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GEOREF RECORD

Cenozoic attenuation detachment faulting; a possible control on oil and gas accumulation in east-central Nevada

Charles T. Walker, Robert D. Francis, John G. Dennis and William W. Lumsden
Cenozoic attenuation detachment faulting; a possible control on oil and gas accumulation in east-central Nevada
AAPG Bulletin (November 1992) 76 (11): 1665-1686

Abstract

Current explanations for low-angle, younger over older faults in eastern Nevada are (1) a master detachment extending through the crust, (2) mid-crustal ductile extension, and (3) local gravity sliding. None of these explanations are fully supported by field evidence. Our field evidence indicates that thermally induced ductile extension beneath the White Pine and Schell Creek ranges produced low-angle, normal faults in competent units above and detachment faults along ductile shales. Thin brittle units between shale detachments, fragmented by low-angle normal faulting, were pulled apart into isolated lenticular detachment structures. Duck Creek Valley, a Neogene graben similar to Railroad Valley, may have formed in a zone of weakness caused by Oligocene attenuation, suggesting that potential oil-producing basins in Nevada may contain subsurface detachment structures. Oligocene attenuation may have contributed to fracturing of reservoirs (brittle units), local thinning of source rocks (ductile units), and formation of structural traps on detachment topography. Lateral variation in fracture density, by creating barriers to updip migration, also may contribute to oil accumulation. Other favorable structures could be large, early Miocene gravity slide blocks sealed by Neogene basin fill. In basins similar to Railroad Valley, these structures should be prime exploration targets because oil generation occurred after the structures formed.


ISSN: 0149-1423
EISSN: 1558-9153
Coden: AABUD2
Serial Title: AAPG Bulletin
Serial Volume: 76
Serial Issue: 11
Title: Cenozoic attenuation detachment faulting; a possible control on oil and gas accumulation in east-central Nevada
Affiliation: California State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Long Beach, CA, United States
Pages: 1665-1686
Published: 199211
Text Language: English
Publisher: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 57
Accession Number: 1992-059663
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sourcesStructural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., strat. cols., geol. sketch maps
N35°00'00" - N42°00'00", W120°00'00" - W114°04'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1992
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