Abstract: Topographic Expression of Oil and Gas Fields in Gulf Coast
L. W. Minturn
Anticlines, the structural and stratigraphic geologic features in which oil and gas accumulate, are reflected in the topography in two styles--erosional patterns and gross uplifts. The relation of erosional patterns to anticlines can be seen in a comparison of the aerial photography of the Solitario (a large anticline in the Big Bend area) and its topographic map.
Fields in Louisiana which exhibit erosional patterns are Duck Lake, Laurel Ridge, Bourg, Fordoche Wilcox, and False River. Fields in Texas which show erosional patterns are Trinity, South Stowell, West Ranch, Lovell's Lake, and Bear Creek. Gulf Coast fields which show gross uplift are Jennings, Spindletop, Helen Gohlke, Rincon, and Pierce Junction.
A topographic analysis of an undeveloped area in the Gulf Coast demonstrates how this comparison technique shows the anticlinal axes and the significant uplifts, how seismic lines should be placed to secure maximum information at minimum cost, and how the whole area consists of anticlines--synclines being merely the dividing lines between the anticlines. From topographic anomalies can be seen the length, breadth, and center of anticlines, although they are not always clearly defined because of inadequate maps, intersecting anticlines, locally complex structure, loose sand on the surface, timing of uplifts, amount of erosion, or other factors. This technique is not the ultimate answer, but it certainly is the cheapest and most effective starting point for exploration.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90967©1977 GCAGS and GC Section SEPM 27th Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas