Our Australian Geology #FieldTrip: Changing flat tires in yoga pants

Blog Post created by rkernen on Aug 8, 2016

We're full of life and strong as ever. 


geologists in the field changing a tireAfter missing our flight to Adelaide, luggage being lost for days, flat tires, a broken stove and refrigerator we are finally able to begin our field work. 


Our first week was amazing…frost in the morning and sunny skies during the day. Our second week started out rainy and became warm, so warm the mosquitoes came out in full force.  We had cycles of intense rain followed by frost, sun, and high winds the last two weeks.  We fought the elements with our Patagonia jackets and took to shelter when the flooding made the dirt roads unsafe for travel.  


The weather becomes the focal point of your life while collecting data in the field. 


We use iPhones and iPads loaded with Midland Valley’s Field Move and Clino apps to take directional measurements of rocks in three dimensions, measure the thickness of specific rock types, collect samples and photos.  This data is then used to make geologic maps, stratigraphic diagrams and conceptual geologic models. The rock samples are taken to a lab for geochemical analyses which are used to build graphs and charts to analytically describe the conceptual geologic models.  Thin sections are made which allow geologists to view the rocks under a microscope and interpret rock type and fluid behavior. Ultimately my goal is to integrate field geology with analytic data to tell a comprehensive ‘geologic story.’


climbing rocks geologists petroleumProjects such as these develop the science behind petroleum geology.  This work can be used to describe and identify new hydrocarbon plays or how to manage the reservoir of a producing hydrocarbon field in a salt basin.  Often times field and research geology are the first expenses to be cut from an oil company’s budget, however it is important to identify which research consortiums are advancing petroleum science and producing quality geoscientists. 



All and all a holistic view of geologic processes that address business-driven questions will be the key to advancing petroleum geology.        


Haven't read the series?  Go back and read the first one:  Energy Field Trip: 'Rocking' it out in Australia


Or post your own Field Trip here in Pink Petro. If you're not a member, join!


Until we see you again....