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Miss Vivien Cumming, MSci (Hons)
Applying the Rhenium-Osmium Radioisotope Geochronometer to Lacustrine Sedimentary and Petroleum Systems.
The Re-Os radioisotope geochronometer is a well established tool for producing depositional ages of marine organic-rich sedimentary rocks, allowing for more accurate and refined geochronology of complex sedimentary basins. Additional studies have highlighted an enrichment of Re and Os in hydrocarbons and the potential for Re-Os geochronology to date hydrocarbon generation events. It has therefore been an essential tool for improved understanding of marine petroleum systems. However, this unique method is yet to be applied to lacustrine sedimentary and petroleum systems. Lacustrine sediments are often studied as they provide continuous and long-lived records of Earth’s surficial processes. The sediments deposited in lake settings respond to tectonic, climatic and magmatic influences and so can serve as a regional terrestrial proxy for paleoclimatic and tectonic processes. In addition organic rich lacustrine sediments have been shown to be significant petroleum source rocks and so accurate and precise geochronology is essential for an improved understanding of these petroleum systems.
- Demonstrate the ability to produce absolute Re-Os depositional ages for lacustrine organic-rich sediments using the Green River Formation, USA.
- Establish an understanding of Re-Os fractionation during hydrocarbon generation within a natural petroleum system (The Green River Petroleum System, Uinta Basin, Utah).
- Determine whether the Re-Os isotopic composition of hydrocarbons records that of its source; in order to assess the implications for Re-Os oil geochronology and the development of an oil-source correlation tool.
- Improve the understanding of Os isotope systematics in lacustrine settings and the relationship to local sediment supply, continental weathering rates and regional geological events.
- Assess the use of Re-Os lacustrine geochronology in a poorly understood Precambrian succession - the Nonesuch Formation.
2004-2008 MSci (Hons) Earth Sciences, Durham University (1st Class)
FrOG Tech - From Oil to Groundwater: Geological Consultancy Research Assistant (February – August 2009).
Composite Energy: Wellsite Geologist (July-August 2007).
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: Research Assistant (September 2006).
2012 Petroleum Geoscience Research Collaboration Showcase at PETEX. Oral presentation: ‘Re-Os geochronology and PGE oil-source fingerprinting of the lacustrine Green River petroleum system: Applications to better understand petroleum systems’
2012 Geological Society of London, Fermor Meeting: The Neoproterozoic Era. Poster: ‘Terrestrial environment anoxia during the Late Mesoproterozoic: Evidence from the lacustrine Nonesuch Formation of North America’
2012 IGC, Brisbane. Oral presentation: 'Re-Os geochronology and PGE oil-source fingerprinting of the lacustrine Green River petroleum system'
2012 IGC, Brisbane. Poster: 'Re-Os geochronology of lacustrine organic-rich rocks: Insights into the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment'
2012 GAC-MAC, St. John's, Newfoundland. Oral presentation: 'Anoxia in the terrestrial environment during the Late Mesoproterozoic'
2011 Goldschmidt, Prague. Poster: 'Re-Os geochronology of lacustrine organic-rich sedimentary rocks: systematics and implications'
2011 Geological Society of London, Life and the Planet. Poster: 'Rhenium-osmium geochronology of the lacustrine Green River Formation: Insights into Cenozoic ocean osmium evolution'
2010 GSA Annual Meeting, Denver. Oral Presentation: 'Re-Os Geochronology of the Eocene Green River Formation: Establishing an absolute geochronological tool for lacustrine organic-rich sediments'
2012 AAPG Roger W. Stoneburner Memorial Grant
2011 Goldschmidt Travel Grant
2010 GSA International Travel Grant to attend GSA Annual Meeting
2010 Norman H. Foster Scholarship, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists
2010 AAPG Gustavus E. Archie Memorial International Grant
- Early earth and evolution
- Organic geochemistry