Fold Thrust Belts are considered the foremost tectonic expression of convergent margins. Their topographic relief produces exposures to understand not only their evolution but also the tectonic setting and paleogeographic evolution before orogeny. Plate tectonic interactions have been responsible for compressional systems from the Paleozoic to the most recent late Cenozoic fold thrust belt systems, forming large and elongated orogenic belts. Complex geodynamic settings and differences in mechanical stratigraphy characteristics have often triggered the development of unique geometries and relationships between units. However, similarities between structural styles and tectonic evolution among fold thrust belts in different regions can also be identified.
These Fold Thrust Belt Systems have been studied in order to understand their dynamics but also because they contain large hydrocarbon resources. They are characterised by complex trap geometries, reservoirs and source rock distributions as well as compound burial and thermal histories. In fold and thrust belts, an additional complicating factor is the short geological time span between the onset of petroleum generation, migration, and trap development. Despite those challenges and the various complexities, fold and thrust belts have been the focus of intense and long-lived exploration around the world. Recent hydrocarbon discoveries in fold thrust belt systems, and the most recent data confirming they still hold a large hydrocarbon prospectivity, have increased the interest from both academia and industry in deciphering their complexity.
The AAPG Workshop on “Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A global perspective” aims at bringing together experts from academia and industry from a range of disciplines to share experiences, new approaches, new data and new ways of integrating information that can help in reducing the uncertainties related to the exploration activities in Thrust Belt Systems.
The session themes aim to span several scales of observation from the local to the regional scale and draw on experience from different settings within the Thrust Belt Systems and different geographic areas.