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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For petroleum refinery engineering, see Process engineering.

Example of a map used by reservoir engineers to determine where to drill a well. This screenshot is of a structure map generated by contour map software for an 8500 ft deep gas and oil reservoir in the Erath field, Vermilion Parish, Erath, Louisiana. The left-to-right gap, near the top of the contour map indicates a fault line. This fault line is between the blue/green contour lines and the purple/red/yellow contour lines. The thin red circular contour line in the middle of the map indicates the top of the oil reservoir. Because gas floats above oil, the thin red contour line marks the gas/oil contact zone.
Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering concerned with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. Exploration and Production are deemed to fall within the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Exploration, by earth scientists, and petroleum engineering are the oil and gas industry’s two main subsurface disciplines, which focus on maximizing economic recovery of hydrocarbons from subsurface reservoirs. Petroleum geology and geophysics focus on provision of a static description of the hydrocarbon reservoir rock, while petroleum engineering focuses on estimation of the recoverable volume of this resource using a detailed understanding of the physical behavior of oil, water and gas within porous rock at very high pressure.

The combined efforts of geologists and petroleum engineers throughout the life of a hydrocarbon accumulation determine the way in which a reservoir is developed and depleted, and usually they have the highest impact on field economics. Petroleum engineering requires a good knowledge of many other related disciplines, such as geophysics, petroleum geology, formation evaluation (well logging), drilling, economics, reservoir simulation, reservoir engineering, well engineering, artificial lift systems, completions and oil and gas facilities engineering.

Recruitment to the industry has historically been from the disciplines of physics, chemical engineering and mining engineering. Subsequent development training has usually been done within oil companies.

Contents [hide]
1 Overview
2 Types
3 See also
4 References
5 External links
The profession got its start in 1914 within the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). The first Petroleum Engineering degree was conferred in 1915 by the University of Pittsburgh.[1] Since then, the profession has evolved to solve increasingly difficult situations, as much of the “low hanging fruit” of the world’s oil fields have been found and depleted. Improvements in computer modeling, materials and the application of statistics, probability analysis, and new technologies like horizontal drilling and enhanced oil recovery, have drastically improved the toolbox of the petroleum engineer in recent decades.

Deep-water, arctic and desert conditions are usually contended with. High Temperature and High Pressure (HTHP) environments have become increasingly commonplace in operations and require the petroleum engineer to be savvy in topics as wide ranging as thermo-hydraulics, geomechanics, and intelligent systems.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is the largest professional society for petroleum engineers and publishes much information concerning the industry. Petroleum engineering education is available at 17 universities in the United States and many more throughout the world – primarily in oil producing regions – and some oil companies have considerable in-house petroleum engineering training classes.

Petroleum engineering has historically been one of the highest paid engineering disciplines, although there is a tendency for mass layoffs when oil prices decline. In a June 4, 2007 article, reported that petroleum engineering was the 24th best paying job in the United States.[2] The 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey showed petroleum engineers as the highest paid 2010 graduates at an average $125,220 annual salary.[3] For individuals with experience, salaries can go from $170,000 to $260,000 annually. They make an average of $112,000 a year and about $53.75 per hour.

Petroleum engineers divide themselves into several types:

Reservoir engineers work to optimize production of oil and gas via proper well placement, production rates, and enhanced oil recovery techniques.
Drilling engineers manage the technical aspects of drilling exploratory, production and injection wells.
Production engineers, including subsurface engineers, manage the interface between the reservoir and the well, including perforations, sand control, downhole flow control, and downhole monitoring equipment; evaluate artificial lift methods; and also select surface equipment that separates the produced fluids (oil, natural gas, and water).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Society of Petroleum Engineers
Society of Petroleum Engineers Logo.svg
Founded October 6, 1957
Dissolved ·
Type Professional Organization
Origins The Petroleum Division of the AIME
Area served
Method Conferences, Publications, Training
Owner ·
Key people
Helge H. Haldorsen, Ph.D. (2015 President), D. Nathan Meehan, Ph.D. (2016 President), Jeff Spath, Ph.D. (2014 President),Mark Rubin (CEO/Executive Vice President)
Endowment ·
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional organization whose mission is to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies for the public benefit and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.[1]

SPE provides a worldwide forum for oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) professionals for the exchange of technical knowledge and a professional home for more than 144,000 engineers, scientists, managers, and educators. SPE’s technical library contains more than 50,000 technical papers — products of SPE conferences and periodicals, made available to the entire industry. SPE has offices in Dallas, Houston, Calgary, London, Dubai, Moscow and Kuala Lumpur.

Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 Mission
1.2 Chronology
2 OnePetro
3 PetroWiki
4 SPE Petroleum Engineering Certification
5 Petroleum Reserves and Resources Definitions
6 External links
7 References
The history of the SPE began well before its actual establishment. During the decade after the 1901 discovery of the Spindletop field, the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME) saw a growing need for a forum in the booming new field of petroleum engineering. As a result, AIME formed a standing committee on oil and gas in 1913.

In 1922, the committee was expanded to become one of AIME’s 10 professional divisions. The Petroleum Division of AIME continued to grow throughout the next three decades. By 1950, the Petroleum Division had become one of three separate branches of AIME, and in 1957 the Petroleum Branch of AIME was expanded once again to form a professional society.

The first SPE Board of Directors meeting was held 6 October 1957, making 2007 the 50th anniversary year for SPE as a professional society.

To collect, disseminate and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources, and related technology for public benefit; and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.

1950s: During the 1950s, the petroleum membership of AIME grew significantly, leading to restructuring decisions that would shape the future Society of Petroleum Engineers.
1957: The Petroleum Branch of AIME becomes a full-fledged professional society – the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME. On October 6, 1957, the first Board of Directors meeting was held in Dallas, Texas, with President John H. Hammond presiding.
1958: The SPE Reprint Series begins with the publication of Well Logging.
1961: The first issue of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal is published.
1979: The first Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference is held.
1985: SPE is incorporated separately from AIME.
1990: Membership passes 50,000 to 51,586.
1991: London office established.
1992: Forums are held in Asia Pacific for the first time.
1993: Jacques Bosio becomes SPE’s first non-US president. Applied technology Workshops (ATWs) developed.
1994: Forums are held in the Middle East for the first time.
1995: SPE’s Kuala Lumpur office is opened. goes live.
1998: DeAnn Craig becomes SPE’s first woman president.
2000: The dues structure is revised to accommodate the make-up of all SPE members. A new governing structure consisting of technical directors and disciplines is implemented. Technical Interest Groups, or TIGs, are developed to connect SPE members interested in common technical topics.
2003: SPE’s Dubai office is opened.
2004: The society adopted a business structure centered around the establishment of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Stichting, a not-for-profit headquartered in the Netherlands, to streamline what had become a very complex organization and provide more efficient support to members everywhere.
2006: The first issue of The Way Ahead, a journal for Young Professionals, is published. Membership hits all-time high at 73,235. The number of papers downloaded from eLibrary since 2001 totals nearly 4 million.
2007: OnePetro , a multi-society library, is launched with support from SPE’s Foundation.
2008: Membership tops 88,000+ Strategic plan adopted.
2009: SPE completes merger with Petroleum Society of Canada, with combined membership of 4,500 in Canada.
2010: Membership tops 92,000+. First Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition outside the US (Florence, Italy).
2013: PetroWiki is launched with the full contents of the Petroleum Engineering Handbook in a wiki for members to update. SPE adopts new strategic plan. Membership tops 110,000+
2014: Membership tops 110,000+. Second ATCE held outside North America (Amsterdam).[2]
2015: Membership reaches 143,900.
2016: First ATCE in the Middle East scheduled for Dubai.
Launched in March 2007, is a multi-society library that allows users to search for and access a broad range of technical literature related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. OnePetro is a multi-association effort that reflects participation of many organizations. The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) operates OnePetro on behalf of the participating organizations. SPE provides the computers and technology on which OnePetro operates and provides customer service support.

