From the President- March 2010

Where Are All Those Faults?
Spring!! Yes, it is upon us! For those of us involved in the Federal Offshore it is almost time to put those lease sale maps aside and see the sunlight again! Time to shake off the winter doldrums and get outside! There is the spring yard work to do, the spring sports activities with the kids, maybe even a little golf could be squeezed in there as well? It is also a great time to start or get involved in new projects at the HGS. Hey this is the HGS Bulletin! What did you expect? There is a project I would like to start and I need volunteers to help with every aspect of it. The HGS at one time had a field trip guide showing the faults of Houston. Traffic, congestion, crime…No I mean the REAL faults of Houston! There is quite a bit of information out there on Houston and the surrounding areas’ active faults. For instance, in 2005 former HGS Vice President Art Berman gave a talk entitled “The Debate Over Subsidence in Coastal Louisiana and Texas” in which he discussed such things as the famous Long Point – Eureka – Heights fault system as illustrated in these photos taken by Art previously published in this bulletin.
In 2008 U of H professor Shuhab Khan and Richard Engelkemeir, a PhD student, mapped more than 300 surface faults in the Houston area using lidar technology. The result of their work was a comprehensive fault map which can be viewed at geological-faultsph.html. I would like the HGS to put together a field guide which could be used by schools as well as purchased by our members. Documenting faults that have visible surface expressions and putting them in a cohesive easy-to-use guide will take time and dedication. The area to be covered is very large and the surface expressions can be subtle. This will take volunteers getting out and photographing fault scarps and cracks, making detailed location notes, and tying all this back into the appropriate fault system. It will take a dedicated group to organize, compile, and publish such a guide. Make no mistake, it is an ambitious task to put together a quality publication the HGS can be proud to offer our members and the public. I would like to especially ask our retired HGS members to consider participating in this project. Your experience as well as your time would be of great value in such an endeavor. I truly believe that this is the type of publication that will help the HGS give back to the community in a very unique and important way. We have the expertise and the ability, now we need the manpower! Please contact Sue Pritchett, our volunteer coordinator ( to express your desire to join the committee that will put this guide together. Perhaps we can even have it in time for the 2011 AAPG convention. There are faults visible in every school district, which would make for great quick field trips for literally thousands of kids. Perhapsmore importantly, such a guide may interest kids in geology and observing active geologic processes in their own back yards. Such a guide would be another way to make kids, and the rest of us for that matter, realize that we do not have to spend a great deal of money and travel to exotic places to observe geology in action. We merely have to use our eyes and observe the earth around us.
I hope everyone enjoyed the Mudstone Conference in February. Another successful meeting for what is now the premier shale conference in the world. Thanks to all the HGS members who volunteered their time to make this possible.
We have a lot of excellent talks coming up this month, such as the dinner meeting talk by former HGS President Clint Moore entitled, “Pioneering the Global Subsalt/Presalt Play: The World Beyond Mahogany (USA) Field” and the HGS general Lunch presentation by Lauren Peschier of Newfield entitled, “The Boquillas (Eagle Ford) Formation of South Texas: Potential Outcrop Analogs for Nonconventional Eagle Ford Shale Reservoirs in the Subsurface”. I hope to see you at these great talks! Have a great “Spring Break”!

Gary Coburn
Monday, March 15, 2010
From the President