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Chairing a session at the Pacific Section AAPG Meeting (in honor of Bill Normark)

January 7, 2009

psaapgThe Pacific Section AAPG is holding their annual meeting in Ventura, California from May 3rd-6th, 2009.

Section meetings can be quite a bit smaller and typically include technical sessions with a local or regional spin. If the combination of good sessions with enthusiastic presenters happens, these section meetings can also be a lot of fun and scientifically fruitful.

Almost a year ago USGS marine geologist Bill Normark passed away after a seven-year battle with cancer. He was on my Ph.D. committee and a significant positive influence to my scientific and personal life.

Bill pioneered the investigation of modern submarine fan systems in the late ’60s and early ’70s (following in the footsteps of Francis Shepard) and stayed at the cutting edge throughout his career. Using the latest technology, whether it was seismic-reflection or autonomous vehicles, Bill explored sedimentary systems on the sea floor with passion and enthusiasm. He had the rare combination of being meticulous with details and never losing sight of the bigger picture. His publication record is ridiculous … I don’t even know where to start.

He was an inspiration and mentor to numerous sedimentary and marine geologists over the years. Some colleagues and I decided that the PSAAPG meeting would be a great venue to honor Bill’s contributions to the field. He spent the bulk of his career at the USGS office in Menlo Park, CA and studied nearly all the submarine fan systems along the western margin over the years. Bill also instigated (along with Emiliano Mutti) serious discussions about the values and limitations of comparing modern and ancient submarine fan systems. Their 1987 paper is one of a handful of papers I recommend to those just beginning to study turbidite systems.

We are chairing two sessions that honor Bill’s legacy:

Modern Sea-Floor and Quaternary Turbidite Systems Offshore Western Margin of the United States in Honor of Bill Normark


Making the Link from Modern to Ancient Turbidite Systems: An Integrated Approach in Honor of Bill Normark

You can find these sessions along with the other proposed sessions here. If you do any research along these lines and would like to present at the meeting, you can find information about submitting here. The deadline is January 31st, 2009.


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 9, 2009 2:17 pm

    Don’t suppose you have a PDF of the ’87 paper? Otherwise I’ll have to get it through interlibrary loan. -Mel

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