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Hydrogeochemistry and gas compositions of the Uinta Basin; a regional-scale overview

Ye Zhang, Carl W. Gable, George A. Zyvoloski and Lynn M. Walter
Hydrogeochemistry and gas compositions of the Uinta Basin; a regional-scale overview
AAPG Bulletin (August 2009) 93 (8): 1087-1118

Abstract

The geochemistry of formation fluids (water and hydrocarbon gases) in the Uinta Basin, Utah, is evaluated at the regional scale based on fluid sampling and compilation of past records. The deep formation water is dominated by Na-Cl type where halite dissolution has the greatest effects on water chemistry. Its distribution and composition is controlled by both the lithology of geological formations and regional hydrodynamics. The origin of the saline waters in the southeastern basin is interpreted to be a mix of ancient evaporatively concentrated seawater with meteoric water recharged in the geological past, which has experienced water-rock interactions. At the basin scale, three-dimensional mapping of the dissolved solid contents further reveals that (1) in the northern Uinta Basin bordering the Uinta Mountains, significant flushing of the deep basinal brines up to 6-km (3.7-mi) depth by meteoric water has occurred, and (2) in the central basin groundwater discharge areas along the Green River Valley, regional upwelling of saline waters from 2- to 3-km (1.2- to 1.8-mi) depth is occurring. Moreover, gas composition and water-gas stable isotope characteristics in the central to southeastern basin indicate the presence of a deep, thermogenic, and regionally continuous gas deposit. In particular, gases sampled in this region from the Wasatch Formation and Mesaverde Group indicate a similar source rock (type III kerogen of the deeply buried, thermally mature Mesaverde Group in the central to northern basin) as well as migration from the Natural Buttes gas field toward the southeastern basin. Evidence for biogenic methane formation is observed only in the upper Green River Formation in the central to northern Uinta Basin. Here, the organic-rich, immature Green River shales experience meteoric water invasions and formation fluid chemistry, and stable isotope compositions are diagnostic of microbial methanogenesis.


ISSN: 0149-1423
EISSN: 1558-9153
Coden: AABUD2
Serial Title: AAPG Bulletin
Serial Volume: 93
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Hydrogeochemistry and gas compositions of the Uinta Basin; a regional-scale overview
Affiliation: University of Wyoming, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Laramie, WY, United States
Pages: 1087-1118
Published: 200908
Text Language: English
Publisher: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 76
Accession Number: 2009-085380
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sourcesIsotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. block diag., strat. col., sketch maps
N38°00'00" - N41°00'00", W112°00'00" - W107°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Computational Earth Science Group, USA, United StatesUniversity of Michigan, Department of Geological Sciences, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 200946
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