Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wonk Alert: New standard will improve energy data sharing

Energistics, the global non-profit standards organization for the upstream petroleum industry, has published the Energy Industry Profile (EIP) Version 1.0 of ISO 19115-1. The EIP is an open, non-proprietary metadata exchange standard designed to document structured and unstructured information resources of importance to members of the energy community and to maximize metadata interoperability within the industry. Energistics' Geoportal is a Reference Implementation of a searchable catalog compliant with the EIP metadata standard. The implementation demonstrates discovery of distributed resources documented by EIP and any of three metadata standards transformable to EIP (ISO 19115, ISO 19115-2, FGDC).    Steve Richard, Geoinformatics Chief at AZGS is a member of the Energistics' Metadata Work Group and played a key role in developing the EIP and shepherding it through the international approval process.

Publishing the EIP for the industry accomplishes three objectives: 
  • Enable energy stakeholders to effectively and efficiently locate, analyze and retrieve a variety of information from distributed repositories
  • Support a variety of data management needs as well as the exchange of data between and within organizations
  • Leverage existing standards to encourage community adoption and integration into the business while exploiting existing resources for governance and maintenance.

Jay Hollingsworth, Chief Technical Officer of Energistics, said, "The adoption of the EIP specification is intended to promote tool development and best practices that will reduce the overhead required for metadata creation, maintenance and utilization."

According to Segun Oyebanji, CIO of Chevron Energy Technology Company and General Manager Technical Computing, and an Energistics Board Member, "The EIP can be used for a wide variety of energy industry resource types but the current focus is on information which has associated geographic coordinates."

"The RESQML SIG sees great value in using the EIP and plans to incorporate it into RESQML Version 2.0", stated Chris Legg, Geologist at BP and RESQML SIG Leader.

Scott Hills, a Consulting Research Scientist for Chevron and Energistics' Metadata Work Group Lead, explained that, "Although the EIP was developed with significant community input, it's based on a newly revised ISO standard.  As a result, the Work Group believes that its focus should now shift from development to adoption.  We believe this will best help the community begin to realize value from the EIP, and identify the highest value enhancements for the next release."

For more information, visit the Energistics web site to view the Energy Information Profile Standard.
 [this post is a modified version of the Energistics announcement]

Abstracts due for national AIPG-AHS joint meeting in Prescott, Arizona

A reminder that abstracts are due June 2 for the joint national meeting of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and the annual meeting of the Arizona Hydrological Society (AHS), to be held in Prescott, Sept. 13-16, 2014.   I'm reposting the AIPG-AHS announcement below.  The range of topics for presentation is wide.

Join the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and the Arizona Hydrological Society (AHS) for the 2014 Water and Rocks, the Foundations of Life National Conference in Prescott, Arizona.
How to Submit Abstracts - pdf file

To have your abstract considered for a presentation or poster, please go to to submit an abstract online by June 2, 2014. Abstracts must be in Word format, single spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, and should not exceed one page. No tables or pictures will be accepted. You will be notified by June 16, 2014 if your abstract has been accepted. Extended abstracts and full papers are welcome, but not required. Please contact Cathy Duran with AIPG if you have any additional questions. Phone: (303) 412-6205 or E-mail:

Potential Topics Sample

    Application of GW Flow Models to Water Planning
    Colorado River
    Colorado River & Suspended Sediment
    Colorado River Experimental High Flows
    Colorado River Watershed & Uranium
    Colorado River Watershed Springs
    Drought & Climate Change
    Ecosystem Flow Needs
    Engineering Geology
    Environmental Geology
    Ethics/International Practices in the Profession
    Geochemistry & Geomorphology
    Geographic Information System Applications
    Geology of Arizona
    Geophysics & Groundwater
    Geophysics & Subsidence
    Groundwater Management & Policy
    Groundwater Modeling
    Groundwater Quality
    Hydraulic Fracturing
    Hydrogeologic Framework Studies
    Industrial Minerals
    Long-Term Groundwater/Surface Water Monitoring
    Mine Closure & Reclamation
    Mine Water
    Mining & Economic Geology
    Oil & Gas
    Overdraft, Safe Yield &
    Porphyry Copper
    Precious Metals
    Project Profiles
    Rare Earth Elements
    Reclamation in Arid Environments
    San Pedro Watershed
    Santa Cruz River
    Springs as Geochemical & Biodiversity Indicators
    Surface Water - Groundwater Interaction
    Surface Water Quality
    Tribal Water Concerns/Management Strategies
    Verde River Watershed
    Water Management
    Water Quality Management
    Young Professionals/Early Career Scientists

