Abstract: Dissolution of Stone Corral Salt in the Hugoton Embayment
Raymond P. Sorenson
A salt-dissolution zone in the Stone Corral Formation extends in a NE-SW direction across the central part of the Hugoton Field in southwestern Kansas. Approximately 50 feet of salt, sandwiched between two anhydrite beds, thins westward to zero along an erratic, 5-10 mile wide, band near the Morton-Stevens County border. The maximum salt thickness occurs at the solution edge, indicating a depositional axis west of present salt limit. Uniform development of residual anhydrite throughout Morton County suggests that the salt originally extended as far as eastern Colorado. Overlying Harper and Cedar Hills ("Glorietta") sandstones are the probable source of circulating ground water responsible for the dissolution.
The creation of salt caverns and their subsequent collapse has had a significant economic impact on the local petroleum industry. More than 50 wells have been junked and abandoned due to lost circulation in salt caverns or overlying sinkholes, followed by slumping of unstable sediment into the wellbore. Concerns over hole stability are primarily responsible for surface casing depths much greater than necessary for pressure control or the protection of fresh water supplies. Rapid changes in Stone Corral thickness are one of several shallow velocity problems that make seismic interpretation difficult in the Hugoton Embayment.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90957©1995 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Meeting, Tulsa, Oklahoma