Thursday, October 23, 2008

ESF Research Conference On Earthquakes

Today is the last day of the European Science Foundation Research Conference on Earthquakes: NEW CHALLENGES IN EARTHQUAKE DYNAMICS: OBSERVING AND MODELLING A MULTI-SCALE SYSTEM. I look forward to hearing how things went from our friend Mr. Front Row, Stavros Tassos.

Earthquakes are complex phenomena that result from many intervening processes acting at various spatial and time scales. Recent advances in the observation and modelling of earthquakes have shown that faults interact through elastic stress transfer, but also via the activation of thermal, chemical, hydrological and visco-elastic processes, all occurring in a structurally complex medium. Our perception of the diversity of mechanisms by which faults accommodate stress is changing rapidly with our growing ability to instrument the crust. There is an increasing evidence that these interactions are not restricted to the large scales, typical of strong, destructive earthquakes: (i) recent observations have pointed out that small earthquakes can have as strong an influence on stress redistribution as large earthquakes do. Because of their sizes, these small-scale events are difficult to model. However, their influence can be incorporated as a stochastic term, or the errors involved in ignoring them must be estimated. (ii) Frictional models predict that even large earthquake nucleation could take place in very small zones (e.g., ~ 10 m). This implies that earthquakes are sensitive to mechanical conditions and processes acting at these very small scales, which can be significantly different from those characteristic of the regional tectonics. (iii) During rupture propagation, small-scale variations in pre-stress and / or fault geometry, related to the complexity of fault roughness and fault-zone structure, can control both the rupture speed and its total extent. The aim of this conference is to discuss the recent advances in earthquake physics, in particular relating to earthquake interactions (observations, models). An emphasis will be given on the role of small scale processes and structures in controlling large scale earthquakes and regional seismicity. It will promote new, exploratory discussions on how to reconcile large scale regional models with small-scale controls on stress and seismicity.


Quantum_Flux said...

Sorry to be off topic here, but:

According to something I reported on, erosion is a major part of what causes the formation of the top of the continental crust. I hypothesize that the bottom must look different though .... An Analysis of a Report: The Comparison of Hydrologic Data

"The next important parameter for this study was a rough qualitative understanding of the bedrock geology. Groundwater flow and the cycle of nutrients or water quality are somewhat dependent on the characteristics of the erosion of the confining layer. The confining layers that erode the quickest (shale and limestone, etc.) end up forming the valleys and the natural drainage streambeds whereas the confining layers that erode the slowest (sandstone and erosion resistant carbonates) end up forming the highlands and the mountainous peaks of the watersheds. The water from precipitation on the highland areas generally flows down and through the regolith of the lower areas to a point where it empties out into a stream, and it thus carries the indigenous dissolved solids with it which then settle out immediately forming an alluvial embankment and resulting turbulent rapids if the groundwater tributary is in a slow/low moving point part of the stream or the soil sediment may be carried further downstream and be deposited out in a river delta or lake if the groundwater is introduced at a faster point of the stream. At any rate, it is the deposit and the erosion of sediments that is largely responsible for the observed meandering of streamflow in streams and rivers."

....anyhow, continental crust expands and then it erodes from above, but there should be a net expansion, more expansion below the plates than erosion from above the plates, once again due to the changing polarization in the iron magma due to the decompression provided by subduction. There should also be a net global expansion too, but not on the scale of Neil Adams proportions though. Well, save for Anaconda's hypothesis of Birkeland Currents and perhaps also the build up of electrostatic pressures due to fusion of super atoms or other similar hypothesis.

Anaconda said...

Continuing in a Series: Response to Coal Man:

Coal Man's original response can be read in the comments section at Oil Falls Below $70.

Some of my earlier responses can be read at Halliburton Q3 Results.

Coal Man addresses diagenesis.

Coal Man states: "Put some cork in a reaction chamber, and bingo; it spontaneously forms a crude oil like fluid when heated."

Please provide a full citation to a published scientific paper demonstrating the above quote.

The quote is utterly false.

It doesn't happen.

No reputable oil geologist would make a stupid statement like that.

As with most of Coal Man's discussion, he assumes because there is organic contaminates in kerogen, that the contaminates turn into heavy atomic weight hydrocarbons, C215H330.

But he never offers scientific proof that it actually does happpen.

All Coal Man does offer is repeated examples of biological contaminates, never any proof they turn into heavy hydrocarbons, C215H330.

Coal Man has to assume it happens.


