Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2014-2015 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Subduction geometry of the Yakutat Terrane, SE Alaska

By: Dr. Mark Bauer


The Pacific Plate presently moves northwards relative to North America. The movement produces a convergent boundary in central and western Alaska with a prominent trench, Wadati-Benioff zone, and volcanic arc, in addition to a transform boundary along western North America. All of the features associated with the subduction zone stop abruptly near Prince William Sound at the edge of the Yakutat Block displaced terrane. This produces a gap of about 300 km between the strike-slip fault system and the subduction zone. Determining the geometry of the plate boundary in that gap is crucial to understanding the tectonics of the region. We used receiver-function based seismic imaging to determine the geometry of the Yakutat Block in the subsurface. We present these results as animations that depict both the migrated seismic data and propose a subsurface model of the subduction zone. We also show that the lack of a Wadati-Benioff zone and volcanic arc features can be accounted for by the improved understanding of Yakutat subduction.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Mark Bauer holds B.S. (Physics) and a Ph.D. (Geological Sciences) from Indiana University (IU). Dr. Bauer’s doctoral research focused on using innovative wavefield techniques to image the crustal-scale tectonics of the subducting Yakutat Block of SE Alaska.  He spent two field summers deploying seismic monitoring stations in Alaska for the Saint Elias Erosion-Tectonics Project (STEEP). Using data collected by the STEEP seismic network, he used an innovative wavefield imaging technique, informed by calculated receiver functions, to determine the geometry of the subducting Yakutat Block. He also carried out thermal modeling to interpret aspects of the seismic image in the context of regional tectonics. These results were published in the December 2014 issue of Geosphere. While at IU, Dr. Bauer also conducted near-surface archaeological surveys in Greece using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to identify potential cultural resources. Dr. Bauer worked in exploration and asset development as a geophysicist at Noble Energy. At Noble, his work included seismic tomography for Africa exploration prospects and the development of the ~30 Tcf Leviathan gas field in Israel.


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