Paul Mann, UTIG senior research scientist

Paul Mann


Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 1983
B.A., Oberlin College, 1978

Office: 427 SR1

Lab: 425 SR1

Office phone (127B, SR1): 713-893-1731
Fax: 713-748-7906

Research interests. My research interests include the tectonics of late Cenozoic deformation plate boundary zones, the geology and geophysics of strike-slip plate boundaries, structural styles of strike-slip, thrust and rift boundaries as expressed on seismic reflection data; and the tectonic settings of giant oil and gas fields found worldwide. For these studies I use mainly subsurface data that is either collected from NSF-funded field-based programs or is donated by oil companies and used with their permission. Other forms of data used in my studies include field observations and mapping, remote sensing, seismic refraction data, sidescan and multibeam data, magnetics and gravity data, and GPS-based geodesy.

For the past 12 years, much of the support for my research has come from the oil industry. I have co-led two multi-year projects funded by a consortia of oil companies. From 2002-2006, Lesli Wood (UT Bureau of Economic Geology) and I led the DM2 project that focused on the Trinidad area. From 2005 to the present, Alejandro Escalona (UT PhD, 2003, now Associate Professor, University of Stavanger, Norway) and I are leading the Caribbean Basins, Tectonics, and Hydrocarbons Project (CBTH) that covers a much larger geographic area of the Caribbean and northern South American region. The first two phases of the project were at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Stavanger (Phase 1: 2005-8; Phase II: 2008-11).  Since I moved from UT to UH in 2011, the he third and now fourth phases the CBTH study is entirely based at the University of Houston:

Completed examples of my work. A common element of my work is integration of geologic and geophysical data with a tectonic framework. For examples of completed regional studies, please refer to the Geological Society of America Special Papers that I have either edited or co-edited on different segments of the Caribbean plate boundaries. These include: GSA Special Papers 262 (1991), 295 (1995), 326 (1999), 385 (2005), 428 (2007), as well as Caribbean Basins, volume 4 of Elsevier's Basins of the World series (Elsevier, 1999); a review article on giant oil and gas fields of the world (2003 AAPG Memoir 78); Tectonophysics Special Issue on the Solomon Islands (v. 389, 2005), the AAPG Bulletin Special Issue on the Maracaibo Basin, western Venezuela (v. 90, 2006; the 2007 Geological Society of London Special Publication Tectonics of Strike-slip Restraining and Releasing Bends co-edited by Dickson Cunningham and myself;and a special issue Marine and Petroleum Geology (2011) on the petroleum geology of the southeastern Caribbean.  In addition to these more regional studies, I have coauthored many papers with students that are more focused geographically on their study areas.

For the past 12 years, I have worked either onland or at sea in the following tectonic environments. Most of this work has been done collaboratively with BS, MS, PhD, or post-doctoral level researchers at the University of Texas at Austin (cf. list of graduated students) or at the University of Houston (cf. list of graduated students).

Potential sources of data for theses and dissertations: The source of data for these studies varies from original field data collected at outcrops, original geophysical data collected during NSF-supported marine surveys, and data provided for student-related projects by the oil industry. In recent years, most of my time is spent working with subsurface data either collected as part of NSF-funded surveys on academic research vessels or using geophysical and well data provided by the CBTH oil industry consortia. However, ideas by students for outcrop-based studies to solve tectonic problems of regional significance are always welcome.