2018 News

December 2018


Maria Nikolinakou visited Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, representing both the AGL and GeoFluids consortia from December 1-9, 2018.


Mike Hudec presented “Evolution of the Salina del Bravo, Mexico: the Bravo Trough, Sigsbee Canopy and Perdido Fold Belt” at the New Orleans Geological Society (NOGS) on December 3. Mike presented the talk twice: once in downtown New Orleans at the NOGS monthly luncheon, and later that evening in Covington for NOGS members working on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain.

November 2018


2018 AGL AM

More than 200 delegates from 30 AGL member companies attended the 30th AGL Annual Review Meeting, held in Austin on November 8–9. Delegates were treated to 23 presentations from AGL scientists and collaborators Gillian Apps, Laura Burrell Garcia, Jake Covault, Tim Dooley, Ollie Duffy, Dallas Dunlap, Naiara Fernandez, Mahdi Heidari, Mike Hudec, Chris Jackson, Chris Liu, Maria Nikolinaou, Frank Peel, and Juan Soto. Click here for a pdf of pictures from the meeting.

New Publication:

Nov 2018

Dooley, T. P., Hudec, M. R., Pichel, L. M., and Jackson, M. P. A., 2018, The impact of base-salt relief on salt flow and suprasalt deformation patterns at the autochthonous, paraautochthonous and allochthonous level: insights from physical models, in McClay, K. R. and Hammerstein, J. A., Passive Margins: Tectonics, Sedimentation and Magmatism: Geological Society, London, Special Publications, no. 476, 29 p., doi.org/10.1144/SP476.13.


Mike Hudec visited AAPG Headquarters in Tulsa on November 12-13 to film his 2018–19 AAPG Distinguished Lecturer presentation. The presentation, entitled “Evolution of the Salina del Bravo, Mexico: the Bravo trough, Sigsbee canopy and Perdido fold belt” will soon be available for download on a variety of platforms. 


Mike Hudec, Frank Peel and Gillian Apps visited Nexen’s Houston offices on November 27 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the visit were provided as part of Nexen’s membership in the AGL consortium. 


Frank Peel, Oliver Duffy, Naiara Fernandez, and Gillian Apps visited Murphy’s Houston office on November 28 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the visit were provided as part of Nexen’s membership in the AGL consortium.

October 2018

salt tect

Salt Tectonics: Principles and Practice has won several awards for excellence in publishing. The salt-tectonics textbook, authored by Martin Jackson and Michael Hudec, won the 2018 May B. Ansari Best Geoscience Research Resource Work Award, presented by the Geoscience Information Society at the GSA annual meeting in Indianapolis. Earlier this year, the book was awarded the 2018 Tinker Family Best Publication Award, for best publication of the year coming out of the Bureau of Economic Geology. The book was also runner up for the 2018 Hamilton Book Award, given to the best book published at UT Austin, and Honorable Mention, Earth Science category of the 2018 Prose Awards from the Association of American Publishers.


Mike Hudec visited the offices of Gulfslope Energy in Houston on October 24 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. 

September 2018



Mike Hudec led a field trip to the Paradox Basin, Utah, for 17 delegates from Hess on September 9-14. The field trip was entitled “Salt and extension tectonics in the Paradox Basin”

paradox sept 2018


Mike Hudec led a field trip entitled “Salt and extensional tectonics in the Paradox Basin” on September 16-21 for representatives from BHP, BP, Noble, Repsol, Shell, Total, and Universitat Autòonoma de Barcelona

George Washington U


Maria Nikolinakou visited George Washington University, D.C., on September 17, 2018 to present at the CEE department seminar.

Univ. college dublin

Gillian Apps and Frank Peel gave a day of invited presentations at UCD (University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland) to students and researchers on 20th September 2018.

Presentations included two given by Apps and Peel at the Penrose conference earlier this year, plus material from previous years' AGL . We also gave a non-AGL related presentation on the structural and stratigraphic evolution of the Annot Basin in the SW French Alps.
Peel and Apps met with PhD students to  provide mentoring and to discuss their work. One of the projects (a salt-detached growth faulting sequence on the NW Irish continental margin) has the potential to form a collaborative research project bewteen AGL and UCD. 

Apps and Peel were treated to a 3-day tour of the Carboniferous Ross Formation outcrops of County Clare by Dr Emma Morris of UCD, to examine and discuss one of the best outcrop analogs for the GoM study area.

Keystone co 2018

Mike Hudec gave an invited presentation at the 2018 SEG Keystone Conference on September 23. Mike’s presentation was entitled “Fluid flow around evolving salt structures and its influence on metal deposits”. The conference, which is held in Keystone, Colorado, every 4 years, was entitled “Metals, Minerals, and Society”. 

Tim Dooley



Effective September 1, 2018 Tim Dooley has been promoted to Senior Research Scientist

August 2018



Mike Hudec visited BHP’s Houston office on August 28 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of BHP’s membership in the AGL consortium.

July 2018


New publication:

Nolting, A., Zahm, C.K., Kerans, C., and Nikolinakou, M.A., 2018. Effect of carbonate platform morphology on syndepositional deformation: Insights from numerical modeling, Journal of Structural Geology, Vol. 115, p.91-102, doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2018.07.003

rock mechanics

New publication:

Nikolinakou M.A., Flemings P.B., Heidari M., Hudec M.R., 2018. Stress and pore pressure in mudrocks bounding salt systems, Rock Mechanics Rock Engineering, p1-12, doi.org/10.1007/s00603-018-1540-z

journal of structural geology

New Publication:

Pichel, L. M., Peel, F., Jackson, C. A-L., Huuse, M., 2018, Geometry and kinematics of salt-detached ramp syncline basins, Journal of Structural Geology, doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2018.07.016


New Publication:

Heidari, M., Nikolinakou, M. A., and Flemings, P. B., 2018. Coupling geomechanical modeling with seismic pressure prediction, Geophysics, 83(5), B253-B267, doi.org/10.1190/geo2017-0359.1

Journal of structural geology

New Publication:

Duffy, O. B., Dooley, T. P., Hudec, M. R., Jackson, M. P. A., Fernandez, N., Jackson C. A-L.,
and Soto J. I., 2018, Structural evolution of salt-influenced fold-and-thrust belts: a synthesis and
new insights from basins containing isolated salt diapirs: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 114,
p. 206-221, doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2018.06.024


On July 10, Mike Hudec visited Repsol’s Houston office. During the visit he discussed salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was conducted as part of Repsol’s membership in the AGL consortium. 

June 2018

paradox june 2018

Mike Hudec co-led a field trip to the Paradox Basin for Equinor on June 3-8. The field trip was entitled “Exploration around salt bodies”, and involved discussions of salt tectonics, stratigraphy, seismic acquisition, seismic processing, and seismic interpretation.

Geology july 2018

New publication:

Coleman AJ, Jackson CA-L, Duffy OB, Nikolinakou MA, (2018) How, where, and when do radial faults grow near salt diapirs?, Geology 46 (7); pp. 655-658, doi: 10.1130/G40338.1



Maria 2

Maria Nikolinakou attended the 52 US Rock Mechanics Geomechanics Symposium (ARMA) in Seattle, Washington on June 16-20, 2018. She presented a talk on stress and deformation in roof sediments overturning in front of advancing salt sheets. 
The associated paper (ARMA 18-637 available on one-petro) won best paper award. 


Mahdi Heidari gave a talk at the ARMA conference held in Seattle, Washington June 17-20, 2018. His talk was about enhancing the modified-Cam-Clay model for large stress range. 

May 2018

solid earth

New Publication:

Gao, B., Flemings, P., Nikolinakou, M., Saffer, D., Heidari, M., 2018. Mechanics of Fold-and-Thrust Belts Based on Geomechanical Modeling, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 123, 4454–4474, doi.org/10.1029/2018JB015434


Maria 1


On May 15-16, 2018 Maria Nikolinakou and Peter Flemings visited Pemex at Cuidad de Carmen, Mexico as part of GeoFluids research efforts.


On May 16, Mike Hudec visited BP’s offices in Houston to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of BP’s membership in the AGL consortium. 


Mike Hudec visited ExxonMobil’s Houston office on May 22 to discuss salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico. The visit was provided as part of ExxonMobil’s membership in the AGL consortium.

Maria 3

Maria Nikolinakou attended the annual Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI)  conference on May 29-June 1, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and presented a talk on coupling stress and pore pressure in evolving salt systems.

April 2018

solid earth

New publication:

Phillips, T. B., Jackson, C. A.-L., Bell, R. E., and Duffy, O. B., 2018, Oblique reactivation of lithosphere-scale lineaments controls rift physiography - the upper-crustal expression of the Sorgenfrei-Tornquist Zone, offshore southern Norway: Solid Earth, v. 9, p. 403-429, doi: doi.org/10.5194/se-9-403-2018


Mike Hudec visited Woodside’s offices in Perth, Australia from April 7-14. While there, Mike taught a short course on salt tectonics, and reviewed interpretations in salt basins around the world. Portions of this visit were provided as part of Woodside’s membership in the AGL consortium. 

San anotonio seg

 Maria Nikolinakou presented at the monthly meeting of the San Antonio Geophysical Society on April 24, 2018. She gave a talk on pore pressure and stress in mudrocks bounding salt systems for the group.

March 2018

aapg bulletin

New publication:

Casini, G., Romaire, I., Casciello, E., Saura, E., Verges, J., Fernandez, N., and Hunt, D. W., 2018, Fracture characterization in sigmoidal folds: Insights from the Siah Kuh anticline, Zagros, Iran, AAPG Bulletin, v. 102, no. 3, pp. 369–399, DOI:10.1306/0503171615817076


Marine Petroleum

New publication: 

Nikolinakou MA, Heidari M, Flemings PB, Hudec MR (2018) Geomechanical mod
eling of pore pressure in evolving salt systems Marine and Petroleum Geology 93:272-286, doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.03.13

February 2018

mt Sedom diapir

Mount Sedom diapir, on the shores of the Dead Sea as seen from the conference hotel..

AGL staff Mike Hudec, Frank Peel, Gillian Apps, Naiara Fernandez, Olly Duffy, Tim Dooley, and Maria Nikolinakou all attended the 2018 Penrose Conference on salt tectonics, held along the shores of the Dead Sea in Ein Bokek, Israel. The title of the conference was “Advances in salt tectonics: observations, applications, and perspective: in honor of Martin P.A. Jackson”. The meeting comprised two days of oral presentations, with two days in the field visiting the nearby Mt. Sedom  diapir. All the AGL attendees gave oral presentations at the meeting, which was attended by more than 50 salt researchers from around the world. 

Salt Tect cover

Salt Tectonics – Principles and Practice was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Earth Science category of the 2018 Prose Awards from the Association of American Publishers. The awards were given based on the scope, level of research, timeliness, production values, and newness of the books. 

January 2018



On January 8, 2018 Frank Peel and Gillian Apps met with AGL member company BP Exploration in London UK. Frank gave 2 AGL presentations  on the early evolution of the Gulf of Mexico Basin and on rates of salt deposition. The presentations were broadcast to the main BP offices, in Houston, Aberdeen and Trinidad. Gill discussed mantle driven surface topography with Alex Bump, in preparation for the Penrose conference.  


Frank Peel and Gillian Apps visited Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh UK on January 22, 2018. Both gave presentations to the student AAPG chapter. Frank presented on the mechanisms and rate of salt deposition in the Gulf of Mexico, and Gill presented  on Reservoir prediction in Deep Water Fold Belts. Representatives from Cairn Energy also attended.

petronas logo

Mike Hudec visited Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on January 22-25. During this visit, Mike presented two short courses on salt tectonics to Petronas staff. 

Manchester Uni

Frank Peel and Gillian Apps visited the University of Manchester, UK on January 25, 2018. Both worked with research students during the day, after which Gillian gave a presentation on Reservoir Prediction in Deep Water Fold Belts to the student AAPG chapter.


University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas

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