Julia Schneider Reece
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bureau of Economic Geology
Ph.D., Marine Geology and Geophysics,
The University of Texas at Austin, 2011
Diplom (MS), Geosciences, University of Bremen, 2006
BS, Geoscienecs, University of Bremen, 2004
Office number: 2.116E
Compression and permeability behavior of natural mudstones
Hydrogeology, basin analysis, fluid flow, geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics
Julia's research is focused on active hydromechanical systems. She tries to understand fundamental processes, such as the interrelation of sedimentation, deformation, and porous media fluid flow and the evolution of physical rock properties (compressibility, permeability, anisotropy, etc.) with increasing consolidation.
To address these questions on a basin-scale, Julia focuses on areas in the Gulf of Mexico offshore Texas and Louisiana. She uses a suite of different data sets from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 308, which she participated in as an onboard sedimentologist, e.g. seismic and logging data, in situ pressure and temperature measurements as well as sedimentological and geotechnical measurements performed on cores. Julia runs uniaxial consolidation experiments in the UT GeoMechanics Lab to describe the compression and permeability behavior and to predict in situ pore fluid pressures.
Julia is particularly interested in the mechanical behavior of mudstones, which comprise nearly 75% of the volume of sedimentary systems but are still not well understood. Their relatively low permeability and high compressibility drive the generation of subsurface overpressure and fluid flow, which in turn can cause submarine landslides that have the potential for causing tsunamis. Additionally, large amounts of gas are trapped in formations of mudstones that form unconventional reservoirs. Mudstones are also a key cap rock for CO2 sequestration and subsurface hydrocarbons and, when overpressured, can pose a hazard for offshore oil platforms.
As part of the UT GeoFluids Consortium, she currently studies how composition controls compression and permeability behavior of mudstones. To address this problem she uses a systematic approach; she prepares synthetic mudstones in the laboratory under controlled conditions and of known composition using a method called 'resedimentation', which was first developed at MIT. The used materials are a natural occurring Boston Blue Clay and silt-sized silica that she adds together in varying proportions. Then she consolidates the samples uniaxially using a constant-rate-of-strain consolidation device. Both compressibility and permeability vary significantly as a function of clay fraction.
Schneider et al. (Geology, 2011)
Julia recently developed a model that predicts permeability and compressibility of these mixtures. The model has large implications as it applies to other materials when recalibrated based on at least two samples, predicting permeability and compressibility over the entire porosity and clay fraction spectrum. It could also be used in logging, perhaps even in real time.
The potential of this work was recognized by the ocean drilling community when she received the Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship Award, the most prestigious fellowship available in this field. Current projects involve mudstones from deepwater environments such as the Gulf of Mexico and particularly the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan. Julia is an onshore scientist of the IODP Expedition 322. She is currently performing resedimentation and uniaxial consolidation experiments on samples composed of mudstones from IODP 322 and silt-sized silica to study the control of composition on permeability and compressibility in a deepwater environment. She is performing those tests to high stresses (up to several tens of Megapascals) that represent burial depths of several kilometers under hydrostatic conditions.
Fellowships / Awards:
BEG Author Achievement Award, 2012
Best JSG Student Paper Award (UT Austin), 2011
Best Student Speaker Award at Technical Sessions (UT Austin), Fall 2011
Ewing-Worzel Fellowship (UTIG), Fall 2011
AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award, 2010 AGU Fall Meeting
Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship, 2010 - 2011
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, 2009 - 2010
Hess Fellowship, Spring 2009
Ewing-Worzel Fellowship (UTIG), Fall 2008
Chevron Excellence Award, Fall 2008
Ewing-Worzel Fellowship (UTIG), Summer 2008
Chevron Excellence Award, Fall 2007
ConocoPhillips Distinguished GeoFluids Fellowship, 2007
Third Prize Award for oral presentation at 39th Annual Graduate Student Colloquium, The Pennsylvania State University, Spring 2007
Reece, J.S., Flemings, P.B., and Germaine, J.T., (in review), Data Report: Permeability, compressibility, and microstructure of resedimented mudstones from IODP Expedition 322, Site C0011, Proceedings IODP Scientific Results.
Reece, J.S., Flemings, P.B., Dugan, B., Long, H., and Germaine, J.T., (in press), Permeability-porosity relationships of shallow mudstones in the Ursa Basin,
Northern Deepwater Gulf of Mexico,
Journal of Geophysical Research,
Day-Stirrat, R.J., Schleicher, A.M., Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Germaine, J.T., and van der Pluijm, B.A. (2011), Preferred orientation of phyllosilicates: Effects of composition and stress on resedimented mudstone microfabric, Journal of Structural Geology, Vol. 33, No. 9, p. 1347-1358, doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2011.06.007.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Day-Stirrat, R.J., and Germaine, J.T. (2011), Insights into pore-scale controls on mudstone permeability through resedimentation experiments, Geology, Vol. 39, No. 11, p. 1011-1014, doi:10.1130/G32475.1.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Dugan, B., Long, H., and Germaine, J.T. (2009), Overpressure and consolidation near the seafloor of Brazos-Trinity Basin IV, Northwest Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, B05102, doi:10.1029/2008JB005922.
Winkelmann, D., Geissler, W., Schneider, J., Stein, R. (2008), Dynamics and timing of the Hinlopen/Yermak Megaslide north of Spitsbergen, Arctic Ocean, Marine Geology, 250, 34-50, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2007.11.013.
Dugan, B., Flemings, P.B., Urgeles, R., Sawyer, D., Iturrino, G.J., Moore, J.C., Schneider, J. (2007), Physical Properties of Mass Transport Complexes in the Ursa Region, Northern Gulf of Mexico (IODP Expedition 308) Determined from Log, Core, and Seismic Data, Proceedings 2007 Offshore Technology Conference: Paper OTC 18704.
Presentations at Professional Meetings:
Reece, J.S., Flemings, P.B., and the Expedition 322 Scientists (2012), Deformation and transport processes of resedimented mudstones in their initial pre-subduction conditions, (Poster), GSA Penrose Conference on Deformation, fluid flow, and mass transfer in the forearc of convergent margins, Lucca, Italy, March 25-31.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Day-Stirrat, R.J., Germaine, J.T. (2011), Insights into pore-scale controls on mudstone permeability and compressibility through resedimentation experiments, (Oral), GeoPressure 2011: An International Interdisciplinary Conference On Pressure Regimes and Their Prediction At All Scales, Galveston, Texas, October 2-5.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Day-Stirrat, R.J., Germaine, J.T. (2011), Insights into pore-scale controls on mudstone permeability and compressibility through resedimentation experiments, (Oral), Abstract EGU2011-9052 presented at EGU General Assembly 2011, Vienna, Austria, April 3-8.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Day-Stirrat, R.J., Germaine, J.T. (2010), Experimentally derived model to predict permeability behavior of mudstones, (Poster), Abstract MR11B-1880 presented at 2010 Fall Meeting, AGU,
CA, December 13-17.
Schneider, J., Peets, C.S., Flemings, P.B., Day-Stirrat, R.J., Germaine, J.T. (2010), Experimentally-derived mechanical and flow properties of mudstones, (Poster), EAGE Shale Workshop, Nice, France, April 26-28.
Schneider, J., Peets, C.S., Flemings, P.B., Day-Stirrat, R.J., Germaine, J.T. (2009), Experimentally derived mechanical and flow properties of fine-grained soil mixtures, (Poster), Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract H23F-1024, San Francisco, CA, December 14-18.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B., Dugan, B., Long, H., Germaine, J.T., Saffer, D.M. (2008), Porosity vs. Permeability Behavior of Shallow Mudstones in the Ursa Basin, Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, (Poster), Eos Trans. AGU, 89(53), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS11A-1105, San Francisco, CA, December 15-19.
Schneider, J., P.B. Flemings, H. Long, B. Dugan, J.T. Germaine, D.M. Saffer, and IODP Expedition 308 Shipboard Scientific Party (2008), Pore pressure prediction near the seafloor in the Brazos-Trinity Basin, Gulf of Mexico, (Oral), International Conference Overpressure 2008: Present and Future Challenges, A Research Conference, Durham, England, April 6-9.
Schneider, J., Flemings, P.B. (2008), Overpressure and compaction of porous marine sediments, (Poster, Oral), Marie Curie Summer School, Knowledge Based Materials, Hydrous and porous systems, Trest, Czech Republic, August 19-29.
Schneider, J., Moerz, T., Bartetzko, A., Iturrino, G.J., Edeskaer, T.M., Flemings, P.B., Behrmann, J.H., John, C.M., and IODP Expedition 308 Shipboard Scientific Party (2005), Examples of mass wasting and hemipelagic sedimentation of Brazos-Trinity Basin #4 and Ursa Basin, (Poster), Eos Trans. AGU, 86(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS21A-1516, San Francisco, CA, December 5-9.
Schneider, J., Moerz, T., Bartetzko, A., Iturrino, G.J., Edeskaer, T.M., Flemings, P.B., Behrmann, J.H., John, C.M., and IODP Expedition 308 Shipboard Scientific Party (2005), Examples of mass wasting and hemipelagic sedimentation of Brazos-Trinity Basin IV and Ursa Basin, Northern Gulf of Mexico, IODP Expedition 308, (Poster), German IODP Meeting, Greifswald, Germany, March 27-29.