During the upper Miocene in the Southern San Joaquin basin surrounding highlands contributed coarse material to a deep marine basin dominated by fine grained silicious bioclastic deposition. These coarse deposits became reservoirs isolated within the silicious Antelope Shale Member of the Monterey Formation. In the southern Maricopa depocenter these Stevens sands are productive at Yowlumne, Landslide, Aqueduct, Rio Viejo, San Emidio Nose, Paloma, and Midway-Sunset fields, and are major exploration targets in surrounding areas.
In the ARCO Fee lands area of the southern Maricopa depocenter, Stevens sands occur as rapidly thickening lens-shaped bodies that formed as channel, levee, and lobe deposits of deep-marine fan systems. These fans were fed from a southerly source, with apparent transport in a north-northwesterly direction. Sands deflect gently around present-day structural highs indicating that growth of structures influenced depositional patterns.
Correlations reveal two major fan depositional intervals bounded by regional N, O, and P chert markers. Each interval contains numerous individual fan deposits, with many lobes and channels recognizable on three-dimensional seismic data. In addition to these basinal sand plays presently being evaluated, ARCO is pursuing a relatively new trend on Fee lands along the southern basin margin, where correlation to mountain data reveals Stevens sands trend into the steeply dipping beds of the mountain front. This area, the "upturned Stevens," has large reserve potential and producing analogies at Metson, Leutholtz, Los Lobos, and Pleito Ranch fields.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)