Mid-Continent Section

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The Meers Fault: Hoary Giant or Great Imposter?


The Wichita-Amarillo fault system defines the southern edge of the Anadarko basin and records Pennsylvanian inversion of a Cambrian continental rift. The basement-involved fault system is comprised of multiple segments and the subject of vigorous debate over the amounts of low angle thrust faulting vs. high angle left-lateral wrench faulting. This paper presents a crustal scale cross section that integrates outcrop work on Ft. Sill, Wichita Wildlife Refuge, and Slick Hills with subsurface data to consider the nature, deformation history, and seismic hazard of the Meers Fault. A recent 14,200ft well (Kimbell Ranch 32-1) drilled in the Slick Hills 2 miles north of the Meers Fault crossed a repeated Arbuckle-Timbered Hills-Basement (Rhyolite-Granite) section before drilling into granite wash beneath what is probably the Mountain View Fault. These thrusts are expressed log-based cross sections near NW Fort Sill Field, 15mi SE. Outcrops on Ft. Sill 17mi south of the Meers Fault show minor folding and thrusting in the Timbered Hills and Arbuckle. These outcrops also indicate the same Timbered Hills-Rhyolite nonconformity that crops out north of the Meers Fault, at approximately the same topographic elevation of both sides of the Meers Fault. Thus the Meers Fault did not have appreciable vertical movement during the Pennsylvanian. The data indicate that the Meers Fault is cutoff by the Mountain View Fault, which leads to the intriguing question as to the causes of the Meers Fault