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Book Chapter

Chapter 8: Characteristics of Natural Fractures in Carbonate Strata

By
John C. Lorenz
John C. Lorenz
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
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Helen E. Farrell
Helen E. Farrell
Phillips Petroleum Company, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
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Catherine L. Hanks
Catherine L. Hanks
University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.
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William D. Rizer
William D. Rizer
Conoco Inc., Ponca City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
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Mark D. Sonnenfeld
Mark D. Sonnenfeld
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 1997

Abstract

Natural fractures are present in carbonates in settings ranging from undeformed, near-horizontal beds to fold and thrust belts. Most fractures in the carbonate examples described here show evidence of an origin in extension. Lithology is one of the primary controls on fracturing; dolomites and dolomitic mudstones are typically more intensely fractured than limestones, and fractures are commonly limited vertically by shale breaks. Structural position is another important control on fracture character, with more fractures occurring at the hinges of folds than on fold limbs. Fractures caused by faulting in moderately deformed strata are commonly present only within 100 m or less of the fault. Older fractures may be overprinted by younger fracture sets in the more highly deformed strata. Structure, petrofacies, and lithofacies combine to control fracture characteristics in the thicker mechanical units under these conditions. Different types of karsted zones may also be superimposed on fractured carbonate strata.

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Contents

Geophysical Developments Series

Carbonate Seismology

Ibrahim Palaz
Ibrahim Palaz
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Kurt J. Marfurt
Kurt J. Marfurt
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
6
ISBN electronic:
9781560802099
Publication date:
January 01, 1997

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