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Sessions at Ventura PSAAPG meeting in honor of Bill Normark

May 3, 2009

I will be in Ventura, California for a couple of days this week to attend and chair a session at the Pacific Section AAPG/SEPM meeting. A few colleagues and I are chairing two oral sessions in honor of USGS marine geologist Bill Normark.

Bill passed away in January of 2008 after a long battle with cancer. He was on my PhD committee and was a huge influence on me. I’ve been wanting to put together a post about Bill’s career for the past year but every time I sit down and attempt to write something I realize that I would need to write a book! Perhaps I will someday.

Bill was a true pioneer in the exploration, discovery, and characterization of submarine fan systems. He always utilized the technology of the day to its fullest extent — from the low-resolution bathymetry of the 1960s to the current centimeter-scale multibeam bathymetry of today. Bill’s impact was significant because he not only described and interpreted processes of modern sedimentary systems of the deep sea but wrote numerous papers increasing our understanding of the patterns we see in the geologic record.

Here is the lineup for the talks in case you’re interested.

Tuesday Morning Session

Modern Turbidite System Depositional Patterns Revisited
–  Nelson, C. H.

Morphology of a Saline Gravity-Flow Channel on the SW Black Sea Shelf from Multibeam Bathymetry and Preliminary Monitoring of Transiting Currents
–  Hiscott, R. N., Aksu, A. E., Flood, R. D., Parsons, D. R., Peakall, J., and Mouland, D.

Pockmarks on the Modern Seafloor as Indicators of Submarine Canyon Abandonment, Offshore Equatorial Guinea
–  Jobe, Z. R., and Lowe, D. R.

Where Did They Go and How Big Were They? Latest Pleistocene-Age Catastrophic Floods and Their Deposition in the NE Pacific Ocean
–  Reid, J. A., and Normark, W. R.

Axial Channels of Submarine Canyons Off California
–  Paull, C. K., Caress, D., Ussler, W., III, Lundsten, E., and Thomas, H.

The Monterey Fan Channel Turbidite Record Offshore Central California: Insights into Submarine Canyon Processes
–  Johnson, J. E., Paull, C. K., Normark, W. R., and Ussler, W.

Quaternary Turbidite Deposits Off Central California Provide Evidence of Source of Downslope-Displaced Benthic Foraminifera and Hydraulic Sorting of Playnomorphs
–  McGann, M.

Sandy Turbidite Distribution Patterns and Estimated Flow Velocities in Santa Monica Basin, Southern California Continental Borderland
–  Hogan, P. J., Romans, B. W., Varnell, S., and Broughton, A.

Growth Patterns of Deep-Sea Fans Revisited: Turbidite-System Morphology in Confined Basins of the Quaternary Borderland
–  Covault, J. A., and Romans, B. W.

Tuesday Afternoon Session

Comparing Modern and Ancient Turbidite Channel and Channel-Like Elements: Insight and Issues for Developing a First Principle Approach to Exploitation of Deep-Water Reservoirs
–  Morris, W. R.

Slurry Flows vs Turbidity Currents: A Key Distinction in Evaluating the Reservoir Potential of Thin-Bedded Deepwater Sequences, Modern and Ancient
–  Lowe, Donald R.

Sediment Waves: Are They Cyclic Steps or Antidunes?
–  Kostic, S.

Allocyclicity of Sediment Volume and Composition Provide the Basis for a Predictive Model of Turbidite Channel Architectures
–  McHargue, T., Clark, J., Sullivan, M., Pyrcz, M., Fildani, A., Levy, M., Posamentier, H., Romans, B.  W., Covault, J. A.

Characterization of the Continental Slope and Headscarp of the Palos Verdes Debris Avalanche Based on New High-Resolution Seismic Reflection Data
–  Dame, R. D., and Hogan, P.J.

Sandy Facies at ODP Site 893 in the Santa Barbara Basin and Implications of Proposed Drilling by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
–  Marsaglia, K. M., Behl, R. J., and Escobedo, D.

Observations from Modern Channel-Levee Systems and Their Utility for Interpretation of Ancient Levee Systems in the Cerro Toro Formation (Cretaceous), Chile
–  Campion, K. M.

Wine-Making Conversations About Where Have All the Humongous Deposits of Oceanic Turbidite Systems Gone?
–  Scholl, D. W., and Normark, W. R.

Memorial Tribute to Bill Normark
–  Covault, J. A., Fildani, A., Morris, W. R., and Romans, B. W.

All the presenters were influenced by Bill’s work and most knew him very well — I’m looking forward to hearing all the anecdotes (especially in the second-to-last talk by Dave Scholl).


2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2009 11:39 am

    So, what did Dave Scholl talk about?

  2. May 15, 2009 11:55 am

    pretty much what the title of his talk is — he shared some anecdotes about how he and Bill (who made wine together for decades) would ponder the fate turbidite systems from ancient, now-closed oceans — Scholl concludes that most of the material was subducted (with lesser proportion being scraped off and incorporated into suture zones) … if you ever seen Dave give a talk, it’s always entertaining

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