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Fold and Thrust Belts

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Some of the world’s most spectacular and geologically fascinating sights will be showcased in nine field trips planned in conjunction with September’s AAPG-SEG International Conference and Exhibition (ACE) in Melbourne, Australia, Sept. 13-16.
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Since the introduction of Electrical Borehole Images over twenty years ago many very useful applications have been developed for this data. These include applications, which range from handpicked bed dips to fracture analysis, from thin-bedded pay determination to measuring vugular porosity, from fault geometry determination to facies analysis. These applications are made possible because of the high resolution provided by these images. The images provide the means to perform detailed high-resolution reservoir characterization at the borehole. This presentation will concentrate on structural aspects of borehole image interpretation. Fault and fold examples from different basins across the USA will be examined with examples from around different US Basins.
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Take a first hand look at the basic working tools to explore and develop hydrocarbons in salt basins. This introduction to salt tectonics is intended for geoscientists, engineers, and managers who need review or update on this constantly evolving field. The course is appropriate for those working in any salt basin globally and assumes abasic familiarity with structural geology concepts and terminology

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Participants will examine illustrative outcrops of thrusts, fault-related folds, stratal architectures and facies of depositional systems affected by growing structures, which are good analogues for hydrocarbon reservoirs. Objectives include interpreting complex thrust structures, identifying and understanding strain and fracture systems in fold-thrust belts, and analyzing patterns of growth strata in areas with synsedimentary folding.

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We use three-dimensional seismic reflection data and new map-based structural restoration methods to define the displacement history and characteristics of a series of tear faults in the deep-water Niger Delta. Deformation in the deep-water Niger Delta is focused mostly within two fold-and-thrust belts that accommodate downdip shortening produced by updip extension on the continental shelf. This shortening is accommodated by a series of thrust sheets that are locally cut by strike-slip faults. Through seismic mapping and interpretation, we resolve these strike-slip faults to be tear faults that share a common detachment level with the thrust faults. Acting in conjunction, these structures have accommodated a north –south gradient in westward-directed shortening. We apply a map-based restoration technique implemented in Gocad to restore an upper stratigraphic horizon of the late Oligocene and use this analysis to calculate slip profiles along the strike-slip faults. The slip magnitudes and directions change abruptly along the lengths of the tear faults as they interact with numerous thrust sheets. The discontinuous nature of these slip profiles reflects the manner in which they have accommodated differential movement between the footwall and hanging-wall blocks of the thrust sheets. In cases for which the relationship between a strike-slip fault and multiple thrust faults is unclear, the recognition of this type of slip profile may distinguish thin-skinned tear faults from more conventional deep-seated, throughgoing strike-slip faults.
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The Molasse Basin represents the northern foreland basin of the Alps. After decades of exploration, it is considered to be mature in terms of hydrocarbon exploration. However, geological evolution and hydrocarbon potential of its imbricated southernmost part (Molasse fold and thrust belt) are still poorly understood. In this study, structural and petroleum systems models are integrated to explore the hydrocarbon potential of the Perwang imbricates in the western part of the Austrian Molasse Basin.

The structural model shows that total tectonic shortening in the modeled north–south section is at least 32.3 km (20.1 mi) and provides a realistic input for the petroleum systems model. Formation temperatures show present-day heat flows decreasing toward the south from 60 to 41 mW/m2. Maturity data indicate very low paleoheat flows decreasing southward from 43 to 28 mW/m2. The higher present-day heat flow probably indicates an increase in heat flow during the Pliocene and Pleistocene.

Apart from oil generated below the imbricated zone and captured in autochthonous Molasse rocks in the foreland area, oil stains in the Perwang imbricates and oil-source rock correlations argue for a second migration system based on hydrocarbon generation inside the imbricates. This assumption is supported by the models presented in this study. However, the model-derived low transformation ratios (lt20%) indicate a charge risk. In addition, the success for future exploration strongly depends on the existence of migration conduits along the thrust planes during charge and on potential traps retaining their integrity during recent basin uplift.

