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Abstract

The phenomenon of rocks moving under their own means has always fascinated both scientists and the nonscien-tists. Salt is known to extrude and flow as a result of differences in density of the material and surrounding sediments. However, movement of fine-grained clastics as intrusive injectites or diapirs or as extrusive eruptive sand blows or mud volcanoes has captured the public's imagination and given scientists the impetus to reconsider the physics of how sediments behave in the subsurface.

The 2006 AAPG Hedberg Conference on Mobile Shale Basins was held in response to a need to gather industry and academic communities in a common forum to address the very existence of mobile shales. Because this question involved integrated understanding of argillo-kinesis from the grain scale to the basin-gravity scale, the forum attracted a broad cross section of the geosci-ence community. These attendees presented a wide variety of topical presentations that ranged from geochemistry of modern fluid-mud extrusions to gravity studies in basins characterized by mobile shales. An ongoing topic of debate at this forum was the very term “mobile shales.” The attendees decided at the meeting that this term was a misnomer and that a more appropriate term to be used to describe this phenomena was shale tectonics, thus the title of this volume. Stimulating and informative discussions at the Hedberg conference led to this special volume on shale tectonics, with contributions from researchers in industry, academia, and government covering diverse aspects of shale tectonics from grain to basin scale.

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