OnePetro currently contains more than 105,000 documents, with more being added frequently. The number of documents is expected to grow as additional organizations choose to make their materials available through OnePetro. OnePetro is the first online offering of documents from some organizations, making these materials widely available for the first time.

The following organizations currently have their technical documents available through OnePetro:

American Petroleum Institute (API)
American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
BHR Group
International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE)
International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC)
International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM)
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
Offshore Mediterranean Conference (OMC)
Offshore Technology Conference (OTC)
Pipeline Simulation Interest Group (PSIG)
NACE International (corrosion engineers)
Petroleum Society of Canada (PETSOC)
Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE)
Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA)
Society for Underwater Technology (SUT)
World Petroleum Council (WPC)

PetroWiki was created from the seven volume Petroleum Engineering Handbook (PEH) published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). PetroWiki preserves the PEH content in unaltered form (page names that start with PEH:), while allowing SPE’s membership to update and expand content from the published version. Pages that do not have PEH: at the beginning may have started with content from the PEH, but have been modified over time by contributors to the wiki.

Content in PetroWiki is moderated by at least two members with subject matter expertise. This helps to ensure that the information found in PetroWiki is technically accurate. Disclaimer

Unlike some other online wikis, PetroWiki content is copyright SPE. For information about using content from PetroWiki, see Permissions.

SPE Petroleum Engineering Certification[edit]
The SPE Petroleum Engineering Certification program was instituted as a way to certify petroleum engineers by examination and experience. This certification is similar to the Registration of Petroleum Engineers by the States in the United States.

Certified professionals use SPEC after their name.

Petroleum Reserves and Resources Definitions[edit]
The Society of Petroleum Engineers has developed a system for evaluating oil and gas reserves and resources. The Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) is used by oil and gas companies in determining their reserves and serves as the primary basis for reporting rules established by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Society of Petroleum Engineers has created a program whereby it certifies the competency of Petroleum Engineers. The certification is given by a written Examination in conjunction with experience of the applicant.[1]

1 Certification and Professional Competency
2 Petroleum Professional Certification
3 Professional Competency Matrices
4 Guide to Professional Conduct
5 References
Certification and Professional Competency[edit]
Part of SPE’s mission is to assist members in furthering their technical and professional competence. Defining required knowledge for different areas of engineering, and offering an opportunity to demonstrate technical knowledge through examination are two of the ways that SPE accomplishes this. A SPE-certified petroleum professional is competent to provide reserves for oil and gas in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Society of Petroleum Engineers[1] [2] [3] [4] Petroleum Resources Management System

Petroleum Professional Certification[edit]
While the United States, United Kingdom and some countries have Professional Engineer registration programs, many other countries do not. The Society of Petroleum Engineers developed a certification program for Petroleum Engineers to demonstrate their technical knowledge. The SPE certification program requires a thorough knowledge of the principles of Petroleum Engineering.[5]

The requirements to receive the SPE certification, as listed on the SPE web site in April, 2013:

Undergraduate degree in engineering from a recognized institution.
Passing score on the SPE exam to measure level of engineering fundamentals and ability to solve practical engineering problems. (The site notes that the exam may be waived for those with proof of having passed a written competency examination to practice in petroleum engineering as a registered, licensed, chartered, or professional engineer, although university exit exams are not considered valid for this waiver.)
Demonstration of at least four years of experience and training in engineering.
Membership in good standing with the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Maintenance of the certification requires completing 16 hours of continued professional development and education, in addition to paying an annual renewal fee.[6]

Professional Competency Matrices[edit]
Beyond basic engineering skills, many disciplines require specialized expertise gained through training and experience. SPE has identified the skills associated with various levels of competency in five primary areas of engineering.

Guide to Professional Conduct[edit]
SPE’s Board has set forth the expectations for professional and ethical behavior by petroleum professionals.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (June 2014)
Petroleum geology is the study of origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbon fuels. It refers to the specific set of geological disciplines that are applied to the search for hydrocarbons (oil exploration).

