon seal rocks are rock units with low permeability that impede the escape of hydrocarbons from the reservoir rock, like evaporites, chalks and shales. This lesson also explores the question that if given a particular trap, how much oil or gas can it hold? The student will examine the effectiveness of a given seal rock, and a particular trap to hold hydrocarbons.
Build a Better wall is an activity developed by FEMA for their "Seismic Sleuths" instructional booklet for students to help with earthquake mitigation. This activity helps students learn how diagonal braces, shear walls, and rigid connections strengthen a structure to carry forces resulting from earthquake shaking.
A new venture in the petroleum industry is the starting point for a potential oil and gas field. This lesson cover how companies work towards placing bids on license areas (blocks). Regional information on the Gippsland basin is also presented, and helps to lead towards a discussion of a mock lease sale of fifteen (15) blocks in the Gippsland basin.
Students will discover how scientists in the oil and gas industry risk a prospect. A manager wants to know what we think is the most likely volume of HC we expect, and the chance that this prospect will actually have that amount of HC. The bigger the possible “prize,” the more risk the manager would be willing to take on. What are the steps that petroleum geoscientists take to examine what the play will produce?
This lesson gives a brief overview of seismic data acquisition. Acquisition surveys are expensive and critical - a lot of science goes into survey design and acquisition. The ultimate goal is to create a 2D line or 3D volume of seismic data that adequately samples the geology being mapped, and optimizes the data through signal enhancement and noise reduction.
This lesson is an overview of seismic data processing. Seismic data acquisition and seismic data processing work together to produce the best earth image. Ideally, processed seismic data should represent the true earth response. In practice, however, the processed data will only be an approximation. The challenge is to estimate and remove the effects of non-geologic signals, without impacting the amplitude and phase of the primary reflections.
A (one might say the) fundamental problem in science is finding a mathematical representation, hopefully with predictive or insightful benefits, that describes a physical phenomenon of interest. In seismology, one such classic problem is determining the seismic velocity structure of the Earth from travel time or other measurements made on seismograms (seismic tomography). The document below provides lecture notes and an associated exercise to be completed in Matlab.
To understand plate tectonic processes and hazards, and to better understand where future earthquakes are likely to occur, it is important to locate earthquakes as they occur. In this activity students use three-component seismic data from recent earthquakes to locate a global earthquake.
Like other waves, seismic waves obey the laws of physics. In this activity Physics students have the opportunity to apply their understanding of the basic concepts of waves (e.g. reflection, refraction and transmission of energy) as they examine seismic data to determine how far it is from the surface to the bedrock.
This activity allows the students to select a global region of interest and to interrogate the earthquake catalog to obtain quantitative data on the rate of occurrence of earthquakes of various magnitudes within their chosen region. Products lead to discussions of earthquake prediction and forcasting.
Following a large or newworthy earthquake it is common for many geoscientists to be contacted by the medial. in this role playing activity, using the May 12, 2008 - Sichuan Earthquake as an example students must make an assessment of the earthquake in order to become prepared to discuss the event with the news media.
This lesson will help to answer the question: 'What is 3D Seismic Data?'. Students will learn about the advantages of a 3D seismic survey, and how to plan a survey of their own. In addition, students will learn about the techniques used to process 3D seismic data, most notably the method of coherency.
This lesson defines and describes the steps utilized in seismic interpretation: reconaissance, mapping major offsets, mapping horizons, and mapping small-offset faults. After the students have learned about these different steps in detail, they then apply this knowledge to an exercise. With their knowledge and application, the students should be able to generate a geologica framework.
The fundamentals of stratigraphy come from the study of modern deposits and sedimentay outcrops. Wells allow us to study subsurface stratigraphy with cores and logs, at single or multiple locations. We can also analyze subsurface geology using seismic reflection data, and these observations can then be turned into stratigraphic predictions with depositional models.
Sedimentary rocks are critical to oil and gas, whose types include source, reservoir, and seal rocks. Thus, we need to understand the sediminatary fill and the stratigraphic sequence within an area of interest. We can examine the location and rock properties of stratigraphic units through seismic data.
Given a set of sequence boundaries, we want to predict lithologies within each sequence with seismically-derived information and begin to consider where potential reservoir rocks offer us a drilling target. Our goal is to predict where we have potential reservoirs capped by potential seals.
Seismic attributes are mathematical descriptions of the shape or other characteristics of a seismic trace over a specified time (depth) interval. Seismic attributes are used to help in mapping stratigraphic features. Seismic attributes are used for qualitative analysis (e.g., data quality, seismic facies mapping) and quantitative analysis (e.g., net sand, porosity prediction).
In this lecture and exercises, you will estimate the ultimate recovery (EUR) of a hydrocarbon prospect. Once a prospect has been identified, the major business question is what will be the profit. The EUR is the amount of oil/gas that can be produced and sold. This material will help provide a step-by-step in how to obtain an EUR.
This lesson covers the development phase of an asset's life, and also reviews the exploration and production phases of the life cycle. In the exploration phase, there is an opportunity to capture opportunities and discover hydrocarbons through large-scale to finer-scale analyses. The three (3) major considerations in the development phase are: (1) the area and thickness of the oil or gas reserves so we can estimate the volume; (2) the internal architecture of the reservoir rocks; and (3) how the reservoir is broken into separate compartments to be produced. The last stage of an asset's life is the production phase.
Explore the “hot topic” of induced earthquakes with your students through an activity built on the Argument Driven Inquiry (ADI ) framework that supports three-dimensional learning. Students propose, support, evaluate, and revise ideas through data gathering, argumentation, and discussion.
Students will produce P and S waves using a Slinky© to understand how seismic waves transfer energy as they travel through solids. All types of waves transmit energy, including beach waves, sound, light, and more. The velocity difference between the faster compressive P wave and the slower shearing S wave helps seismologists locate an earthquake’s epicenter.
The goal in our work is to make use of all pertinent data at a multitude of scales. The largest scale is mega-regional data, such as the plate tectonic history and paleogeographic maps. We also want data near to or within our study area – more local data - such as topography and surface geology. In the exercise, you will briefly consider the play elements for fifteen (15) offshore blocks in the Gippsland Basin, with the goal to gain information to place bids on some of these blocks.