Because that's the stated two-step process of "fossil" theory: Organic detritus turns into heavy hydrocarbon, C215H330 as a component of kerogen in the first step called diagenesis and then in the second step called catagenesis, the heavy hydrocarbons are "cracked" into petroleum.

I had asked why oil companies were speding so much money on offshore ultra-deepwater, ultra-deep drilling?

Coal Man responded: "Very easy to answer. No oil company spends any money on looking for oil where there should not be.
Only you are claiming such a thing. The link is as all your links: towards something unrelated.

Feel free to explain to the reader what you think you are talking about. (Did you actually read what you wrote yourself?)"

It's simple: Offshore ultra-deepwater, ultra-deep drilling is looking for oil and already found oil where "fossil" theory predicts there should be no oil.

To put it in scientific terms: Offshore ultra-deepwater, ultra-deep drilling falsifies the "fossil" theory of petroleum formation.

It's a physical observatio -- oil is located where "fossil" theory predicts oil can't exist.

It's too deep, and too hot, in locations where "fossil" theory says oil should not be located because it violates all the tenents of "fossil" theory.

But Coal Man's answer is really a non-answer.

The question is how does "fossil" theory predict oil will be found in these deepsea locations.

The short answer: It doesn't.

Coal Man dodges the question.

Not surprising really.

To "Peak" oil believers Offshore ultra-deepwater, ultra-deep drilling is like putting a cross in the face of a vampire.

They can't bear to see it.

And for oil geologists, the connection between deepsea oil exploration and Abiotic Oil is something they would rather not talk about publically.

No wonder Coal Man squirmed and distorted when it came to the news reports about the geological conditions at the offshore Brazilian oil finds.

On a parting note, I accept Coal Man's explanation for StatoilHydro sponsoring the conference.

It was a big conference. Abiotic Oil was just one of many sessions at the conference.

I stand corrected.

Quantum_Flux said...

Hot Planet Formation....this explanation makes a lot of sense to me.

Anaconda said...


The problem with her hypothesis is that it doesn't account for all the volatile elements in the Earth.

Her proposal of Hot Earth formation would have driven off the lighter gaseous elements. Unless she can provide an explanation why Earth has volatile, gaseous elements.

It's the loosest of hypothesis with little or no scientific back-up.

Anaconda said...


This comment is a follow up to a series of responses to the Coal Man. It's not a direct response, rather, it's a detective story that leads from some of Coal Man's comments, or more accurately, lack of comments.

It's a synthesis.

The trail of abiotic oil in the 'oil patch' is really about putting different pieces of evidence together in a narrative whole, following the clues.

It's a detective story.

The issue that "fossil" fuel advocates, whether geologists, peekers, or oil industry flacks never touch is pressure.

Pressure is critical for maintaining hydrocarbon stability at high temperatures.

But pressure ia also something much more important as far as the oil industry is concerned: A barrier to exploration & production of oil & gas.

Pressure can destroy an oil well, as it did in the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969 off the California coast, where an inadequate casing sleeve was used and the natural pressure of the oil deposit blew out the well.

This accident led to the ban on offshore drilling in American waters.

So pressure containment and control, along with equipment performance under pressure are critical to deep oil & gas exploration.

A petroleum engineer can't consider the egineering of a well site without factoring in the pressure dynamics of the geological formation.

This is known throughout the industry, from day labor 'roughneck' all the way to the corporate boardroom.

But in American and British petroleum circles, that is to say, the Western oil companies, "fossil" theory has prevailed and easy accesss (shallow oil deposits) was the rule, both on "fossil" theory grounds (the 'oil window') and economic grounds (shallow oil is cheaper to produce).

As a result, up until recently the average TVD was less than 8,000 feet. Concerns about pressure over-taxing the equipment were reduced, although, not eliminated.

But technology tends to follow necessity, as a result Western oil drilling equipment had limited capacity to perform under pressure, which as stated before was felt not to be a major concern.

Now to the detective story:

The Coal Man has made several comments, here, on this website. He claims to be an oil geologist in the oil industry. It's hard to know if that claim is true. On the one hand he has demonstrated knowledge on the subject, but also he has made statements that are demonstratably false.

One area that Coal Man conspicuously omitted or ignored is the pressure factor, both in terms of hydrocarbon stability in environments of high temperature and equipment performance.

Not to mention completely bullshitting about the temperature and pressure conditions reported off the Brazil coast.

Is the reason for this omission because he is an internet fraud determined to attack Abiotic Oil theory, but unaware of the centrality of pressure to the issue or is he an oil geologist who knows that pressure is central to the issue, and so for that very reason avoids it, hoping to distract from the trail leading to inescapable conclusion of Abiotic Oil?