Contents [hide]
1 Sedimentary basin analysis
2 Major subdisciplines in petroleum geology
2.1 Source rock analysis
2.2 Basin analysis
2.3 Exploration stage
2.4 Appraisal stage
2.5 Production stage
2.6 Reservoir analysis
3 See also
4 References
5 Further reading
6 External links
Sedimentary basin analysis[edit]
Petroleum geology is principally concerned with the evaluation of seven key elements in sedimentary basins:

A structural trap, where a fault has juxtaposed a porous and permeable reservoir against an impermeable seal. Oil (shown in red) accumulates against the seal, to the depth of the base of the seal. Any further oil migrating in from the source will escape to the surface and seep.
In general, all these elements must be assessed via a limited ‘window’ into the subsurface world, provided by one (or possibly more) exploration wells. These wells present only a 1-dimensional segment through the Earth and the skill of inferring 3-dimensional characteristics from them is one of the most fundamental in petroleum geology. Recently, the availability of inexpensive, high quality 3D seismic data (from reflection seismology) and data from various electromagnetic geophysical techniques (such as Magnetotellurics) has greatly aided the accuracy of such interpretation. The following section discusses these elements in brief. For a more in-depth treatise, see the second half of this article below.

Evaluation of the source uses the methods of geochemistry to quantify the nature of organic-rich rocks which contain the precursors to hydrocarbons, such that the type and quality of expelled hydrocarbon can be assessed.

The reservoir is a porous and permeable lithological unit or set of units that holds the hydrocarbon reserves. Analysis of reservoirs at the simplest level requires an assessment of their porosity (to calculate the volume of in situ hydrocarbons) and their permeability (to calculate how easily hydrocarbons will flow out of them). Some of the key disciplines used in reservoir analysis are the fields of structural analysis, stratigraphy, sedimentology, and reservoir engineering.

The seal, or cap rock, is a unit with low permeability that impedes the escape of hydrocarbons from the reservoir rock. Common seals include evaporites, chalks and shales. Analysis of seals involves assessment of their thickness and extent, such that their effectiveness can be quantified.

The trap is the stratigraphic or structural feature that ensures the juxtaposition of reservoir and seal such that hydrocarbons remain trapped in the subsurface, rather than escaping (due to their natural buoyancy) and being lost.

Analysis of maturation involves assessing the thermal history of the source rock in order to make predictions of the amount and timing of hydrocarbon generation and expulsion.

Finally, careful studies of migration reveal information on how hydrocarbons move from source to reservoir and help quantify the source (or kitchen) of hydrocarbons in a particular area.

Mud log in process, a common way to study the lithology when drilling oil wells.
Major subdisciplines in petroleum geology[edit]
Several major subdisciplines exist in petroleum geology specifically to study the seven key elements discussed above.

Source rock analysis[edit]
In terms of source rock analysis,several facts need to be established. Firstly, the question of whether there actually is any source rock in the area must be answered. Delineation and identification of potential source rocks depends on studies of the local stratigraphy, palaeogeography and sedimentology to determine the likelihood of organic-rich sediments having been deposited in the past.

If the likelihood of there being a source rock is thought to be high, the next matter to address is the state of thermal maturity of the source, and the timing of maturation. Maturation of source rocks (see diagenesis and fossil fuels) depends strongly on temperature, such that the majority of oil generation occurs in the 60° to 120°C range. Gas generation starts at similar temperatures, but may continue up beyond this range, perhaps as high as 200°C. In order to determine the likelihood of oil/gas generation, therefore, the thermal history of the source rock must be calculated. This is performed with a combination of geochemical analysis of the source rock (to determine the type of kerogens present and their maturation characteristics) and basin modelling methods, such as back-stripping, to model the thermal gradient in the sedimentary column.

Basin analysis[edit]
A full scale basin analysis is usually carried out prior to defining leads and prospects for future drilling. This study tackles the petroleum system and studies source rock (presence and quality); burial history; maturation (timing and volumes); migration and focus; and potential regional seals and major reservoir units (that define carrier beds). All these elements are used to investigate where potential hydrocarbons might migrate towards. Traps and potential leads and prospects are then defined in the area that is likely to have received hydrocarbons.

Exploration stage[edit]
Although a basin analysis is usually part of the first study a company conducts prior to moving into an area for future exploration, it is also sometimes conducted during the exploration phase. Exploration geology comprises all the activities and studies necessary for finding new hydrocarbon occurrence. Usually seismic (or 3D seismic) studies are shot, and old exploration data (seismic lines, well logs, reports) are used to expand upon the new studies. Sometimes gravity and magnetic studies are conducted, and oil seeps and spills are mapped to find potential areas for hydrocarbon occurrences. As soon as a significant hydrocarbon occurrence is found by an exploration- or wildcat-well the appraisal stage starts.

Appraisal stage[edit]
The Appraisal stage is used to delineate the extent of the discovery. Hydrocarbon reservoir properties, connectivity, hydrocarbon type and gas-oil and oil-water contacts are determined to calculate potential recoverable volumes. This is usually done by drilling more appraisal wells around the initial exploration well. Production tests may also give insight in reservoir pressures and connectivity. Geochemical and petrophysical analysis gives information on the type (viscosity, chemistry, API, carbon content, etc.) of the hydrocarbon and the nature of the reservoir (porosity, permeability, etc.).

Production stage[edit]
After a hydrocarbon occurrence has been discovered and appraisal has indicated it is a commercial find the production stage is initiated. This stage focuses on extracting the hydrocarbons in a controlled way (without damaging the formation, within commercial favorable volumes, etc.). Production wells are drilled and completed in strategic positions. 3D seismic is usually available by this stage to target wells precisely for optimal recovery. Sometimes enhanced recovery (steam injection, pumps, etc.) is used to extract more hydrocarbons or to redevelop abandoned fields.

Reservoir analysis[edit]
The existence of a reservoir rock (typically, sandstones and fractured limestones) is determined through a combination of regional studies (i.e. analysis of other wells in the area), stratigraphy and sedimentology (to quantify the pattern and extent of sedimentation) and seismic interpretation. Once a possible hydrocarbon reservoir is identified, the key physical characteristics of a reservoir that are of interest to a hydrocarbon explorationist are its bulk rock volume, net-to-gross ratio, porosity and permeability.

Bulk rock volume, or the gross rock volume of rock above any hydrocarbon-water contact, is determined by mapping and correlating sedimentary packages. The net-to-gross ratio, typically estimated from analogues and wireline logs, is used to calculate the proportion of the sedimentary packages that contains reservoir rocks. The bulk rock volume multiplied by the net-to-gross ratio gives the net rock volume of the reservoir. The net rock volume multiplied by porosity gives the total hydrocarbon pore volume i.e. the volume within the sedimentary package that fluids (importantly, hydrocarbons and water) can occupy. The summation of these volumes (see STOIIP and GIIP) for a given exploration prospect will allow explorers and commercial analysts to determine whether a prospect is financially viable.

Traditionally, porosity and permeability were determined through the study of drilling samples, analysis of cores obtained from the wellbore, examination of contiguous parts of the reservoir that outcrop at the surface (see e.g. Guerriero et al., 2009, 2011, in references below) and by the technique of formation evaluation using wireline tools passed down the well itself. Modern advances in seismic data acquisition and processing have meant that seismic attributes of subsurface rocks are readily available and can be used to infer physical/sedimentary properties of the rocks themselves.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from List of publications in geology)
This is an incomplete list that may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.
This is a list of important publications in geology, organized by field.

Some reasons why a particular publication might be regarded as important:

Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic
Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly
Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world or has had a massive impact on the teaching of geology.
Compilations of important publications can be found in Further reading.

