Workshop on GeoFluids of Overpressured Strata in the Gulf of Mexico

March 3, 2000 – Houston, Texas
Convener: Peter Flemings


Participants of the workshop set an ambitious goal for the application of scientific drilling on the continental slope: the development of a “grand unified theory” that will describe the hydrodynamics of continental slopes. To achieve this synthesis, it was proposed that generations of observational and theoretical work within the geological, hydrogeological, and the geotechnical communities be coupled with new observations from the deepwater continental slope to clarify the state and interactions of pressure, stress, sedimentation, and deformation in the first 1000 meters below the seafloor. The resulting model will allow prediction of both hydrodynamic behavior and in situ conditions in continental slope sediments using information gleaned from remotely sensed data. These advances will increase the understanding of slope stability, fluid-flow in faults, margin-ocean fluxes, seep communities, and basinal fluid flow. Measurements made will allow the petroleum industry to optimize deepwater exploration and production. Finally, the proposed experiments will position ocean drilling for a new generation of both riser and riserless drilling science within the International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

Organizing Committee

Peter Flemings, Pennsylvania State University
Alan Huffman, Conoco
Robert Bruce, Chevron
Jean Benoit, University of New Hampshire
Paul Mayne, Georgia Institute of Technology