Who knows?

Either way it's a telling omission.

In the course of reviewing the documents at the side-bar, I re-read Col. Prouty's letter. This letter's primary point is that water always goes deeper than oil (because it denser) and that oil is now found deeper than fossils. The point being that if oil was "fossil" derived from shallow deposits it would not end up deeper than fossils or water.

Hence oil is abiotic.

But I also saw a scientific paper citation that interested me:

Kropotkin, P. N. (1985) Degassing of the Earth and the Origin of Hydrocarbons, published in the International Geology Review, 27, 1261-1275

I Googled it, but with no luck, although I did find some articles that referred to the cite.

One of them is called Origins of oil.

It had the following passages of interest:

The reserves are so huge and so pressurised they are considered un-tappable. There is no secret where the huge reserves are and there is no need to search for oil. With modern technology the sub-stratas are known, mapped, and vetted. There are no unknown reserves."

The above is debatable, but the interesting phrase is, " pressurised they are considered un-tappable."

The issue of pressure raises its head again.

Further: "Nearly all fields are being topped up from below. The top-up process is known as "Abiotic Oil" from geo-pressurised gas."

Many fields considered "exhausted" have come to life again. The Yates field in Texas is a prime example. Such fields stop flowing when the source of inflowing oil from below becomes blocked as a paper filter becomes clogged and impregnable. Nature finds another path and the oil field can be tapped again."

This website and I have documented the many oil fields that are like the Energizer Bunny, they keep going and going...both in the United States and around the world.

"Russia is a now a big oil producer because they understand the process and drill at depths better than 30,000 feet (9,000 metres)."

At the Brae B, in the North Sea, they went too deep on one of the first production wells and hit a reservoir of geo-pressured gas. The pressure was so great it started lifting fifteen thousand feet of drill pipe, drill mud, and a drill stem nearly three miles long. There is so much methane in the earth that they wanted to AVOID hitting this deep reservoir. At that time it was considered just too dangerous to exploit. That has now changed thanks to the Russian technology."

And finally:

"In Australia the North Rankin "A" platform was developed to exploit the Carnarvon basin which is just off the northwest coast of Australia near Karratha. When North Rankin was built it was the biggest gas platform in the world. For twenty years now it has been producing at the rate of 180 million c.f. of gas p/day., and 47,000 tons of condensate per day. It shows absolutely no sign of slowing down."

Russian Technology.

That is the key.

The Russians have been working to produce deep oil for a long time because of their belief in Abiotic Oil theory. As a result Russia developed drilling equipment that could withstand the huge pressure that comes with deep drilling.

Russia, in that particular aspect, definitly not in others, like offshore drilling and seismic imaging, was decades ahead of the Western oil companies.

Prior to the Fall of the Soviet Union, this high pressure technology was considered a state secret, but in the 1990's after the Fall of the Soviet Union, Russian technology was for hire.

And Western oil companies were eager to gain the technology because at the same time it was becoming clear that ultra-deepwater, ultra-deep drilling was promising, regardless of the "oil window" preached by Western oil geologists. Too many rumors were coming out of Russia of deep oil & gas finds.

And offshore oil exploration was smartly walking out further and further offshore -- number one rule: keep going until you don't find any oil -- that has never happened in the offshore sector of the oil industry.

Popular media reports in the latter half of the '90's started the process of informing the American public that oil was in fact abiotic.

Reputable mainstream media outlets were reporting from the 'oil patch' whether on the land or sea that oil was abiotic -- and the oil industry wasn't complaining too loudly about the reports.

The tide was going towards recognition of Abiotic Oil theory.

But then the oil "crash" of the late 1990's happened where oil dropped to under $10 a barrel.

Talk of Abiotic Oil theory dropped off the media radar screen.

"Fossil" theory was back in vogue.

Then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney got into office and after a series of secret "Energy Policy" meetings, a Cheney associate, Mathew Simmons (who was a participant at the meetings), and others went to work hiping "Peak" oil.

It's a detective story or was a detective story until ultra-deepwater, ultra-deep drilling hit a crescendo of activity off the coast of Brazil.

The oil finds have been too spectacular to hide. The conditions of high pressure and high temperature too far outside the "fossil" theory 'oil window' to explain away.

The Coal Man whether a fraud or not, can't lie the Brazil story away.

Russian Abiotic Oil theory, Russian high pressure, high temperature drilling equipment technology, Western offshore drilling technology and seismic imaging have been married to allow the deepest abiotic oil fields to be exploited.

Sam Spade is smiling.