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We present a method of using fault displacement-distance profiles to distinguish fault-bend, shear fault-bend, and fault-propagation folds, and use these insights to guide balanced and retrodeformable interpretations of these structures. We first describe the displacement profiles associated with different end-member fault-related folding models, then provide examples of structures that are consistent with these model-based predictions. Natural examples are imaged in high-resolution two- and three dimensional seismic reflection data sets from the Niger Delta, Sichuan Basin, Sierras Pampeanas, and Cascadia to record variations in displacement with distance updip along faults (termed displacement-distance profiles). Fault-bend folds exhibit constant displacement along fault segments and changes in displacement associated with bends in faults, shear fault-bend folds demonstrate an increase in displacement through the shearing interval, and fault-propagation folds exhibit decreasing displacement toward the fault tip. More complex structures are then investigated using this method, demonstrating that displacement-distance profiles can be used to provide insight into structures that involve multiple fault-related folding processes or have changed kinematic behavior over time. These interpretations are supported by comparison with the kinematics inferred from the geometry of growth strata overlying these structures. Collectively, these analyses illustrate that the displacement-distance approach can provide valuable insights into the styles of fault-related folding.

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This story, whose outcome was an important milestone for Total’s exploration at the time of discovery, can be seen as complementary to the Mahakam success story, described in the September 2011 Historical Highlights column.

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Volumetric restoration can provide crucial insights into the structural evolution of three-dimensional (3-D) petroleum systems. A major limitation to its widespread application is the need to include complex architectures and realistic mechanics such as flexural slip. We apply an implicit approach that allows for, including unconformities, thin and/or pinched-out layers in the models but that cannot explicitly localize slip along horizons. To take advantage of this approach while accounting for flexural slip in 3-D restoration, we investigate new geomechanical properties. We consider flexural slip folding as a result of stacked rigid and thin weak layers, which can be modeled using transversely isotropic properties. We compare restorations of an anticline using transversely isotropic properties, isotropic properties, and a stack of rigid isotropic layers with nonfrictional slip between the layers. Our results show that transversely isotropic properties reasonably approximate flexural slip folding. We use these new tools to model the evolution of a complex system located in the Niger Delta toe. The system includes a detachment fold, a fault-bend fold, and a structural wedge formed in series. Growth stratigraphy and erosional surfaces delimit the kinematics of deformation. Regional erosive surfaces, 3-D gradients of fault slip, and vertical variations in mechanical strength motivated the use of our new restoration techniques. Restoring two growth units results not only in reinforcing the interpretation that the area is behaving as a deforming thrust sheet at critical taper, but also in highlighting coeval activity on both the hinterland structures and the toe of the thrust belt.
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In-Person Training
Sydney Australia 08 September, 2015 13 September, 2015 18991 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT2-Geotour-in-Central-Australia-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Production, Engineering, Conventions, Technical Program, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Petroleum Systems, Field Trips, Pre-Convention
 
Sydney, Australia
8-13 September 2015
Led by a specialist geologist, experience this trip across the geology of the Amadeus Basin. The trip includes the dramatic Uluru — at both sunrise and sunset — and the indigenous cultural centre, Kings Canyon and luxury camping under the scintillating outback sky at the wilderness lodge. It will travel through the Australian outback to the spectacular geology and landscapes of Ormiston Gorge and Ellery Creek, West MacDonnell Ranges.
Melbourne Australia 10 September, 2015 13 September, 2015 18997 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT4-The-Gippsland-Basin-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Clastics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Marine, Engineering, Conventions, Technical Program, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts, Deepwater Turbidites, Sequence Stratigraphy, Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis, Fluvial Deltaic Systems, Carbonates, Carbonate Reefs, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Reservoir Characterization, 3D Seismic, Seismic Attributes, Field Trips, Pre-Convention
 
Melbourne, Australia
10-13 September 2015

This trip will visit the breathtaking coastal outcrops of turbidites, carbonate platforms, fluvial sediments and pillow lavas along the cliffs southeast of Melbourne. Come scramble down craggy slopes at Cape Liptrap to view superb outcrop-scale fold and thrust structures in Devonian turbidites, then take a 5 km hike along the adjacent coast where Cambrian ophiolites and exhumed amphibolites, faulted against trilobite-hosting Ordovician marls and Devonian reefal carbonates will be revealed. This will be followed by a trip to a site of Early Cretaceous fluvial rift sediments deposited during the initial separation of Antarctica from Australia to open the Gippsland Basin.

