Using Detrital Zircon Geochronology to Solve Complex Structural Problems: An Application with Pitfalls in the Helena Salient of the Montana Disturbed Belt, West Central Montana
P. Ted Doughty, Kevin R. Chamberlain, Michael C. Pope, 2013. "Using Detrital Zircon Geochronology to Solve Complex Structural Problems: An Application with Pitfalls in the Helena Salient of the Montana Disturbed Belt, West Central Montana", Application of Structural Methods to Rocky Mountain Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development, Constance N. Knight, Jerome J. Cuzella, Leland D. Cress
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Dating of detrital zircons from well cuttings is a useful technique to constrain stratigraphic ages and structural interpretations in complexly deformed terranes. This technique was applied in the Helena Salient of the Montana Disturbed Belt to determine whether the Norcen, Kimpton Ranch 1-11 and Buckhorn, Federal 2-24 wells penetrated Phanerozoic strata beneith the allochthonous Precambrian rocks carried on the Lombard thrust. Since some Phanerozoic strata have reservoir potential, their presence below the Lombard thrust has important implications for the oil and gas potential of this structural province.
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With increasing industry emphasis on developing “unconventional” tight gas reservoirs and on enhancing recovery from existing fields, geologists are facing diverse challenges in the applications of structural geology. Identifying fracture characteristics within petroleum systems is essential. Understanding the timing of tectonics and the formation of structures is important, as these factors strongly influence hydrocarbon generation, migration, entrapment, and preservation. The purpose in publishing this collection of key papers is to aid future workers in addressing complex interrelationships between structural geology and hydrocarbon exploration and development. The first four chapters of this book focus on structural concepts and techniques. The second part of this book is a collection of Rocky Mountain fault and fracture studies. These well documented studies are valuable reference materials for all petroleum geologists.