Structural style and hydrocarbon prospectivity in fold and thrust belts: a global review
Published:January 01, 2007
Mark Cooper, 2007. "Structural style and hydrocarbon prospectivity in fold and thrust belts: a global review", Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward, A. C. Ries, R. W. H. Butler, R. H. Graham
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A statistical analysis of reserves in fold and thrust belts, grouped by their geological attributes, indicates which of the world’s fold and thrust belts are the most prolific hydrocarbon provinces. The Zagros Fold Belt contains 490f reserves in fold and thrust belts and has been isolated during the analysis to avoid bias. Excluding the Zagros Fold Belt, most of the reserves are in thin-skinned fold and thrust belts that have no salt detachment or salt seal, are partially buried by syn- or post-orogenic sediments, are sourced by Cretaceous source rocks and underwent their last phase of deformation during the Tertiary. A significant observation is that the six most richly endowed fold and thrust belts have no common set of geological attributes, implying that these fold belts all have different structural characteristics. The implication is that deformation style is a not critical factor for the hydrocarbon endowment of fold and thrust belts; other elements of the petroleum system must be more significant. Other fold and thrust belts may share the structural attributes but the resource-rich fold belts overwhelmingly dominate the total reserves in that group of fold belts. There is nothing intrinsic in fold and thrust belts that differentiates them from other oil- and gas-rich provinces other than the prolific development of potential hydrocarbon traps. Many of the prolific, proven fold and thrust belts still have significant remaining exploration potential as a result of politically challenging access and remote locations.
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Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward
This Special Publication, in memory and celebration of the work of Professor Mike Coward, is about the deformation of the continental lithosphere. The collected papers discuss geometry, structural principles, processes and problems in a wide range of tectonic settings and thereby reflect the breadth of Coward's interests. They encompass the evolution of Precambrian basement gneiss terrains, the geometry and evolution of thrust systems, basement involvement and structural inheritance in basins, syn-orogenic extension, salt tectonics, the implication of structural evolution on hydrocarbon prospectivity and structural controls on mineralization. Examples are drawn from the Lewisian and Moine Thrust Belt of NW Scotland, the Italian Apennines, NW Himalayas, the Cyclades, Oman, Zagros Mountains, Colombian Cordillera, Carpathians, North Sea, offshore Brazil, regional studies of the Irumide Belt (central Africa), Taurus Mountains (Turkey), greater South America, and from the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa and the Antler Orogeny of SW USA.