Contents [hide]
1 Foundations
2 Economic geology
3 Geochemistry
4 Geochronology
5 Geomorphology
6 Geophysics
7 Geotechnical engineering
8 Hydrogeology
9 Mineralogy and petrology
9.1 De Natura Fossilium
9.2 The Evolution of the Igneous Rocks
9.3 Rock-Forming Minerals
9.4 Metamorphic Phase Equilibria and Pressure-Temperature-Time Paths
10 Petroleum geology
11 Plate tectonics
11.1 The Playbook of Metals
11.2 The Origin of Continents and Oceans
12 Sedimentology and stratigraphy
13 Structural geology
14 Paleontology
14.1 Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology
15 Seismology
15.1 Quantitative Seismology
15.2 Weak elastic anisotropy
16 Tectonics
16.1 The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting
16.2 Some remarks on the development of sedimentary basins
17 Volcanology
17.1 Letters of Pliny the Younger to the Historian Tacitus, 6th Book, Letter 16
17.2 The 1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington
18 See also
19 References
20 Further reading
21 External links
Hutton, James (1788). “Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe”. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1 (2): 209–304. doi:10.1017/s0080456800029227.[1]:92–100[2]
Hutton’s Theory of the Earth was the first publication to clearly articulate the principle of deep time, and to recognize that rocks record the evidence of the past action of processes which still operate today. These ideas were to grow into the idea of Uniformitarianism. Hutton is widely regarded as the “Father of Modern Geology”.
Playfair, John (1802). Illustrations of the Huttonian theory of the Earth. London: Cadell and Davies.
Hutton’s book is widely regarded as unreadable, and may have remained obscure if not for this work by the brilliant prose stylist John Playfair.[3]
Lyell, Charles (1830). Principles of Geology: being an attempt to explain the former changes of the Earth’s surface, by reference to causes now in operation 1. London: John Murray.
— (1832). 2. London: John Murray.
— (1833). 3. London: John Murray.[1]:263–273[4]
The work’s subtitle was “An Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth’s Surface by Reference to Causes now in Operation”, and this explains Lyell’s impact on science: he was, along with the earlier John Playfair, the major advocate of the then-controversial idea of uniformitarianism, that the Earth was shaped entirely by slow-moving forces acting over a very long period of time. This was in contrast to catastrophism, a geologic idea that went hand-in-hand with the age of the Earth suggested by biblical chronology. In various revised editions (twelve in all, through 1872), Principles of Geology was the most influential geological work in the middle of the 19th century, and did much to put geology on a modern footing. Charles Darwin frequently acknowledged his deep debt to this book.[5]
Economic geology[edit]
Ridge, John D., ed. (1968). Ore Deposits of the United States, 1933-1967. Society for Mining Metallurgy. ISBN 978-0895200082.
Descriptions of major ore deposits in USA. Updates the earlier Lindgren volume. A basic reference work for economic geologists
Faure, Gunter (1977). Principles of Isotope Geology. New York: Wiley. ISBN 9780471256656.
A highly cited guide to the use of isotope geochemistry in solving geological problems, and the methods involved. Has been cited more than 3200 times. A second edition was published in 1986. A third edition, with Teresa M. Mensing, was published in 2005, under the title Isotopes: Principles and Applications.
Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, William (1899). “The age of the Earth as an abode fitted for life”. Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 31: 11–38.
The speech recorded by this volume of Transactions represents the final version of the theory of the age of the Earth which Thomson has been refining since 1862. In it, he proposed that the age of the Earth was “more than 20 and less than 40 million year old, and probably much nearer 20 than 40”.[6] His analysis was based on the time it would take the Earth to cool from a completely molten state, and his estimate was consistent with a number of other physical estimates from, amongst others, George Darwin, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Simon Newcomb. This strikingly young age put Thomson in direct conflict with both Uniformitarian geologists and evolutionary biologists, both of whose theories required much longer spans of time to take effect.[7] This paradox of the age of the Earth was resolved only by fuller understanding of the roles of convection and radioactivity in the planet’s interior in the early 20th century, and it required understanding of thermonuclear fusion in the Sun developed only in the 1930s to fully explain the stability of the whole solar system over multi-billion year timescales.[8]
Agassiz, Louis (1840). Études sur les glaciers. Neuchatel: Jent & Gassman.
In 1837, Agassiz was the first to scientifically propose that the Earth had been subject to a past ice age.[9] This book lays out his theories in print. It represents his theories that vast areas of northern Europe had in the past been covered in ice, extending down to the Caspian and Mediterranean seas. The book represents the birth of the fields of glaciology and glacial geomorphology.[10]
Gilbert, Grove Karl (1877). Report on the Geology of the Henry Mountains (Report). United States Geological Survey Professional Paper.[1]:586–596
G. K. Gilbert lays the groundwork for many ideas in modern geomorphology, such as the diffusive profiles of hillslopes and the formation of pediments. In addition to its geomorphic significance, it is a description of the last major mountain range to be mapped by Europeans in the contiguous United States[11] (the Henry Mountains being located in a remote part of Utah) and a description of its formation as a laccolith.
Bagnold, Ralph Alger (1941). The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes. London: Methuen. p. 265.
Laid the foundations of the scientific investigation of the transport of sand by wind.[12]
Chapman, Sydney; Bartels, Julius (1940). Geomagnetism Volume 1: Geomagnetic and Related Phenomena. Volume 6 of The International Series of Monographs on Physics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ASIN B002K07MAO. OCLC 499431969.
— (1940). Geomagnetism Volume 2: Analysis of the Data and Physical Theories. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ASIN B0020TCMR8. OCLC 458641769.
A classic reference on the Earth’s magnetic field and related topics in meteorology, solar and lunar physics, the aurora, techniques of spherical harmonic analysis and treatment of periodicities in geophysical data.[13] Its comprehensive summaries made it the standard reference on geomagnetism and the ionosphere for at least 2 decades.[14]
Geotechnical engineering[edit]
Terzaghi, Karl von (1943). Theoretical Soil Mechanics. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Darcy, Henry (1856). The Public Fountains of the City of Dijon. English translation by Patricia Bobeck (reprint ed.). Kendall/Hunt. ISBN 0-7575-0540-6.
Mineralogy and petrology[edit]
De Natura Fossilium[edit]
Author: Georg Frederick Agricola, translated from Latin by Mark Chance Bandy and Jean Bandy[1]:7–11
Year: 1564
Republished by the Geological Society of America
Description: Systematic treatise of then known minerals and gemstones as well as other rocks.
Importance: The first systematic mineralogical treatise since Pliny’s Natural History.
The Evolution of the Igneous Rocks[edit]
Author: Norman L. Bowen
Year: 1928
Importance: Breakthrough, influence
Rock-Forming Minerals[edit]
Author: W. A. Deer, R. A. Howie and J. Zussman
Year: 1962–63; 1978- (2nd ed.)
Description: A 5 volume comprehensive treatise of the physical, chemical, mineralogical, petrological and optical properties of essentially all minerals with nontrivial abundances to be found in terrestrial rocks. Also presents information regarding common origins and associations of each mineral, as well as a practical commentary on how to distinguish each mineral from others which may appear similar. It is the complete work from which the much beloved, student-friendly version, An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals by the same authors, is based.
Importance: Influence, advanced reference.
Metamorphic Phase Equilibria and Pressure-Temperature-Time Paths[edit]
Author: Frank S. Spear
Year: 1993
Description: Presents the thermodynamic basis for modern, quantitative petrology and systematically reviews metamorphism for most rock types. Popularly also known as the “big blue book”.
Importance: Influence, advanced reference.
Petroleum geology[edit]
Vail, P. R.; Mitchum Jr., R. M.; Todd, R. G.; Widmier, J. M.; Thompson, S.; Sangree, J. B.; et. al. (1977). “Seismic stratigraphy and global changes in sea level”. In Payton, C. E. Seismic Stratigraphy–Applications to hydrocarbon exploration, AAPG Memoir 26. Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists. pp. 49–205.
Original work on seismic sequence stratigraphy.[15][16]
Plate tectonics[edit]
The Playbook of Metals[edit]
Author: John Henry Pepper
Year: 1861
Description: It was the first book to marshall considerable geological evidence that the continents are mobile relative to each other around the North Atlantic (mainly). It uses Evan Hopkins booklet (On the connection of geology with terrestrial magnetism, 1844), but adapts its data to a plutonist point-of-view.
Importance: Breakthrough
The Origin of Continents and Oceans[edit]
Author: Alfred Wegener
Year: 1915
Description: Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane was the second book to marshall considerable geological evidence that the continents are mobile relative to each other on the surface of the Earth. His theory was based upon numerous matches between the topography, paleontology and past climate of continents now separated by oceans. At the time of publication his ideas were not taken seriously by most of the geological community as he could not provide a mechanism for continental motion, but his ideas form the foundations of the modern theory of plate tectonics.
Importance: Topic creator, Breakthrough, Influence
Sedimentology and stratigraphy[edit]
Steno, Nicolaus (1669). De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus [Of Solids Naturally Contained Within Solids] (in Latin). Firenze.[1]:33–44
First statement of three fundamental laws of geology: the law of superposition, the principle of original horizontality, and the principle of cross-cutting relationships.[17]:9
Walther, Johannes (1893). Einleitung in die Geologie als historische Wissenschaft [Introduction to geology as a historical science] (in German). 3 volumes. Jena: G. Fischer,.
Folk, R. L. (1965). Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks. Hemphill’s.
The basis for the widely used folk classification for clastic and carbonate rocks
Structural geology[edit]
Ramsay, John G. (1967). Folding and fracturing of rocks. McGraw–Hill.
Began a whole school of structural geology that used the techniques of continuum mechanics to understand rock structures.[18]
Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology[edit]
Founder/1st Editor: Raymond C. Moore
Geological Society of America/University of Kansas Press, 1953 onwards
Description: A definitive multi-authored work of some 50 volumes, written by more than 300 paleontologists, and still a work-in-progress. It covers every phylum, class, order, family, and genus of fossil and extant (still living) invertebrate animals.
Importance: Influence. A standard reference work in paleontology.
Quantitative Seismology[edit]
Author: Keiiti Aki, Paul G. Richards Year: 1980

