Loma Linda University

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H. Paul Buchheim, PhD
Program Coordinator, Earth and Biological Sciences
School of Medicine
Professor, Earth and Biological Sciences
School of Medicine
Member, Earth Science, SST, Faculty of Graduate Studies
Publications    Scholarly Journals--Submitted
  • Buchheim, H.P.,  Aase, R., and C. Shultz, (in press),  Geologic Map of the Nugget 7.5’ Quadrangle, Lincoln County, Wyoming.  Wyoming State Geological Survery, Laramie, Wyoming.   1:24,000 ( 7/2007 )
  • Buchheim, H.P.,  Aase, R., and C. Shultz, (in press),  Geologic Map of the Fossil 7.5’ Quadrangle, Lincoln County, Wyoming.  Wyoming State Geological Survery, Laramie, Wyoming.   1:24,000 ( 7/2007 )
  Scholarly Journals--Published
  • Stanley M. Awramik and H. Paul Buchheim, 2012, The Quest for Microbialite Analogs to the South Atlantic Pre-Salt Carbonate Hydrocarbon Reservoirs of Africa and South America. HGS BULLETIN, SEPT, 2012, VOL 55, NO 1, pp 21-27. ( 2/2014 - 9/2014 ) Link...
  • H. Paul Buchheim, Stanley M. Awramik, 2012, Predicting Lacustrine Microbialite Distribution and Facies Associations: The Eocene Green River Formation Analogue; AAPG Search and Discovery Article #10428, (published poster) ( 7/2012 - 3/2014 ) Link...
  • Lacustrine Stromatolites and Microbialites as Petroleum Reservoirs Buchheim, Paul (1); Awramik, Stanley (2); Leggitt, Leroy (1) Department of Earth and Biological Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA. (2) Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.  AAPG Search and Discover Article #90104©2010 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition-11-14 April 2010 ( 4/2010 ) Link...
    One of the largest oil fields in the Uinta Basin, Utah, is sourced from a thick lacustrine microbialite/oolite bioherm, 30 m thick and 4 km long, that has produced close to a million barrels of oil. Outcrop exposures of analogous bioherms occur in the Piceance Creek Basin of Colorado and in the Green River Basin of Wyoming. These occurrences provide analogs for exploration of petroleum in other lake basins. Recent exploration in the “pre‐salt” lacustrine sections of off‐shore Santos Basin of Brazil suggest that microbialites and associated lacustrine facies form significant reservoirs (Mello et al., 2009). Microbialite bioherms from the La Barge area in the Green River Basin of Wyoming provide excellent outcrop analogs. The bioherms occur in theWilkins Peak Member of the Green River Formation and are composed of clusters, some approaching 0.5 km across, of domical and columnar stromatolites. Individual stromatolites in the clusters are up to 3 meters in diameter. Ooids, oncoids, calcified caddisfly larval cases, and other carbonate components occur within and between the stromatolites. Laterally, bioherms are discontinuous (like patch reefs); however, the lakemargin bioherm system is found in a large arc (over 250 km) across the western, northern, and eastern greater Green River Basin. Bioherms grade laterally into adjacent fine‐grained lake facies over a distance of 100 meters and into dolomitic oil shale of the Wilkins Peak Member over a distance of ~15 km. Since thick microbialites can be important reservoir rock, it is important to understand the paleoenvironmental conditions that favor the formation of bioherms over biostromes. In the southeastern part of the Green River Basin, biostromes seem to be the exclusive megastructure of microbialites, whereas in the northwest to northeast part of the basin bioherms occur in addition to biostromes. The biostromes are found in sequences interpreted to be balanced‐filled lake deposits where regressions and transgressions over very low gradients were frequent.   Bioherms appear to have been favored by under‐filled lake‐basin conditions (saline‐alkaline lakes), where localized fresh‐water deposition was restricted to the lake margins. The importance of lacustrine microbialites as petroleum reservoirs is significant and their potential for petroleum exploration in lacustrine basins cannot be under estimated.
  • Awramik, S.M. and H. Paul Buchheim, A Giant, Late Archean Lake System: The Meentheena Member (Tumbiana Formation; Fortescue Group), Western Australia, Precambrian Research, Volume 174, Issues 3-4, November 2009, Pages 215-240 ( 11/2009 ) Link...
