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Juan Carlos Laya
(979) 845-7279
(979) 845-6162
Halbouty 263

Texas A&M University

Halbouty 102C

Department of Geology and Geophysics,

MS 3115,

College Station, Texas 77843


PhD (2008/2012) Geological Sciences, Durham University (UK). Specialty carbonate sedimentology

MSc (2005/2007) Geological Sciences, Specialty sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and basin analysis. Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), Venezuela.

BEng (1996/2002) Geological Engineering. Universidad de Los Andes (ULA), Venezuela. 

  • 2010 American Association of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG) Grant in AID, ‘Horst & Jessie von Bandat Memorial Grant’
  • 2010 International Association of Sedimentologists Postgraduate Grant Scheme. 

Carbonate rocks Geol 623

Carbonate Reservoirs Geol 624

Modern Carbonates (Field Studies Geol 609)

Undergraduate research class Geol 491

Juan Carlos Laya

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

  • Carbonate reservoir characterization and modeling from outcrop analogues. Three-dimensional modeling has proved a very useful visualization tool to understand the distribution and geometries of facies and diagenesis. These parameters are major controls on porosity and permeability and therefore, the reservoir quality.


  • Late Paleozoic carbonate petroleum systems and opportunities for exploration. involve the better understanding of Upper Paleozoic successions in South America, their basin setting and paleogeography, carbonate facies distribution, cyclicity and also the stratigraphic resolution, which needs improvement, using biostratigraphy and stable isotopes. My current research, however, also comprises the link between sedimentology with organic geochemistry of the potential source rocks in these successions.


  • Diagenesis and porosity evolution. Carbonate diagenesis is a complex topic which still needs much research to provide a better understanding of the processes and products involved and to enable a degree of prediction of porosity evolution and its distribution. Issues that have still not been resolved include the controls on dolomitization and the prediction of dolomite porosity, and the silicification of limestone. All of the processes affect directly the evolution of the pore systems in reservoirs, an understanding of which is essential for managing oil and gas reservoirs. My research interests here concentrate on the role of diagenesis in the enhancement of the pore systems and include dolomitization, fractures and silicification in different cases of study worldwide.


  • The use of stable isotope geochemistry in understanding deposition, diagenesis and correlation of upper Paleozoic successions.


  • The role of microbial carbonates in petroleum systems, reservoirs and source rocks.

Selected Publications


Laya, J. C., Tucker, M.E. (In press) Petroleum potential of Permian Carbonates in Northern South America In Bartolini C.  Petroleum Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Colombia-Venezuela Caribbean Margin.  AAPG Memoir.


Shenton, B. J., Grossman, E.L., Passey B. H., Henkes, G. A., Becker, T. P., Laya J. C., Perez-Huerta, A., Becker, S. P., and Lawson, M. (In press) Clumped isotope thermometry in deeply buried sedimentary carbonates: The effects of bond reordering and recrystallization.  GSA Bulletin.


Laya, J. C., Tucker, M.E., Perez-Huerta, A. (2013) Metre-scale cyclicity of Permian ramp carbonates in the Venezuelan Andes: deposition under tropical Pangea tectonic and climatic regime. Sedimentary Geology. 292, pp. 15–35


Laya, J. C., Tucker, M.E., Gröcke, D.R., Perez-Huerta, A., (2013). Carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopic composition of low-latitude Permian carbonates: climate proxies of tropical Pangea. In: Gasiewicz, A., Słowakiewicz, M. (Eds.), Late Palaeozoic Climate Cycles: Their Evolutionary, Sedimentological and Economic Impact: Geological Society of London Special Publication, 376, pp. 1–19.


Laya, J. C., Tucker, M.E. (2012) Facies analysis and depositional environments of Permian carbonates in the Venezuelan Andes. Palaeogeographic implication to Northern Gondwana. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 332-332. 1-26 doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.02.011.


Laya, J. C.; Pérez, R.; Viscarret, P. (2008). New sedimentological and stratigraphical data for the Lower Palaeozoic strata of the Southern Andean flank. Geominas. Vol. 36 Nº 46 (Georef, Latinindex) (in spanish)


Laya J. C., Guerrero O., Uzcategui M., Palacios Z., Hoeger T., Andara A. (2007). Petrography and diagenesis of Palmar Formation Middle Miocene, North Andean flank, Venezuela. Geominas. Vol. 35 Nº 43 (Georef, Latinindex) (in spanish).


Viscarret P.J., Laya J. C., (2007) Permian Sedimentary facies at southern Region of Venezuelan Andes. Ciencia e Ingenieria. Vol. 28 N°1. (Latinindex) (in Spanish)

Additional Information



International Association of Sedimentologists

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)




Laya, J.C. & Tucker, M.E. (2014) Diagenesis and burial history of Permian carbonates in Northern South America. Evolution from equatorial Pangea depositional condition to Northern Andean burial and exhumation regimes. 19th International Sedimentological Congress. IAS. Geneva, Switzerland. 


Laya, J.C. & Tucker, M.E. (2013) Petroleum potential of Permian Carbonates in Northern South America. International Congress and Exhibition AAPG. Cartagena. Colombia.


 Laya, J.C. & Tucker, M.E. (2013) Origin and evolution of modern carbonate deposits in Morrocoy National Park Southern Caribbean. 30th Annual Meeting International Association of Sedimentologist (IAS). Manchester, United Kingdom.


Laya, J.C. & Tucker, M.E. (2011) Carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopes of Permian carbonates in the Venezuelan Andes. Climate proxy of tropical Pangea. 14th Bathurst Meeting of Carbonate Sedimentologists.  Bristol, United Kingdom.


Laya, J.C. & Tucker, M.E. (2010) Bedding, facies and fractures in Zechstein (Permian) carbonates, NE England: Reservoir implications. Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis. Geological Society of London, UK.


Laya, J.C. & Tucker, M.E. (2010) Stable isotope stratigraphy and sedimentary analysis of the Permo-Carboniferous succession in the Venezuelan Andes 18th International Sedimentological Congress. IAS. Mendoza, Argentina.





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