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Structural Diagenesis: The Integration of Structural Geology and Diagenesis

Stephen Laubach1, Kitty Milliken1, Peter Eichhubl1, Rob Lander2, Linda Bonnell2, Previous HitJonTop Olson1, and Andrew Thomas3
1Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas, Austin, TX
2Geocosm, Austin, TX
3Chevron, Houston, TX

Structural diagenesis is an explicit approach to understanding how fracturing, fault growth, compaction and other mechanical processes interact with chemical processes to govern the attributes of structures and rock properties in the Earth. Although clearly a characteristic part of the post-depositional changes that affect rock, pervasive and/or large structural features are commonly neglected in conventional diagenetic studies and thus miss an essential aspect of the transformation of sediment into rock. Likewise, structural studies, at least those concerned with the low temperature realm of sedimentary basins, tend to focus on geometry, kinematics, and mechanics. Thermal controls and chemical processes are usually ascribed limited importance, if considered at all. Yet in sedimentary basins chemical and mechanical processes are coupled in many ways, and there are undoubtedly feedbacks between them. Cross disciplinary research is beginning to address some of these issues, but systematic student training in principles of both structure and diagenesis is the key to unlocking scientific knowledge about a part of the Earth's interior that is of great intrinsic and practical interest.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90078©2008 AAPG Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas