Caribbean Basins, Tectonics, and Hydrocarbons Project
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UH Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
| UiS Dept. of Petroleum Engineering
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What's New

  • New CBTH Newsletter - September 2018 edition (PDF)

  • Congrats to Jack Kenning for his first place poster award at the student poster session (Advanced PhD category) at the HGS-EAS, 20th Annual Robert E. Sheriff lecture for his presentation on the Mexican Ridges in the western Gulf of Mexico. Click here for more information.

  • Thanks to everyone who attended the CBTH Annual Sponsors Meeting on Friday, September 21, 2018! This year, we had a total of 57 attendees (34 from industry, 23 from UH/UiS). For more information, including a copy of the presentation schedule, click here.

  • Congrats to the three CBTH-supported students who placed first, second, and third at the 15th Annual Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain Conference on African Exploraiton. The conference is held in Houston and London in alternating years. Marcus Zinecker was in first place with a poster comparing the conjugate margins of northwest Africa and the Blake-Bahama plateau; Omar Zavala placed second for his poster comparing the thermochronology of the South Atlantic Ocean; and Geraldine Tijerina placed third for her poster comparing the thermochronology of the conjugate margins of the Central Atlantic.

  • Karilys Castillo, who competed her MS in 2014 with the CBTH project, is presenting a talk at the meeting of the Colombia Geoscientists Network from 6-8 pm on Thursday, Sept 20, at the The Bougainvilleas. 12126 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077. Since completing her MS at UH on eastern Venezuela, Karilys worked for three years as a geophysicist with the Anadarko Offshore Colombia team and is currently working with the Advanced Analytics and Technology team. The title of her talk is: Mass transport complexes (MTC) characterization, Sinu basin, offshore Colombia.

  • Paul Mann is part of the organization committee and will present at the AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop entitled: Deep and ultra-deep petroleum systems: What we know and what we dont know to be held in Beijing, China, on October 26-28, 2018. The meeting will provide a forum for the discussion of all aspects of the new deep frontiers that include: deepwater exploration systems (turbidites, etc.), deepwater offshore discoveries (including all depositional systems), and deep and ultra-deep strata onshore. Click here for more information.

  • Paul Mann and other CBTH students and graduates presented at the AAPG Hedberg Conference on Geology of Middle America - The Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan, Caribbean, Grenada and Tobago basins, and their Margins - on July 2-5,2018 in Siguenza, Spain. The event was covened by Jorge Comet, CEPSA, Keith James, Consultant, and Jose Luis Granja Bruna, Univ. Madrid. For a list of CBTH presentations at the meeting, click here. For more information, click here.

  • Congrats to CBTH students Lucia Torrado and Andrew Steier for their leadership of the AAPG Wildcatters student group at UH that won the top AAPG student group award for the USA at the AAPG Salt Lake City meeting. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Jack Kenning for his fourth place poster award at the student poster session at the AAPG meeting in Salt Lake City for his presentation on the Mexican Ridges in the western Gulf of Mexico. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to former CBTH student Kyle Reuber (PhD, 2017) for his AAPG Jules Braunstein Memorial best poster award for the 2017 Annual Meeting. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Paul Mann for the Robert H. Dott, Sr., Memorial best publication award shared with his co-editor, Claudio Bartolini (Repsol) for AAPG Memoir 108 on the petroleum geology of the Colombian margin. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Matt Copley for completing his MS at Colorado School of Mines and his new job at Anadarko. Matt worked with CBTH as an undergrad at UH for 2015-16.

  • Congratulations to first-year, CBTH PhD student Jack Kenning (right), who won the 1st Place Oral Presentation award (session 1) at the April 27, 2018, UH Student Research Day and to senior, CBTH, undergraduate student, Omar Zavala (left), who placed third in the undergraduate student poster competition. CBTH PhD students Lucia Torrado and Jack Kenning also received scholarships for Outstanding Graduate Work in Geology at the event.
  • Click here to see their titles and a list of all EAS presentations at Student Research Day.



  • Dr. Paul Mann presented a talk on April 25, 2018, to the Houston Geological Society General Luncheon meeting on hydrocarbon prospectivity of conjugate rifted margins in the Gulf of Mexico and circum-Atlantic. Click here for a link to the talk summary published in the HGS Bulletin.

  • Dr. Paul Mann presented two talks at the 1st Meeting on the Lithosphere of the Island of Hispaniola (1ER ENCUENTRO SOBRE LA LITÓSFERA DE LA ISLA DE LA ESPAÑOLA) on March 1-3 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.Click here for more information.

  • Congratulations to CBTH PhD student Pin Lin, who won the 2nd Place Poster Award at 2017 the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more.

  • Dr. Paul Mann was recently featured on KHOU TV to discuss tsunamis. Click here and here for more information.

  • The CBTH Project presented 5 presentations at the Fall AGU meeting in New Orleans on December 11-15, 2017. For a list of CBTH presentations at the meeting, click here. For a full list of all 72 UH EAS posters and talks at the AGU meeting, click here.

  • CBTH PhD students Shenelle Gomez and Lucia Torrado recently presented at the UH EAS-HGS Sheriff Lecture on Nov. 27, 2017. Click on their names to view videos of Shenelle and Lucia explaining their posters to AAPG President Charles Sternbach.

  • CBTH graduate students Pin Lin, Jack Kenning, Beatriz Serrano-Suarez, and Andrew Steier will be presenting at the AAPG Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 20-23, 2018. Click here for details on presentations and the CBTH sponsor luncheon at AAPG.



  • For the second year in a row, the UiS program in Norway - led by Drs. Alejandro Escalona and Nestor Cardozo - was ranked number one in teaching quality at the University of Stavanger and was voted the best graduate program in Norway in a “student barometer survey”. Click here for more information.

  • Congrats to Claudio Bartolini and Paul Mann for winning the Robert H. Dott, Sr., Memorial Award for their jointly-edited publication, "Petroleum Geology and Potential of the Colombian Caribbean Margin" (Memoir 108) that was published in 2015. Their award will be presented at the AAPG ACE Conference opening ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The volume contained the papers of several now graduated CBTH-UH students including Rocio Bernal (PhD, 2015), Javier Sanchez (PhD, 2015), Luis Carlos Carvajal (PhD, 2017), and Joan Blanco (PhD, 2017), and CBTH-UT Austin student (Henry Campos, MS, 2011).


  • Two articles involving the CBTH Project will be featured in the June 2017 Issue of AAPG Explorer. The first, available here, concerns CBTH PhD Student Lucia Torrado's recent 1st place win at the AAPG Student Poster Competition, while the second, available here, concerns the UH IBA Team's recent win in the international competition at the AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibiton.

CBTH students, staff, and guests at the 2018 CBTH Thanksgiving dinner. CBTH students, staff, and guests at the 2018 CBTH Thanksgiving dinner. Article from the HGS Bulletin on the 2018 Sheriff Lecture, where CBTH PhD student Jack Kenning won the Advanced PhD category From left to right: EAS department chair, Dr. Hua-wei Zhou; Sarah Meyer, the undergrad category winner, Crystal Saadeh, the MS and first year PhD category winner; Jack Kenning, the advanced PhD category winner; and Dr. Gary Mavko from Stanford University, the invited Sheriff lecturer speaker Geraldine Tijerina,  CBTH undergraduate student, presenting her work on a compilation of fission track ages from the conjugate margins of the central Atlantic Ocean to Dr. John Castagna at the student poster session at the 2018 Sheriff lecture, City Centre, Houston. Marcus Zinecker, CBTH PhD student, presenting his work on the NW Africa-eastern USA conjugate margin to a judge at the student poster session at the 2018 Sheriff lecture, City Centre, Houston. Jack Kenning, CBTH PhD student, presenting his work on the Mexican Ridges in the western GOM to a judge at the student poster session at the 2018 Sheriff lecture, City Centre, Houston. CBTH poster presenters at the conclusion of the 2018 Sheriff meeting, City Centre, Houston Mohammad Almatrood presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Amanda Pascali presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Nikola Bjelica presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Trevor Russell presents at UH Undergraduate Research Day 2018 Marcus Zinecker presenting his GCAGS poster on structural restoration of faults in the SE GOM. Omar Zavala presents his GCAGS poster to a poster session judge on South Atlantic history from a compilation of fission track data. Nawaz Bugti presents his poster to AAPG President Denise Cox on the NW GOM at the GCAGS meeting. Jack Kenning presents his poster on the Mexican Ridges structure at the GCAGS meeting. Marcus Zinecker presents his poster on conjugate margin hydrocarbon prospectivity at the GCAGS meeting. Nawaz Bugti presents his talk at the GCAGS meeting on the NW GOM salt structures. CBTH students, staff, and sponsors attended the CBTH Year-End Meeting on September 21, 2018 at UH CBTH students who participated in 2018 Africa conference sponsored by the Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Nikola Bjelica, CBTH undergraduate poster presenter, with AAPG President Charles Sternbach at the September, 2018, HGS-PESGB conference on African exploration, September 2018. CBTH students who participated in 2018 Africa conference sponsored by the Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. From left to right: Sean Romito (PhD), Nicola Bjelica (Undergrad), Malik Muihammed Alam (MS), Omar Zavala (Undergrad)), Geraldine Tijerina (Undergra), and Marcus Zinecker (PhD).  Not pictured is Marie Kouassi (PhD).  Marcus Zinecker (left) presenting his poster on NW Africa at the  September 2018, Africa conference sponsored by Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Marie Kouassi presenting her poster on detrital zircon populations at the September 2018, Africa conference sponsored by Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Nikola Bjelica presenting his poster on Cretaceous source rocks related to OAE2 at the September 2018, Africa conference sponsored by Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. CBTH students who participated in 2018 Africa conference sponsored by the Houston Geological Society/Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. CBTH students Marcus Zinecker and Marie Kouassi prepare for the presentations at ExxonMobil on the SE GOM and detrital zircons related to Pangean breakup, respectively. CBTH MS student Marcus Zinecker presents his work on the SE GOM at ExxonMobil. Students and researchers with the CBTH Project present at Total in Houston Paul Mann giving a talk on the GOM to the GOM group at Total on May 31, 2018. PhD Student Jack Kenning wins the 4th place award in the student poster competition at AAPG 2018. PhD Student Jack Kenning wins the 4th place award in the student poster competition at AAPG 2018. Lucia Torado, Andrew Steier, and Carolina Duenas accept the award for top AAPG student chapter in the U.S. at AAPG 2018. Lucia Torado, Andrew Steier, and Carolina Duenas accept the award for top AAPG student chapter in the U.S. at AAPG 2018. Pin Lin presents at AAPG 2018 Marcus Zinecker presents at AAPG 2018 Jack Kenning presents at AAPG 2018 Kyle Reuber and colleagues at ION Geophysical received the AAPG Best Poster award for the 2017 AAPG meeting. Paul Mann and Claudio Bartolini accept the Robert H. Dott, Sr., Memorial best publication award at AAPG 2018 UH received the Outstanding Student Chapter award at AAPG 2018 Omar Zavala (left) displays third place award in the undergraduate poster category and Jack Kenning (right) displays first place award in the MS/PhD first year, oral presentation category for the April, UH 2018 Student Research Day. Nawaz Bugti presents GOM research at 2018 UH student research day. CBTH PhD student Lucia Torrado at the UHRD welcome desk. CBTH PhD student Pin Lin at the UHRD welcome desk. Jack Kenning presents GOM research at 2018 UH student research day. Paul Mann attended the AAPG Global Superbasins conference in Houston on March 28, 2018. Jack Kenning (on left) and Paul Mann presented results of CBTH work on the Mexican GOM to the New Ventures and GOM groups at Repsol on March 21, 2018. The Department of Petroleum Engineering of the University of Stavanger in Norway led by faculty advisor, Dr. Alejandro Escalona, placed second on March 20, 2018, in the regional Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition in the the European section of AAPG. This is the toughest AAPG regional division because of its large size with 20+ teams that include many top geosciences programs. Presenters at the Caribbean Lithosphere meeting on March 1 and 2, 2018,  in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Front row left to right: Ing. Salvador Brouwer (SODOGEO), Dr. Diego Quiros (Baylor Univ), Dr. Steeve Symithe (Univ of Haiti), Ing. Javier Rodriguez (Loyola College, Dom. Rep.), Dr. Manuel Iturralde-Vinent (Academy of Sciences, Cuba), Dr. Paul Mann (Univ. of Houston), Dr. Diana Nunez (Univ of Guadalajara, Mexico), Dr. Diego Cordoba (Univ. Madrid), Dr. Elizabeth Vanacore (Univ of Puerto Rico/Mayaguez), Dr. Jay Pulliam (Baylor Univ), Ing, Juan Gil (SODOGEO).  Back row left to right: Ing. Eduardo Verdeja (SODOGEO), Dr. Benard Mercier de Lepinay (Univ of Nice), Dr. John Lewis (George Washington Univ), and Dr. Jordane Corbeau (Volcano and Earthquake Observatory, Martinique). All participants at the Lithosphere conference organized by the Sociedad Dominicana de Geologia. Stop on highway to Samana to looks at Miocene Yanigua Formation, a shallow water sandstone containing amber. Stop on south side of peninsula at Balandra to view blueschists.  View south across Samana Bay with Los Haitises National Park (limestone karsted area) on in distance to right.  Small boats in the bay were tourist cruises to view humpback whales who winter in Samana Bay for birthing calves. Dr. Diego Cardoba of Univ of Madrid viewing outcrop of re-folded blueschist at Balandra. The GEOPRICO and CARIBENORTE projects of the Univ of Madrid and collaborating universities have studied the deep structure of Hispaniola over the past decade. Ing. Javier Rodriguez (SODOGEO) explaining the tectonic setting of blueschists at Balandra.  View looking east along the coast near the end of Samana Bay.  Dr. Jim Joyce of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez explaining blueschist compositions and formation at Balandra.  Jim completed his PhD at Northwestern University in 1979 on a mapping and geochemical study of the blueschists of the Samana Peninsula.  Closeup of green amphibole, calcite, and quartz assemblage of the Balandra nappe that indicates blueschist high pressure and low temperature conditions which these sedimentary rocks reached during subduction to depths of about 30 km. Trip by boat to beach and cliff face on the point to the northeast of Las Galeras harbor on the north side of the Samana Peninsula.  Dr. Jay Pulliam and Dr. Diana Nunez at the beach at Las Galeras Point.  Jay has worked on the deep structure of Hispaniola since 2003; Diana did her PhD at the University of Madrid on the GEOPRICO and CARIBENORTE projects. View of beach at Las Galeras Point which is protected from the Atlantic swell by a small fringing reef.  Cliffs are impure and highly sheared limestone and shale of the El Rincon marbles. The photolith age is thought to be Cretaceous. Dr. Bernard Mercier de Lepinay of the Univ of Nice studying the highly sheared limestone in the wave-cut cliff face above the beach. Isoclinal folds indicating the apparent 'bedding' has been transposed by pervasive shearing. Tunnel type mine for extracting blocks of El Rincon “black marble”. View of cataclasites with a cut block of marble at mine entrance. Viewing heavy equipment at the entrance to mine. Inclined, wave-cut platform at eastern end of peninsula into El Rincon marble.  The ~20-m-high platform is veneeed with a 20-40 cm thick layer of Quaternary coral.  Fractures in marble produce strong blowholes. Congratulations to CBTH PhD student Lucia Torrado, who placed 1st in the student poster competition at this year's AAPG annual convention. The UH IBA team wins 1st place in the international competition at the 2017 AAPG annual meeting. The UH IBA team wins 1st place in the international competition at the 2017 AAPG annual meeting. PhD students Shenelle Gomez and Luis Carlos Carvajal receive the second and third place awards at AAPG 2016