    The 2720 Ma-old Meentheena Member of the Tumbiana Formation, Fortescue Group, is a 30–50 m-thick succession of alternating siliciclastic and limestone beds that crop out intermittently over a distance of 680 km across the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. Limestones of the member consist of flat-pebble (intraformational) conglomerate, oolite, grainstone, calcisiltite, and calcilutite. Siliciclastics consist of shale, siltstone, and sandstone, and many of these are tuffaceous. Sedimentary structures include abundant symmetrical ripples, ripple cross-stratification, desiccation cracks, teepee structures, and planar to wavy lamination. The member is superficially similar in appearance wherever it crops out; however, the correlation of individual beds and units over distances greater than 15 km is problematic. There are no regional marker beds. Radiometric ages from tuffaceous units young to the west by a few million years. Four lithofacies are defined: (a) flat-pebble conglomerate, (b) ripple cross-laminated oolite/grainstone, (c) planar to wavy-laminated calcilutite/calcisiltite, and (d) shale/siltstone. Stromatolites are found in all three of the limestone facies. Evaporites are rare and include halite pseudomorphs. The four lithofacies are generally found in a vertical succession that characterizes a lithofacies association and reflects a deepening upward succession. Associations may not have all four lithofacies, but do reflect the same deepening upward pattern. The uppermost portions of shale/siltstone facies commonly contain symmetrical ripples and desiccation cracks indicating subaerial exposure. Measured sections contain as many as 25 of these parasequences indicating fluctuating water levels. Limestone lithology and facies commonly change abruptly laterally (at the meter and greater scale) and vertically (centimeter- to meter-scale). The sedimentary structures, differences and abrupt changes in lithofacies patterns, the inability to correlate confidently between regions, and the differences in age from east to west suggest a complex, diachronous, depositional system of fluctuating water levels in separate bodies of water. The limestone is dominated by sedimentary structures indicative of shallow water within wave base; however, it is devoid of evidence of any tidal influence. Possibilities for depositional environments include a tideless sea or a lacustrine system. 87Sr/86Sr values from limestone differ from known Archean marine carbonates. REE patterns are decidedly non-marine as well. A lacustrine system is favored for the Meentheena Member based on sedimentary structures, the abruptness of lithologic and facies changes, the facies association, lateral gradation into fluvial deposits, the inability to correlate many units and beds for more than a few to several kilometers, geochemical data, stromatolites, and comparisons with younger lacustrine basins as well as marine successions. There is no single line of evidence that unequivocally establishes a lacustrine origin; however, multiple lines of evidence are collectively consistent with a lacustrine origin. The Meentheena Member would therefore represent the oldest known carbonate-rich, lacustrine system, which we call the Meentheena lakes system.
  • Nyborg, Torrey and Paul Buchheim,  Lacustrine Tufa Mounds of the Miocene-Pliocene Copper Canyon “Formation,” Death Valley, California: Relationship to Organism Abundance and Distribution, 2009, AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009 ( 6/2009 ) Link...
    Tufa mounds reflecting active spring deposition are numerous within limestone beds of the Copper Canyon “formation” (CCF). Tufa mounds ranging from 5-30cm in diameter and height occur in over 10 stratigraphically spaced limestone beds within the CCF. Many of the tufa mounds have a central micritic pipe surrounded by porous calcium carbonate suggesting active lake-groundwater interactions. The tufa mounds accumulated when fresh calcium-rich spring waters mixed with bicarbonate-rich lake waters. The original internal structure consists of porous and crystalline (thinolite) fabric often associated with aquatic vegetation. Gastropod, ostracod and plant fragment coquinas occur in the same bedding plane with the tufa mounds. Fringe cements consisting of several layers of finely laminated micrite often cover the plant material and many of the gastropods and ostracods often serve as the nucleus of peloids. Stable isotope data (δ18O range from -10.15 to -10.96‰ PDB) from the tufa mounds indicate the lake was fed by relatively fresh groundwater. The spring water allowed a more abundant and diverse fauna/flora population to thrive. Lateral measurements of stratigraphic sections demonstrate the tufa mounds were formed around the margin of the ancient Copper Canyon Lake. The CCF represents a ~5 and 3Ma fanglomerate and fluvial-lacustrine basin fill deposit. The CCF is significant because it preserves 1800 meters of lacustrine deposits that contain shoreline playa features including highly abundant and diverse mammal and bird tracks. Track distribution and abundance is tied into the appearance of the tufa mounds and associated bioclastic carbonates. Lower in the lacustrine section tracks and bioclastic carbonates rich in gastropods, ostracods and plant fragments are scarce; however higher in the section, where tufa mound deposits appear, tracks and bioclastic carbonates are very abundant. Increase in mammal and bird tracks along with bioclastic carbonates indicates a groundwater influx into a closed basin and freshening of the ancient Copper Canyon Lake waters. The lacustrine tufa mounds of the Miocene-Pliocene Copper Canyon Lake and the stratigraphic and spatial association of fossil vertebrate tracks and invertebrate fossils is an excellent example of the interplay between lake water chemistry and organism distribution.
