The surface geology of NE Thailand consists almost entirely of Jurassic to Mid-Cretaceous Khorat Group red-beds. During the last 30 years, however, hydrocarbon exploration has resulted in 40 deep wells being drilled through the Khorat Group cover into an extensive system of Late Triassic (Kuchinarai Group) and Mid–Carboniferous to earliest Late Permian (Saraburi Group) basins. The sedimentary fill of these basins has proved to be similar to the Upper Carboniferous–Triassic strata which crop out to the west and SW in the Loei–Phetchabun Fold Belt (Fig. 9.1). In addition, an extensive grid of two-dimensional (2D) seismic lines covers almost the entire region (Fig. 9.2) and can be used to map out the basin systems containing the Saraburi and Kuchinarai Groups.
Most of the seismic and well data have been released by Thailand’s Department of Mineral Fuels and, wherever possible, reference is made only to these open-file reports. The reader should bear in mind that a large part of the geological history presented in this chapter is a synthesis of work that was conducted by many different oil company and government geologists. However, much of this work has never been published and is only recorded in company reports (often without the names of the authors). Consequently, proper reference cannot be made to many of the geologists who conducted this pioneering work.
At the present day the so-called Khorat Plateau is in reality a relatively flat plain, generally 150-200 m above sea level, rimmed by low mountains and a
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The Geology of Thailand
This is the first volume in the English language to cover the entire range of the geology of Thailand since the joint Thai—US account by Brown et al. exactly 60 years ago. Over this period there has been a phenomenal growth in interest in this core area of SE Asia. This has been led by geologists in Thailand, but with important and highly significant input from geologists based elsewhere in Asia and in Europe, Australasia and North America. Some of that research was prompted by commercial considerations, since Thailand has important energy and mineral resources, while other research has sought to understand better the stratigraphic and structural history, including the plate-tectonic story which Thailand's rocks reveal. This new volume seeks to bring together all of this knowledge into a single accessible book; it is the work of an international team drawn from Thailand, Japan, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany and the UK.