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Southeast Hoover Field: Model of Foreland Tectonics of Arbuckle Region, Southern Oklahoma

John H. Beck

The Southwest Hoover field, located on the northern side of the Arbuckle Mountains, typifies the structural style common to the foreland of southern Oklahoma. This oil field, which produces primarily from the upper Arbuckle Group carbonates, was created in response to the Late Pennsylvanian Arbuckle orogeny. Various interpretations of the mode of deformation have been proposed such as wrench faulting, gravity sliding, and overthrusting. This research supports the idea of moderately dipping thrust faults created by northeast-southwest compression. Paleozoic rocks, originally deposited on the northern edge of the Southern Oklahoma aulacogen, have been transported to the northeast on southwest-dipping thrust faults, and now comprise the leading edge of the Arbuckle Mountains

In a detailed study, the Southeast Hoover field was reinterpreted in light of the compressional thrust-fault theory. Large-scale structural closure controls the location of hydrocarbon accumulation in the Arbuckle Group. Structures in the shallower horizons are characterized by detached anticlines that were created as a response to volume adjustments in adjacent upward-tightening synclines. Fault cutoff lengths and hanging-wall cutoff angles provide clues to predeformation fault-plane geometry.

Comparison of the Southeast Hoover field with other structures in the Arbuckle region indicates a close similarity of style, which suggests this study can be used as a geologic model for interpreting foreland oil fields throughout southern Oklahoma.

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