  • Li, HC, You, CF, Ku, TL, Xu, XM, Buchheim, H.P., 2008, Wan, NJ, Wang, RM, Shen, ML, 2008, Isotopic and geochemical evidence of palaeoclimate changes in Salton Basin, California, during the past 20 kyr:  87Sr/86Sr ratio in lake tufa as an indicator of connection between Colorado River and Salton Basin. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Vol. 259, no. 2-3, pp. 198-212. 24 Mar 2008. ( 3/2008 ) Link...
    Investigation of δ18O and salt content of surface waters in the Salton Basin, California, shows that there is a strongly positive correlation between δ18O values and salt contents and that the δ18O of Salton Sea is much heavier than that of its input waters due to strong evaporation. Using a steady-state δ18O model, we have discussed the δ18O of Lake Cahuilla, an ancient lake in the basin, under through-flowed, closed and overflowed situations. An AMS-14C-dated stable-isotope record of a 60-cm lake tufa slice (LC-1) from the ancient shoreline of Lake Cahuilla indicates that the lake experienced closed and/or overflowed conditions between 1,300 and 20,500 yr BP. The variations in δ18O and δ13C values of LC-1 ranging from − 8.52‰ to − 2.50‰ (PDB) and from 0.8‰ to 3.76‰, respectively, reflect changes in the relative humidity in Salton Basin and variations in the Colorado River inflow and hence climatic conditions in the Colorado River drainage basin. The tufa record exhibits palaeoclimates of Salton Basin as follows. (1) Relatively dry climate between 20 and 18 kyr BP was followed by a wet climate between 18 and 17 kyr BP. (2) Decreasing effective moisture (precipitation–evaporation) from 17 to 16 kyr BP corresponded to Heinrich-1 event, whereas effective moisture increased at ca.15.5 kyr BP during the Trans-US Wet Period. Contrasting patterns between the LC-1 record and the Greenland ice-core and Chinese speleothem records during the Bølling–Ållerød interstadial from 15.2 to 11.7 kyr BP may be caused by age uncertainty of the LC-1 record. Further study of this interval is needed. (3) Wet/warm early Holocene corresponding to the Maximum Effective Moisture Period perhaps brought about by the strengthening of North American monsoon. (4) Toward 2 kyr BP, the climate became dryer, apparently resulting from weakening of the monsoons, especially around 6.2 and 2.5 kyr BP. (5) A wet regime occurred in the basin during the Medieval Warm Period.
  • Li HC , Xu XM , Ku TL , You CF , Buchheim HP , Peters R (2008) Isotopic and geochemical evidence of palaeoclimate changes in Salton Basin, California, during the past 20 kyr: 1. delta O-18 and delta C-13 records in lake tufa deposits . Palaeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 259 2~3 , 182-197 doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.10.006 . ( 3/2008 ) Link...
    Investigation of δ18O and salt content of surface waters in the Salton Basin, California, shows that there is a strongly positive correlation between δ18O values and salt contents and that the δ18O of Salton Sea is much heavier than that of its input waters due to strong evaporation. Using a steady-state δ18O model, we have discussed the δ18O of Lake Cahuilla, an ancient lake in the basin, under through-flowed, closed and overflowed situations. An AMS-14C-dated stable-isotope record of a 60-cm lake tufa slice (LC-1) from the ancient shoreline of Lake Cahuilla indicates that the lake experienced closed and/or overflowed conditions between 1,300 and 20,500 yr BP. The variations in δ18O and δ13C values of LC-1 ranging from − 8.52‰ to − 2.50‰ (PDB) and from 0.8‰ to 3.76‰, respectively, reflect changes in the relative humidity in Salton Basin and variations in the Colorado River inflow and hence climatic conditions in the Colorado River drainage basin. The tufa record exhibits palaeoclimates of Salton Basin as follows. (1) Relatively dry climate between 20 and 18 kyr BP was followed by a wet climate between 18 and 17 kyr BP. (2) Decreasing effective moisture (precipitation–evaporation) from 17 to 16 kyr BP corresponded to Heinrich-1 event, whereas effective moisture increased at ca.15.5 kyr BP during the Trans-US Wet Period. Contrasting patterns between the LC-1 record and the Greenland ice-core and Chinese speleothem records during the Bølling–Ållerød interstadial from 15.2 to 11.7 kyr BP may be caused by age uncertainty of the LC-1 record. Further study of this interval is needed. (3) Wet/warm early Holocene corresponding to the Maximum Effective Moisture Period perhaps brought about by the strengthening of North American monsoon. (4) Toward 2 kyr BP, the climate became dryer, apparently resulting from weakening of the monsoons, especially around 6.2 and 2.5 kyr BP. (5) A wet regime occurred in the basin during the Medieval Warm Period.
  Scholarly Journals--Accepted
  • Nyborg, T., Buchheim, H. P. and Nick, K. E.  2010.  Age, stratigraphy, depositional environment and vertebrate ichnology of the Miocene-Pliocene Copper Canyon Formation, Death Valley, California. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 61. ( 10/2011 )
  • Buchheim, H.P.,  Aase, R., and C. Shultz, (in press),  Geologic Map of the Rock Slide 7.5’ Quadrangle, Lincoln County, Wyoming.  Wyoming State Geological Survery, Laramie, Wyoming.   1:24,000 ( 6/2010 )
  • Buchheim, H.P.,  Aase, R., and C. Shultz, (in press),  Geologic Map of the Kemmerer Reservoir 7.5’ Quadrangle, Lincoln County, Wyoming.  Wyoming State Geological Survery, Laramie, Wyoming.   1:24,000 ( 6/2010 )
  • Nyborg, T. and Buchheim, H. P.  2009.  Tufa mounds, tracks and the tectonic/climatic evolution of the lacustrine Miocene-Pliocene Copper Canyon “Formation”, Death Valley, California. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 512. ( 10/2009 ) Link...
  Abstract
  • Santucci, V. L., Nyborg, T., Buchheim, H.P. and Nick, K. E. 2012. Vertebrate Paleontology of Death Valley National Park, California. In: Nevada State Museum paleontological Papers 1, Field Trip Guidebook, 71st Annual Meeting Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Las Vegas, Nevada, p. 137-167. ( 3/2014 ) Link...
  • Buchheim, H.P., Cushman, R.A., and R.E. Biaggi, 2011, Stratigraphic revision of the Green River Formation in Fossil Basin, Wyoming: overfilled to underfilled lake evolution: Rocky Mountain Geology, v. 46, no. 2, p. 165–181 ( 3/2014 )
  • Stanley M. Awramik and H. Paul Buchheim,  2011, Major Characteristics and Aspects of Lacustrine Microbialites.  Extended abstract.  Houston Geological Society Bulletin 54, p. 31-33. ( 3/2014 ) Link...
  • Buchheim, H. Paul and Awramik, Stanley M., 2013, Microbialites of the Eocene Green River Formation as Analogs to the South Atlantic Pre-Salt Carbonate Hydrocarbon Reservoirs. London Geological Society,  2013, Invited speaker. Sponsored by the London Geological Society ( 3/2014 )
  • Stanley M. Awramik and H. Paul Buchheim, May, 2013. Microbialite "Shrubs" of the Eocene Green River Formation: Analogs for the Cretaceous Pre-Salt Lacustrine Systems of the South Atlantic Conjugate Basins. (Awramik, speaker, Buchheim abstract co-author),  AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013. ( 3/2014 ) Link...
  • Buchheim, H. Paul and Awramik, Stanley M., 2013, Stevensite, Oolite, and Microbialites in the Eocene Green River Formation, Sanpete Valley, Uinta Basin, Utah. 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013 ( 3/2014 ) Link...
  • Stanley M. Awramik and H. Paul Buchheim, 2012, The Microbialites of Two Giant, Ancient Lake Systems: The Late Archean Meentheena Member and the Eocene Green River Formation, ABSTRACTS AAPG 2012 ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION , April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California, USA ( 3/2014 ) Link...
  • H. Paul Buchheim, Stanley M. Awramik, V. Leroy Leggitt, Timothy M. Demko, Kathryn Lamb-Wozniak, and Kevin M. Bohacs, 2012.  Large Lacustrine Microbialite Bioherms from the Eocene Green River Formation: Stratigraphic Architecture, Sequence Stratigraphic Relations, and Depositional Model; AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90153©2012 AAPG Hedberg Conference Microbial Carbonate Reservoir Characterization, Houston, Texas, 3-8 June 2012. ( 3/2014 ) Link...