During this seminar, leaders and attendees together will:
- Examine the mechanics of fracturing, folding, and faulting in thrust belt terrains.
- Identify and discuss new ideas regarding the geometry and kinematics of the development of thrust belts with examples from the spectacular Sawtooth Range of northwest Montana.
- Compare seismic interpretation with outcrop examples and review drilling practices in a “frontier” (Montana) exploration thrust belt province.
- Analyze stratigraphic concepts which are essential in the exploration of thrust belt targets.
This field seminar is unique in that it offers the participant the opportunity to interact with a number of instructors who have several decades of experience working in thrust belts of the world. It focuses on the practical issues of exploration and production of hydrocarbons in thrust belts, with the Montana Thrust Belt as the backdrop. It will explain how these concepts can be applied worldwide, where overthrust terrains are increasingly important exploration targets.
The course will integrate concepts of exploration, including a review of fractured reservoir models, structural geology, stratigraphy, and hydrocarbon assessment. The spectacular geology of the Montana Sawtooth Range (an exhumed duplex) will serve as the backdrop for this field seminar. Time in the field will be bolstered by periodic classroom sessions on structural geology concepts, fractured reservoirs, and other issues the explorationist can expect to encounter in thrust belt exploration.
The seminar will utilize traverses to examine multiple thrust sheets exposed in Sun River Canyon, the famous Teton Anticline, and an outstanding example of an exposed fractured reservoir along a fault-propagated fold in Mississippian carbonates as Swift Reservoir. Discussions will involve new ideas on the geometry and kinematics of thrust sheets and how they might influence exploration strategies in those settings.
Participants will discuss the Bakken/Exshaw petroleum system of the Montana Disturbed Belt, and its influence on the emerging resource oil play on the adjacent Sweetgrass Arch. The seminar will continue northward to Glacier National Park, with a cross-section view of the Lewis Thrust, the Chief Mountain klippe, discussions of horizontal Bakken oil drilling on the nearby Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the historical giant gas field production across the border in Alberta, and conclude with a geologic transect along the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Highway of Glacier National Park.