CBTH Proposal and Product Information

Please feel free to browse our data using a sample version of our Geomapper application (full version available to sponsors), a copy of our new proposal (.pdf), our project flyer(.pdf), and our Contributions List of CBTH publications, theses, and presentations.

The CBTH proposed study area is shown below. This area includes the oil-rich areas of the Mexican and US sectors of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and northern South America, as well as the equatorial, conjugate margins of Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Brazil along with countries in western and eastern Africa.

CBTH Study Area (revised September 2018)

click map to enlarge

The CBTH study area. Numbers correspond to Phase IV,Year 1 student study areas: 1) Nawaz Bugti, PhD, UH 2) Lei Sun, Post-Doctoral Researcher, UH 3) Sharon Cornelius, Post-Doctoral Researcher, UH 4) Steven Leslie, PhD, UH 5) Jack Kenning, PhD, UH 6) Lucia Torrado, PhD, UH 7) Marie Kouassi, PhD, UH 8) Hualing Zhang, PhD, UH 9) Sean Romito, PhD, UH 10) Marcus Zinecker, PhD, UH 11) Mei Liu, PhD, UH 12) Geraldine Tijerina, BS, UH 13) Omar Zavala, BS, UH 14) Malik Muhammad Alam, MS, UH 15) Amanda Pascali, BS, UH 16) Trevor Russell, PhD, UH 17) Fernando Mazuera, PhD, UiS 18) Guro Skarstein, MS, UiS 19) Andres Cedeño, PhD, UiS


Caribbean Basins, Tectonics, &
		Hydrocarbons: Phase IV Logo

Goals of the CBTH Project

The CBTH Project seeks to create a GIS-based digital and atlas synthesis of available seismic and well data to define the regional hydrocarbon potential of a vast region affected by the Mesozoic breakup of Pangea (shown in upper inset of map of the study area below). This project, which has been operating since September 1, 2005, includes: 1) known hydrocarbon basins of onshore and the lesser known offshore basins of the Caribbean and northern South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, Northern Brazil); 2) the US and Mexico sectors of the Gulf of Mexico; 3) and the rifted-passive margins of the Central in eastern North America and western Europe, and the South Atlantic in South America and west Africa. Our main objectives are to compile all the available digital seismic and published data in a GIS database to provide an integrated geologic synthesis of tectonosequences, depositional systems, major structures, petroleum geology, paleogeographic maps, and quantitative plate reconstructions for a better understanding of the hydrocarbon systems in the region. Our largest concentration of data and current studies are in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico but we have several recently completed and ongoing projects in Brazil and west Africa.


AAPG Explorer Articles on CBTH Research

The CBTH Project was the subject of an article in the October 2012 issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read.

CBTH PhD student Lucia Torrado was the subject of an article in the June 2017, issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read.

Paul Mann and CBTH MS students Eric Lunn and Andrew Steier were the subject of an article in the June 2017, issue of AAPG Explorer. Click here to read. Click here to read.


CBTH Calendar of Events


Current Events in the CBTH Study Area




  • CBTH Geomapper is now back online! The application is accessible through the Sponsor Login page for participating sponsors.

A special thanks to our current industry sponsors who have helped make this project possible:
A special thanks to our inactive sponsors who previously supported the CBTH Project:

A special thanks for data sharing:

A special thanks to our technical support:


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University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Stavanger Department of Petroleum Engineering


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