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Scanning Electron Microscope Study of Reservoir Sediments in Southern San Joaquin Basin Oil Fields, California.
Dr. Robert Horton

The southern San Joaquin basin is one of the United States' most prolific oil producing regions; if Kern County was a state it would rank fifth among U.S. states in terms of current production. San Joaquin basin oil fields have also been identified as potential sites for CO2 storage and sequestration. Yet little is known about the mineralogy of most of these oil fields. Understanding the sediments mineralogy and the geochemical processes operating in the subsurface are becoming increasingly important as new technologies are applied to enhance oil production, and such information is critical for predicting the effects of CO2 injection. One of the best tools for studying the mineralogical makeup of sedimentary rocks is the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Our group will learn how to operate CSUB's SEM. We will use the SEM to collect images and chemical analyses from samples of reservoir rocks obtained from cores collected from San Joaquin basin oil fields. Finally we will interpret our data to see how the sediments have been modified due to the effects of burial and reactions with subsurface fluids.

Geochemical Study of the Suitability of San Joaquin Valley Geological Formations for Carbon Sequestration
Dr. Dirk Baron

Several geologic carbon sequestration projects are proposed in the San Joaquin Valley. This project will investigate possible adverse geochemical reactions resulting from the interaction of carbon dioxide with geological formations and groundwater. Participants will use state-of-the-art analytical instruments in CSUB's Department of Geological Sciences including the scanning electron microscope, ICP/MS, and XRD.

What's under the North American continent? (near the Rocky Mountains)
Dr. Linda Davis

Some very special rocks contain information that allow us to deduce how and when a continent formed. This proposed REVSUP Project is part of a larger research project. Undergraduate students who have worked with me in the past have collected rock samples in the field from south-central Colorado and northeastern New Mexico. We need to unlock the information that can tell us about the formation of these rocks (a.k.a. petrogenesis), but to do that we have to obtain the chemical composition of these rocks. The primary goal of the summer REVSUP Project will be to obtain whole-rock major- and trace-element analyses of previously collected rock samples. The rocks we will work on formed by the cooling of molten rock (magma) that moved upward to very near the Earth's surface from a depth of between ninety to two hundred kilometers. We will determine how much silica, sodium, aluminum, chromium, etc., the rocks contain by using fairly sophisticated analytical techniques. The chemical compositions of these rocks will be used to decipher the petrologic history of part of the North American sub-continent. From this information we may be able to take a step farther and infer the tectonic history of the area.