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A 48 m.y. history of fracture opening, temperature, and fluid pressure; Cretaceous Travis Peak Formation, East Texas Basin

S. P. Becker, P. Eichhubl, S. E. Laubach, R. M. Reed, R. H. Lander and R. J. Bodnar
A 48 m.y. history of fracture opening, temperature, and fluid pressure; Cretaceous Travis Peak Formation, East Texas Basin
Geological Society of America Bulletin (July 2010) 122 (7-8): 1081-1093

Abstract

Quartz cement bridges across opening-mode fractures of the Cretaceous Travis Peak Formation provide a textural and fluid inclusion record of incremental fracture opening during the burial evolution of this low-porosity sandstone. Incremental crack-seal fracture opening is inferred based on the banded structure of quartz cement bridges, consisting of up to 700 cement bands averaging approximately 5 mu m in thickness as observed with scanning electron microscope-cathodoluminescence. Crack-seal layers contain assemblages of aqueous two-phase fluid inclusions. Based on fluid inclusion microthermometry and Raman microprobe analyses, we determined that these inclusions contain methane-saturated brine trapped over temperatures ranging from approximately 130 degrees C to approximately 154 degrees C. Using textural crosscutting relations of quartz growth increments to infer the sequence of cement growth, we reconstructed the fluid temperature and pore-fluid pressure evolution during fracture opening. In combination with published burial evolution models, this reconstruction indicates that fracture opening started at ca. 48 Ma and above-hydrostatic pore-fluid pressure conditions, and continued under steadily declining pore-fluid pressure during partial exhumation until present times. Individual fractures opened over an approximately 48 m.y. time span at rates of 16-23 mu m/m.y. These rates suggest that fractures can remain hydraulically active over geologically long times in deep basinal settings.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 122
Serial Issue: 7-8
Title: A 48 m.y. history of fracture opening, temperature, and fluid pressure; Cretaceous Travis Peak Formation, East Texas Basin
Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, TX, United States
Pages: 1081-1093
Published: 201007
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 63
Accession Number: 2010-050187
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sourcesStructural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010041; includes appendix
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., sketch map
N31°49'60" - N31°49'60", W94°45'00" - W94°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Geocosm LLC, USA, United StatesVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201027
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