Dr Emma Morris
- Postdoctoral Researcher
Dr Emma Morris is a postdoctoral researcher fellow in the iCRAG Hydrocarbons research spoke. Emma graduated with a PhD in Geology in 2014 from the University of Liverpool. Her PhD research focussed on the thin-bedded deposits of deepwater slope channel-levee systems in the Permian-aged Fort Brown Formation, Karoo Basin, South Africa. Following this, Emma worked for Badley Ashton as a reservoir geologist based in Houston, TX where she worked on deepwater deposits from the Gulf of Mexico, offshore West Africa and the North Sea utilising core, wireline and borehole image datasets. Emma joined iCRAG in May 2017, under the supervision of Prof Peter Haughton. Her research involves the detailed characterisation of thin-bedded deepwater deposits from the Ross Sandstone Formation outcropping around the Loop Head peninsula of County Clare.
Offshore oil and gas are formed from sediments. Ultimately all sediment will travel from the land to the deep ocean under gravity where they are buried and over time and changed slowly into oil and gas. Oil and gas are found in reservoirs, which you can imagine to be like a sponge – the oil and gas are found in the pores of the sponge. The reservoir is made of sand and is broadly either in the shape of a sheet or a ribbon. I am carrying out my research to understand the flow of the sediment to form the sponge – the where, when and how the sediment was deposited to form these sheets or ribbons. The better we understand this process, the better we can predict where the oil and gas may be stored in a complicated underground environment.
Project title: Reservoir significance of thin-bedded successions in deep-water settings
Typically, it is the sand-prone intervals within deep-water depositional systems that attract much of the research attention; these are commonly attributed to either the axial parts of terminal lobes, or the axial fills of submarine channels, whereas finer grained material is commonly partitioned into levees or distal lobe fringe settings. However, much of the depositional history of these systems is recorded in these thinner bedded, finer-grained components as they typically form a more complete depositional record. Additionally, these deposits respond more readily to subtle variations in sediment supply, distance from the main sediment transport path, gradient changes and mud content. Significantly, thin-bedded deposits in deep-water settings are rarely investigated and are relatively poorly understood, despite being important baffles and barriers in many hydrocarbon reservoirs.
Research will focus on developing criteria to interpret the disparate origin of thin-bedded turbidites and mud-prone sediment gravity flow deposits that are commonly a key heterogeneity in otherwise sandy deep-water systems. It will combine insights from the outcrops and behind outcrop drillcore of the Ross Sandstone in County with subsurface examples to focus on the distinction between channel margins, internal levees, external levees, frontal lobes, crevasse lobes/splays, lobe fringe and distal lobe fringes.
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Energy Security
- Basin Evolution