Relationship of Latest Cretaceous and Tertiary Deposition and Deformation to Oil and Gas in Wyoming1
J. D. Love, Paul O. McGrew, H. D. Thomas, 1963. "Relationship of Latest Cretaceous and Tertiary Deposition and Deformation to Oil and Gas in Wyoming", Backbone of the Americas: Tectonic History from Pole to Pole, Orlo E. Childs, B. Warren Beebe
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Oil and gas have been known in nonmarine Tertiary rocks in Wyoming since 1896. Commercial oil or gas pools have been discovered in Paleocene and Eocene rocks in the Green River, Washakie, and Wind River basins. The source of most of this oil and gas is believed to be sediments deposited under lacustrine conditions during Paleocene time and again during Eocene time. Oil and gas production from nonmarine beds of latest Cretaceous age is a recent development.
The diastrophic and depositional history from latest Cretaceous through Tertiary time has a significant bearing on essentially all Wyoming oil and gas fields. The Laramide orogeny began with gentle folding in latest Cretaceous time, reached a climax of intense folding and thrust faulting in earliest Eocene time in most parts of Wyoming, and was essentially completed by latest Eocene time. Conventional Wyoming oil and gas fields are those related to structural traps formed during this orogeny.
The Green River, Wind River, and Hanna basins were sites of deposition of more than 20,000 feet of latest Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Eocene strata. Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene beds were deposited across the now completely filled basins and high onto the flanks of partly buried mountains. Volcanic debris from centers within or near Wyoming comprises the bulk of these young strata. Regional uplift, large-scale normal faulting, and rapid degradation that exhumed the mountains and re-excavated the basins occurred in late Pliocene and Pleistocene time. During this episode some of the structures containing oil and gas were significantly modified.
Figures & Tables
The first article in this book is the address that introduced the technical program of the 46th Annual Meeting of the AAPG. The organization and presentation of this symposium volume was developed in an orderly geographic continuity. Modern concepts of structural form and the sequence of tectonic events are carefully reported all along the mountainous western margins of the American continents. The relationship of this structural knowledge to the accumulation of oil and gas is constantly emphasized in the 26 papers contained herein.