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Deformation in Thrust-Ramp Anticlines and Duplexes: Implications for Geometry and Porosity

Richard H. Groshong, Jr., Steven I. Usdansky

A computerized kinematic model of thrust-ramp anticline geometry allows workers to predict the zones of greatest deformation in ramp anticlines and fault duplexes. The model assumes a constant cross-sectional area, symmetrical fold hinges, and slip in the hanging wall parallel to the ramp and forelimb. Assuming that the collapse of original porosity or the generation of secondary fracture porosity is proportional to deformation, the model can be used to predict porosity changes. Deformation in a single ramp anticline is greatest in the forelimb and backlimb, and may be absent in the crest. A duplex structure results from comparatively closely spaced thrusts that have a common upper detachment horizon. Relatively wide spacing between the duplex faults yields a bumpy roofed duplex as in the central Appalachians. Forelimbs may be deformed twice and should show greater porosity modification. Relatively close spacing between ramp-and-flat thrusts can produce a listric-fault, snakehead anticline geometry because younger faults deform the preexisting thrust slices. The resulting geometry is here called a snakehead duplex and appears to be fairly common, as in the Jumpingpound field in the Canadian Rockies. Each thrust slice within the duplex is deformed six times or more, providing the maximum opportunity for deformation-related porosity changes. Maximum fracture porosity should occur in thrusts having listric-fan or snakehead duplex geometry. Structures involving duplexes generally should be better than isolated ramp anticlines.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.