Barcelona Spain 14 September, 2015 18 September, 2015 153 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-Folding-Thrusting-and-Syntectonic-Sedimentation-Perspectives-from-Classic-Localities-Central-Pyrenees.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Compressional Systems, Fold and Thrust Belts, Clastics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Deepwater Turbidites, Deep Sea / Deepwater, Extensional Systems, Marine, Tectonics (General)
 
Barcelona, Spain
14-18 September 2015

Participants will examine illustrative outcrops of thrusts, fault-related folds, stratal architectures and facies of depositional systems affected by growing structures, which are good analogues for hydrocarbon reservoirs. Objectives include interpreting complex thrust structures, identifying and understanding strain and fracture systems in fold-thrust belts, and analyzing patterns of growth strata in areas with synsedimentary folding.

Naples Italy 26 September, 2015 02 October, 2015 36 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-carb-complex-carbonate-reservoirs-sedimentation.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Carbonates, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts, Engineering, Reservoir Characterization, Carbonate Platforms
 
Naples, Italy
26 September - 2 October 2015

The main part of the field seminar will focus on the description of the fractured carbonates and the extrapolation from the outcrop observations to the subsurface for building geologically plausible reservoir models.

Lima Peru 15 October, 2015 16 October, 2015 20463 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw-peru-2015-increasing-recovery-in-mature-fields-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Tectonics (General), Structural Analysis (Other), Fold and Thrust Belts, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Geophysics, Seismic, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Maturation, Basin Modeling, Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis
 
Lima, Peru
15-16 October 2015

This interdisciplinary, two-day workshop focuses on innovative strategies and new technologies for revitalizing mature fields and includes a series of expert presentations and roundtable discussions. Participants will benefit from the opportunity to advance their understanding of mature fields, to exchange ideas and to explore opportunities for future collaboration. It is organized by the AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Geological Society of Peru.

Houston Texas United States 01 December, 2015 04 December, 2015 13554 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/sc-Practical-Salt-Tectonics.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Salt Tectonics, Fold and Thrust Belts, Evaporites
 
Houston, Texas, United States
1-4 December 2015
This course is designed to give participants the basic working tools to explore and develop hydrocarbons in salt basins. Because no two basins are alike, the focus is on understanding the processes and styles of salt-related deformation. At course completion participants should be able to under the depositional setting of layered evaporites, describe the mechanics of salt flow, interpret salt and stratal geometries associated with diapirs, salt welds, and minibasins, and assess more accurately the risks in the exploration of salt basins.
Muscat Oman 18 January, 2016 20 January, 2016 16517 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw2016me-hydrocarbon-seals-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Subsalt Traps, Structural Traps, Stratigraphic Traps, Diagenetic Traps, Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs, Reservoir Characterization, Engineering, Seismic Attributes, Geochemical Fingerprinting, 3D Seismic, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Sequence Stratigraphy, Evaporites, Clastics, Carbonates, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts, Compressional Systems, Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis, Production, Drive Mechanisms
 
Muscat, Oman
18-20 January 2016

This three-day workshop has the primary goal to share knowledge, case studies, techniques and workflows pertaining to the understanding and prediction of hydrocarbon seals for exploration and production in the Middle East. These seals range in age from Pre-Cambrian to Tertiary.    

Online Training
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-generic-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 

Fold and Thrust Belts

Fold and Thrust Belts
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