ADOT report on aggregate sources of northern Arizona

The Arizona Dept. of Transportation has released a 129-page report documenting aggregate resources in northern Arizona to assess what could be available for road construction and repair. [Right, locations of mineral aggregate locations identified in report]   The challenge for ADOT is less about the presence of aggregate materials and more about finding them in locations where they can be mined.

The abstract states:
Constructing and maintaining Arizona’s highway system requires a dependable, abundant supply of mineral aggregates, borrow, quarried rock, and other materials. Finding such sources is important in northern Arizona, where suitable materials may be limited and land jurisdictions, including sovereign American Indian nations and lands administered by the State of Arizona and federal agencies, are difficult to develop for such purposes. The Flagstaff, Globe, Holbrook, Kingman, and Prescott districts of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), encompassing Apache, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, and Yavapai counties, may require up to 46 million tons of material for pavement preservation, safety improvements, widening, or reconstruction of traffic interchanges on the Interstate system and maintenance over the next 20 years. This study focuses on potential sources within a 10‐mile‐wide corridor along the existing Interstates, U.S. highways, and state routes in the five‐county project area; the project team identified 285 sites that may be suitable. The team estimates that these sites may require three months to three years to develop, depending on the time needed for environmental clearance and permitting, site exploration and characterization, and site development, including building haul routes to move materials for highway projects. An implementation plan was outlined for ADOT that provides a process to determine which sites should be reviewed and cleared.

The report is available online (click on link below). It was prepared for ADOT by Jeff Swan, with Swan Consulting, G. Bruce Kay with Ninyo & Moore and George A. Ruffner & Amanda Sydloski at EcoPlan Associates, Inc.

Rio Tinto names Resolution Copper project one of 3 best prospects

Rio Tinto's CEO Sam Walsh told an Australian mining investment conference that the Resolution copper project in Arizona as one of the "three best development prospects on Rio's books.”    Rio Tinto is the operating partner in the joint venture with BHP Billiton.

The Resolution Copper project could supply as much as one-quarter of US copper needs for 40 years.  It will be an underground mine near the town of Superior.  The company is drilling a shaft to 7,500 foot depth, but is waiting for Congress to act on a land exchange bill the company says is necessary for them to proceed.   [Right, diagram of proposed underground block caving method.  Credit, Resolution Copper mine plan of operations]

The other two top ranked projects are the La Granja copper project in Peru,  and Australia's South of Embley bauxite project.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Magnitude 2.4 earthquake near Page, Arizona

There was a small, magnitude 2.4 earthquake at 6 a.m. local time this morning southwest of Page, Arizona.    Interestingly, there was a magnitued 2.8 event in the same area a year and a day ago.

[Right, orange star marks earthquake epicenter. The red line to the west is an active fault line. Credit, USGS]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

National Geothermal Data System – Free Online Access to America’s Geothermal Resources Data - Debuts at 2014 White House Energy Datapalooza

The National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) was selected to be part of the 2014 Energy Datapalooza Innovation Showcase, hosted by the White House, the US Department of Energy, and the General Services Administration. The Energy Datapalooza highlights private-sector innovators harnessing the power of data to build the clean energy economy.
NGDS was created and deployed in response to the Obama Administration’s Open Data Policy and the industry demand for better scientific data about the subsurface.  Populated with geothermal-relevant data from all 50 states, NGDS has the potential to fundamentally change America’s energy portfolio by driving efficient exploration for clean, renewable energy from Earth’s interior. State geological surveys, academic institutions, and the private sector from throughout the country contribute to NGDS by digitizing and making available online more than 30 major types of data resulting in the availability of over 34,000 geologic maps, reports, and documents, and more than 9 million interoperable data points.

Already, NGDS’s publicly accessible, free data is providing tangible value to the industry.  For example, Schlumberger, a global industry leader serving the oil & gas sectors, was able to make better drilling decisions because of raw temperature data supplied to NGDS. Additionally, through NGDS data, Big D Engineering discovered a basin of geothermal brine under much of Hidalgo County, Texas, and is now exploring the feasibility of turning non-potable, brackish geopressured-geothermal water into clean drinking water.

"By leveraging freely available government data and tools, entrepreneurs and innovators are helping to build the clean energy economy," said Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. "Innovations like those featured today at the Energy Datapalooza can help Americans conserve energy, save money, and advance a safer and cleaner future."

NGDS is powered by U.S. Geoscience Information Network (USGIN), a web-based, data integration framework in which users maintain their data in a distributed system. USGIN and NGDS strive to enable data interoperability, which allows data to be accessed and read in multiple formats significantly reducing the time it takes to retrieve and analyze data. The system infrastructure utilizes free and open source software whenever possible and hosts a suite of custom analytical and visualization tools.

Find out more about the National Geothermal Data System at and the US Geoscience Information Network at  NGDS and USGIN promote distributed data sharing and data interoperability through a series of open source and/or community adopted standards and protocols. Information on how to implement a similar system is available at  

[taken from the AZGS news release issued this morning at the opening of the Datapalooza]

Monday, May 19, 2014

Nick Priznar passed away

We were deeply saddened to learn that Nicholas (Nick) M. Priznar, well-known geologist with the Arizona Dept. of Transportation, passed away early Friday morning.  Nick had been employed for over 27 years with ADOT, in the Geotechnical Section of the Materials Group based in Phoenix

His colleagues at ADOT noted that Nick began his career with ADOT in 1986 after 10 years in mining and construction.  Nick’s technical knowledge and expertise had a tremendous influence on ADOT’s bridge foundations, slope stability, and rock-fall projects.   Nick was always our 'go-to guy' at ADOT for sharing or seeking geologic information.  [Right, Nick presenting at a geotechnical workshop in  2004.  Credit, Federal Highway Administration, US Dept. of Transportation]

Nick's family shared that they will hold a closed casket visitation from 5-8 pm, Thursday, May 22 at The Messinger Mortuary: 7601 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 945-9521 (cross streets are Indian School Road and 75th Street)

The funeral service will be Friday, May 23rd at 10am at The Catholic Community of the Blessed Sacrament
11300 N. 64th St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85254, phone: 480.948.8370
(cross streets are 64th st in between Cactus and Shea)
Reception to follow in the church hall.

Burial will be after the reception at National Cemetery of Arizona
23029 N Cave Creek Rd Phoenix, AZ 85024
(480) 513-3600 (cross streets Pinnacle Peak Rd and Cave Creek Rd)

In lieu of flowers, they ask donations in Nick's name be made to the American Cancer Society, Hospice of the Valley, St. Joseph's Medical Center, John C. Lincoln Hospital or the Arizona Geological Survey.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hudbay extends offer for Rosemont Copper parent, Augusta Resources

HudBay Minerals Inc. announced on Friday that it has extended its offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Augusta Resource Corporation until May 27, and raised questions about Rosemont Copper's ability to get a Section 404 Clean Water Permit from the Corps of Engineers.  [Right, land management map around Rosemont Copper mine area]

The Hudbay news release said,
Hudbay continues to monitor developments with respect to Augusta's applications for permits required for the Rosemont project. Hudbay is assessing, among other things, the potential implications of a letter dated May 13, 2014 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the "USACE") is reported to have sent to Augusta. The USACE letter advises Augusta that, in the context of its Clean Water Act section 404 permit application, Augusta's proposed compensatory mitigation is inadequate and USACE staff is changing its focus from compensatory mitigation to preparing a final permit decision.
Industry observers tell us that Hudbay is trying to put pressure on Augusta shareholders to sell or risk the company not getting the necessary permit or being delayed so long the company runs out of cash.

A geologist's tour of Arizona's San Pedro River

The San Pedro River is Arizona's last undammed river. AZGS geologist Joe Cook and his colleagues  recently mapped the extent of Holocene channel and floodplain alluvium there. Our online interactive map tour takes us on a 122-mile trek from the US-Mexico border to Winkelman, Arizona, to show you the San Pedro River Valley as seen through the eyes of a geologist.