HGS Luncheon Austin Chalk and Eaglebine

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HGS Luncheon at the Petroleum Club featuring Christine Griffith talking on the Austin Chalk and Art Donovan speaking on the Eaglebine formation.

Wednesday, September 27
The Petroleum Club of Houston
1201 Louisiana Street, 35th floor, Houston, TX
- If you valet park PCOH will provide a discount coupon, the Petroleum Club does NOT validate parking
Social 11:15 AM, Luncheon 11:30 AM- 1:00 PM
Cost: $50 pre-registered members, Emeritus, Honorary Life; $60 for non-members and ALL walk-ups;

To guarantee a seat, you must pre-register on the HGS website and pre-pay with a credit card.  You may walk up and pay at the door if extra seats are available.  Please cancel by phone or email within 24 hours before the event for a refund.  

Special Cretaceous-Stratigraphy Double Header Featuring Two Amazing Talks

Regional Sequence Stratigraphy and Facies of the Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk in South and Central Texas and Evolution of the Maverick Basin and San Marcos Arch  

Dr. Christine Griffith, Ph.D Texas A&M University, College Station TX

A regional sequence stratigraphic framework, based on well-log correlations, outcrop and core observations, and new detailed nannofossil biostratigraphy from three wells across the San Marcos Arch, indicates that Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk consists of three asymmetric, unconformity-bound, composite stratigraphic sequences.  Sequence boundaries are recognized in core by hardgrounds, firm grounds, and lithoclasts, overlain by transgressive glauconitic skeletal packstone beds that coincide with biostratigraphic hiatuses. Glauconitic units have distinctive character in well logs, can be widely correlated, and overlie angularly truncated beds.

The lowest sequence AC–I (upper Turonian–middle Coniacian) is very thick west of the San Marcos Arch but is almost completely truncated in the eastern study area (like the underlying Eagle Ford Group). Sequence AC–II (upper Coniacian–upper Santonian) is very thick east of the San Marcos Arch but is eroded in the center and on the west side of the arch.  Sequence AC–III (upper Santonian–lower Campanian) thins over the arch and is thicker to the east. Downdip, the Austin Chalk thins dramatically toward the relict Lower Cretaceous Edwards margin in south Texas. This geometry is interpreted as a depositional ramp, based on coincident thickening of the overlying Anacacho Formation and facies and markers within the Austin Chalk.  The ramp formed due to strong subsidence toward the Gulf of Mexico, with greater planktonic productivity updip, and non-deposition or erosion downdip. 

The stratigraphic framework in this study ties the different stratigraphic nomenclature of the major producing petroleum fields on either side of the San Marcos Arch and the outcrop.  Petroleum reservoirs occur across multiple depositional settings but typically are older west of the San Marcos Arch than to the east.  Paleogeographic maps show that water circulation between the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Interior Seaway switched from south Texas to east Texas during the Santonian. 


Unraveling the “Eaglebine”: A Sequence Stratigraphic Framework for the Eagle Ford Group in the East Texas Basin

Speaker: Art Donovan, Texas A&M University with  P. Johnson, S. R. Gifford, M.J. Meyer, S. Dangtran, L. Evans, and M. Pope Texas A&M University: Department of Geology and Geophysics

Geochemical data indicate that the “Eaglebine Resistivity Zone” in the Southern East Texas Basin (SETB) is a Ca- and TOC-enriched mudstone.   Previous researchers had assigned and interpreted this unit as either the: 1) basal Pepper Shale, coeval to the Woodbine Freestone Delta; or 2) Maness Shale of the Washita Group, which predates the Woodbine Group.   Along the outcrop belt to the northwest, similar mudstones occur at the base of the Eagle Ford Group and overlie Al-rich and TOC/Ca-poor mudstones of the Woodbine Group.  

In order to resolve this juxtaposition in the facies succession between the outcrop belt and subsurface of the SETB, a detailed sequence stratigraphic study, including a grid of well-log cross sections,  as well as  geochemical data from key cored wells, was constructed.   This sequence stratigraphic analysis indicates that: 1) a major regional unconformity separates the Woodbine from the Eagle Ford Groups across the study area, 2) the “ Eaglebine Resistivity zone” in the SETB overlies this unconformity and correlates to the Middle to Late Cenomanian Lower Eagle Ford Formation along the outcrop belt to the west; and 3) the classic “top resistivity marker” overlies a sequence boundary. which defines the base of the Upper Eagle Ford Formation.   Across the study area, Lower Eagle Ford Ca- and TOC-enriched mudstones, unconformably overlie Al-rich, TOC-/Ca-poor, low-resistivity mudstones of the Pepper Shale (Woodbine Group/Freestone Delta), and are overlain unconformably by the Al-rich, TOC-/Ca-poor Lower Member of the Upper Eagle Ford Formation (Harris Delta).    Based on sequence stratigraphic analysis it is now clear that the bulk of the “Eaglebine” in the SETB, is actually the Eagle Ford Group.





September 27th, 2023 11:30 AM   through   1:00 PM
The Petroleum Club of Houston, Total Plaza Building
1201 Louisiana St
Houston, TX
United States
Event Fee(s)
Event Fee(s)
HGS Member $ 50.00
Non-HGS Member $ 60.00
Emeritus/Life/Honorary $ 50.00
Speaker Info
Speaker Christine Griffith and Art Donovan
Speaker Title
Speaker Company Texas A&M
Speaker Bio


Christine Griffith worked as a petroleum geologist and subsurface coordinator for Shell Oil, on exploration and development projects in onshore and offshore United States, Nigeria, and Brazil.  After retirement, she continued her geological education at Texas A&M University, where she teaches an online class in petroleum geology.    She received her Ph.D. in 2023, with a dissertation on the regional sequence stratigraphy of the Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk in south and central Texas.  Her previous degrees were a BS in Geology from the University of Illinois, and a MS in Geology from the University of Wisconsin.   She is longtime member of AAPG and served as a member of House of Delegates for 6 years in the 2000’s.  She is a member of the Houston Geological Society, South Texas Geological Society, and a licensed professional geologist in Texas. 

Christine’s interest in the Austin Chalk was sparked by years of hearing about activity in the trend.   She could see that stratigraphic nomenclature differed in the subsurface across the San Marcos arch and between the subsurface and outcrop, and no one had published a stratigraphic synthesis of this important reservoir, even as new exploration and development activity was ramping up.  The starting hypothesis was the stratigraphic complexity was due to an unconformity, and that this unconformity could be collaborated with nannofossils.  

Dr. Art Donovan is a globally recognized expert in the fields of sequence stratigraphy, siliciclastic depositional systems, and unconventional reservoirs.   Art has over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, where his efforts focused on understanding reservoir distributions and architectures, as well as exploring for oil and gas, in basins around the world, for both ExxonMobil and BP.  During his time at BP, Art was the Sed/Strat Discipline Lead; served as a member of BP’s Global Exploration Technical Assurance Team; and worked as the Senior Technical Advisor for BP’s Onshore Exploration efforts in North America, as well as, led BP’s outcrop research efforts on unconventional reservoirs.  Art retired from BP in 2016, and since that time has worked as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, at Texas A&M, where he teaches, advises numerous graduate students, as well as conducts research with his students on conventional and unconventional reservoirs in Texas, as well as across North America.

Both speakers presented at GCAGS GeoGulf23 in April 2023 at the Norris Center


Event Attachments
Brochure 23_09_HGS_Abstract_Donovan.docx
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Event Contact
Contact Linda Sternbach
Contact Phone
contact Email linda.sternbach@gmail.com

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