A Sample of a Great Basin Geological Survey
A series of twelve 40-mile long restorable balanced structural cross sections constrained with nearly 20,000 precisely located attitudes, data from nearly 40 oil wells, more than 8000 gravity stations, cross cutting relationships, depositional environments of stratigraphic sequence facies, and regional structural style suggests that the north-south structural grain of the 1000 square-mile sample of east central Nevada was caused by compression rather than extension. The new structural interpretation that was verified and/or improved by comparing and contrasting calculated gravity profiles with observed gravity profiles has strong implications for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and land and resource decisions for this part of the eastern Great Basin. Large thrust duplexes that have not been compromised or broken by theoretical extensional faulting offers world-class structures in a region of rich oil source rocks. A better understanding of fluid flow in this part of the Late Cretaceous western North American thrust belt will likely result in the discovery of more precious metal deposits and giant oil and gas discoveries, improve land use planning decisions, and will greatly enhance hydrologic models that currently depend on published geologic models and theories that lack ground-truth constraints and are inadequate for exploration and land/resource planning. Positive results from the work in this small sample study area of the eastern Great Basin could lead to a more adequate geological survey of the entire region.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009