The Permian Basin region
H. N. Frenzel, R. R. Bloomer, R. B. Cline, J. M. Cys, J. E. Galley, W. R. Gibson, J. M. Hills, W. E. King, W. R. Seager, F. E. Kottlowski, S. Thompson, III, G. C. Luff, B. T. Pearson, D. C. Van Siclen, 1988. "The Permian Basin region", Sedimentary Cover—North American Craton, L. L. Sloss
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The Permian Basin region, as defined for this chapter, includes all of the Permian basins beneath the high plains of western Texas that lie south of the Red River and Matador Uplifts. It also extends westward into the Southern Rocky Mountain region to include the related Orogrande and Pedregosa Basins in New Mexico. In the central part of the region, surface exposures of the Tertiary Ogallala Formation and other post-Paleozoic strata hide the Paleozoic geology, which includes many anticlinal and faulted structures, sand and shale basins, carbonate banks and reefs marginal to basins, and extensive carbonate shelf areas. On these shelves, carbonates grade into evaporite deposits and eventually into continental clastics. Knowledge of this geology is primarily from wells drilled for oil and gas. Peripheral outcrops of these Paleozoic strata do exist and are important to the interpretation of Permian Basin geology, but many formations and rock facies are known only from the subsurface. With the exception of the two outlying New Mexico basins, petroleum geologists with extensive subsurface experience were selected to write the various parts of this chapter.
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Sedimentary Cover—North American Craton
The “sedimentary cover” refers to the stratified rocks of youngest Proterozoic and Phanerozoic age that rest upon the largely crystalline basement rocks of the continental interior. The early chapters of the volume present data and interpretations of the geophysics of the craton and summarize, with sequential maps, the tectonic evolution of the craton. The main body of the text and accompanying plates and figures present the stratigraphy, structural history, and economic geology of specific sedimentary basins (e.g., Appalachian basin) and regions (e.g., Rocky Mountains). The volume concludes with a summary chapter in which the currently popular theories of cratonal tectonics are discussed and the unresolved questions are identified.