RMAG Permian Basin Field Trip



Registration is closed.


 Permian Basin Field Trip: Guadalupe Mountain – Permian Sequence Stratigraphy and Sedimentation in a Mixed Siliciclastic-Carbonate System

   Trip Leader: Dr. Rick Sarg, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

  September 24-28, 2018

  Monday, September 24th

10:29am Flight departs Denver International Airport

Must check-in at the ticket counter. Cannot check-in online.

Friday, September 28th

10:40pm Return flight arrives Denver International Airport 

Must check-in at the ticket counter. Cannot check-in online.

  El Paso, TX and Carlsbad, NM (transportation from El Paso to Carlsbad will be provided)


Double Occupancy - $2,100 per person
Single Occupancy - $2,500 per person

Double occupancy roommates: You will have an opportunity when you register to indicate a roommate name, if you have someone else on the trip you would like to room with. If not, RMAG will work with participants to assign roommates.

 All inclusive of:

Round-trip airfare from Denver, CO to El Paso, TX
4-night hotel stay - 1 night in El Paso, 3 nights in Carlsbad, NM
Transportation between El Paso and Carlsbad
Breakfasts and lunches

See itinerary for details regarding flights and hotels.

Registration closes on Wednesday, September 19th.

Refunds for the Permian Basin Field Trip are only available until July 24, 2018.

Refunds for this special RMAG field trip are available only up to 60 days before the trip. After July 24th, if you are unable to attend, your registration is transferable, until September 14th. Please inform RMAG staff as soon as possible if you plan to transfer your registration, and the name of the person who will be attending in your place.

Trip Description: This field trip will introduce participants to a series of some of the finest outcrop exposures of carbonate and deepwater siliciclastic rocks in the world. Two principle themes of the trip are: (1) to observe the characteristics of a wide variety of sedimentary environments and lithofacies in the Permian section of the Permian basin, including examples of conventional and unconventional siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs, and organic-rich mudrocks; (2) ) to observe sequence stratigraphic architecture at seismic scale; and (3) to observe reservoir flow unit architecture. Continuous outcrops in West Texas and New Mexico expose the majority of the Paleozoic rocks which are producing both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons in the Permian basin of West Texas.


The field trip will begin in El Paso and will encompass four days in the field focusing on the Permian rocks of the Guadalupe Mountains, including the deepwater basin filling siliciclastics of the Brushy and Cherry Canyon formations, and the stratigraphy, lithofacies, and reservoir architecture of the San Andres and Grayburg formations. The San Andres is the most prolific conventional reservoir in the basin. The basin floor sandstones, carbonate debrites, and organic-rich siltstones comprise the facies involved in the unconventional Wolfberry play of the Delaware basin. The field trip will end with a visit to the world famous Carlsbad Caverns that contains karst features analogous to the ancient karst developed during major Paleozoic unconformities in the region.


The physical demands for this trip are MODERATE. Hikes will range from roadside stops, short traverses of less than ½ mile, to 2-3 mile roundtrip hikes over the span of a day. Off-road hikes are on well-maintained Park Service or National Forest trails and encompass relief of 100-600 feet. Weather conditions will be cool to warm, and generally dry. Temperatures typically range the 70-80’s0F. Wind and rain are possible. Layering up is a good idea. The field area is at elevations of 3,000-4,500 feet. A day pack, water bottles (2), hand lens, colored pencils and eraser (we will do several outcrop exercises on photopans), hat, sunscreen, and good hiking boots are necessary.


About the Trip Leader: Dr. J. Frederick 'Rick' Sarg received his Ph.D. (1976) in Carbonate Sedimentology and Stratigraphy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rick obtained his M.S. (1971) and a B.S. (1969) in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh. He has extensive petroleum exploration and production experience in research, supervisory, and operational assignments with Mobil (1976), Exxon (1976-90), as an Independent Consultant (1990-92), with Mobil Technology Company (1992-99) where he attained the position of Research Scientist, and with ExxonMobil Exploration (2000-05), where he achieved the position of Stratigraphy Coordinator. Rick was a member of the exploration research group at Exxon that developed sequence stratigraphy, with his emphasis on carbonate sequence concepts. He has worldwide experience in integrated seismic-well-outcrop interpretation of siliciclastic and carbonate sequences, and has authored or co-authored 46 papers on stratigraphy and carbonates. Rick has extensive field and subsurface experience in the Permian basin where he has worked the Middle-Late Permian section from the Bone Spring up through the San Andres/Grayburg section and the late Permian Capitan carbonates. In August of 2006, Rick joined the Colorado School of Mines as a Research Professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering. Rick’s current projects at CSM include low-permeability, fractured carbonate mudrocks in the Middle East and Williston basin; and the lacustrine carbonates and stratigraphy of the organic-rich Green River Formation in Colorado and Utah. He previously led a DOE funded project on the Bakken resource play. Rick served as President of the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) (2004-05), and is currently the President of the SEPM Foundation. Rick was awarded the 2013 Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award by the AAPG.

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