Description: Chapters outline basic theorems in dynamic elasticity, representation of seismic sources, elastic waves from a point dislocation, plane waves in homogeneous media and their reflection and transmission at a plane boundary, reflection and refraction of spherical waves; Lamb’s problem, surface waves in a vertically heterogeneous medium, free oscillations of the Earth, body waves in media with depth-dependent properties, the seismic source: kinematics, the seismic source: dynamics, and principles of seismometry

Importance: This is the basic textbook used by theoretical seismologists

Weak elastic anisotropy[edit]
Author: Leon Thomsen

Geophysics, 51(10), 1954–1966, 1986

Description: In his paper, Thomsen defined a version of elastic anisotropy using transversely istoropic media that could be analyzed through the use of his Thomsen parameters. Importance: Influential. Most cited paper in the history of geophysics.

The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting[edit]
Author: Christopher Scholz
2002, Cambridge University Press, 496 p.
Description: An influential review of fault properties, dynamics and growth, how they fail, and how this links to seismology. Highly cited (>2700 citations).
Importance: Influence
Some remarks on the development of sedimentary basins[edit]
Author: Dan McKenzie
1978, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 40(1), p. 25-32.
Description: The first paper to lay out the now widely accepted model for formation of sedimentary basins by tectonic stretching of the lithosphere (mechanical thinning), followed by lowering of the basin by the cooling of upwelled, hot asthenosphere at depth below it (isostatic deepening). Highly cited (>2200 citations).
Importance: Breakthrough, influence.
Letters of Pliny the Younger to the Historian Tacitus, 6th Book, Letter 16[edit]
Author: Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Pliny the Younger
Year: 79 CE
Description: This letter contains the first detailed description of a volcanic eruption in western culture – the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in what is now known as a plinian eruption in 79 CE.
Importance: Topic creator
The 1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington[edit]
Author: Peter W. Lipman and Donal R. Mullineaux (editors)
USGS Professional Paper 1250, Washington D.C., 1981
Description: The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, USA, allowed volcanologists to document first hand a large number of volcanic processes which hitherto had been only inferred. It spurred a revitalization of the whole discipline of volcanology. This anthology of papers was amongst the first to present new data gained during the eruption.
Importance: Breakthrough


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