Monterey Formation, Shell Beach

The Monterey Formation of California:

For over a century, the Miocene Monterey Formation (Monterey Shale) has fascinated geologists with its uniquely siliceous composition, complex diagenesis, and importance as both source and reservoir of oil in California. The Monterey's extensive and excellent outcrops, exposed at different stages of alteration, have served as laboratories for countless studies of silica, clay, carbonate, phosphate, organic matter, and petroleum. The wide spatial distribution of the important and unusual Monterey-type deposits likely reflects the unique co-occurrence of paleoceanographic, paleoclimatic, and tectonic events during the Miocene epoch. Furthermore, the Monterey Formation, with its varied composition and stratigraphic character, serves as a valuable analog for other shale and non-conventional resource plays to the petroleum industry. General concepts of mechanical stratigraphy and fracture architecture, which can be observed and studied in great detail in excellent 3D exposures of the Monterey Formation, can be applied to shale gas and shale oil reservoirs in other basins.

Read more... or See 2012 AAPG presentation...

Benefits of the MARS Project to the University:

  • Training and support of a cadre of graduate students, well prepared to enter industry or academia.
  • Provide sustainable, ongoing support for graduate student & post-doctoral scholar research.
  • Provide professional interaction and networking opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students with industries engaged in cutting edge technology and science.

Benefits of the MARS Project to Industry Affiliates:

  • Development of a focused center of excellence for research into Monterey Formation-related problems, available for consultation and research.
  • Sustainable, ongoing university research into the Monterey Formation with ongoing support for graduate student & post-doctoral scholars.
  • Annual training and science-sharing events for Affiliate companies.
  • Annual research symposium for presentation of new research results and advances
  • Annual Monterey Formation field trip.
  • Annual training workshop on selected topic based on poll of Affiliate companies.