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The Michigan Basin is Thermal in Origin

M. A. Kominz1, D. Werkema1, D. Barnes1, W. Harrison III1, E. Kirwan1, and M. Malin2
1Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo, MI
2Foothill Engineering Consultants, Golden, CO

Three deep wells were backstripped to determine the tectonic history of the Michigan Basin. These wells, the Miller Victory, theWolverine Patrick and St. Norwich, and the Hunt Martin, form a cross section in central Michigan. Recent detailed petrologic analyses and sequence interpretation of the lower Paleozoic portion of these wells allowed accurate ages, lithologies and paleoenvronments for input. Recent revisions of the lower Paleozoic biostratigraphic time scale were applied.

Backstripping revealed the typical episodic subsidence which has been reported for the Michigan basin by many authors. However,we focus here on the new data for the Cambrian and Ordovician portion of the record. When a thermal curve is fit to this portion of the data for each well, the difference between this curve and observed subsidence in water is remarkably similar in all three wells and remarkably similar to sea-level estimates derived by the same method in the Great Basin of western North America. These results strongly suggest that the Michigan Basin did have a thermal origin and that global sea-level changes were recorded in Michigan Basin sediments.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90900©2001 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Kalamazoo, Michigan