Abstract

Numerical modeling of high-speed motion of salt sheets at various rates (50-150 km/m.y.), depths, and salt sheet thicknesses through sediments is illustrated in this study. Mohr's criterion for failure is used to examine the domains of primary and secondary fracturing in formations surrounding the salt body. Deformations of sediments are also displayed. It is shown that (1) the higher the rate of salt motion, the larger the distance range of fracturing away from the advancing tip, and (2) the domain of fracturing around the salt body depends on the salt size and sediment properties as well as on the salt speed. Generally the fracturing domain extends as far as 2-4 km in the vertical, and to about 3-5 km in the lateral directions from the tip. Several inferences from the modeling results may be of significance in attempts to evaluate hydrocarbon proneness of formations in association with salt sheets.

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