AAPG Studies in Geology 56, Atlas of Deep-water Outcrops, is a much-needed volume that provides a compendium of many of the world’s best outcrops of deep-water, clastic depositional systems.
Outcrops have long been the “tool of the trade” for geologists trying to better understand the architecture, facies, and evolution of deep-water depositional systems. Most importantly, outcrops serve as accessible examples of deep-water systems that can be studied at a range of scales as analogs for the buried but economically important deep-water systems that are the targets of modern hydrocarbon exploration.
Today, seismic studies of the sea floor and underlying sediments along modern deep-water continental margins in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, West Africa, Indonesia, and other key areas paint rather detailed pictures of basin- to reservoir-scale architecture of deep-water systems.
Although one-dimensional cores and logs from these areas provide limited views of features at a fine scale, there remains a resolution gap that complicates predictions of deep-water lithofacies and heterogeneity at intrafield scales. General recognition of this gap, emphasized as early as the mid 1980s in the COMFAN (Committee on Fans) meeting volume (Normark et al., 1983-1984; Bouma et al., 1985) and coupled with the increased needs of the petroleum industry, catalyzed a flurry of academic and industry studies of deep-water outcrops that might provide appropriately scaled analogs for subsurface deep-water reservoir systems.
These outcrop studies, conducted around the world, greatly enhance our understanding of deep-water processes and the reservoir-scale architecture of deep-water deposits. However, selecting and
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Atlas of Deep-Water Outcrops
Tor H. Nilsen, a red-haired Scandinavian who stood more than six feet tall, died October 9, 2005, at his San Carlos, California, home. This was after a valiant five-year fight with melanoma cancer. He was 63. His ashes were scattered at his family plot in Norway in 2006.
He was born in New York City on November 29, 1941, to Mollie Abrahamson and Nils Marius Nilsen of Mandal, Norway, and was the first of their children to be born in the United States. After graduating from Brooklyn Tech, he earned his B.S. in geology from City College of New York in 1962. While there, his prowess on the basketball court impressed a scout from the New York Knicks, but Tor went on to graduate school and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1964 and 1967, respectively. His M.S. thesis was a study of Precambrian metasedimentary deposits in the Lake Superior area, and his Ph.D. thesis was a study of Devonian alluvial-fan deposits of the Old Red Sandstone in western Norway.
Dr. Nilsen’s principal expertise was in depositional systems analysis, stratigraphic analysis, and the relationships among tectonics, eustasy, and sedimentation. He began his industry career in 1967 as a research geologist with the Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas, and Ventura, California, where he worked on the tectonics and sedimentation of Tertiary shelf systems of coastal California. He subsequently spent two years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the Military