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Fluid Flow at the Basin Margin: The North Solway Fault

Stewart Beattie
University of Strathclyde, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Glasgow, Scotland
[email protected]

Understanding the influence of fault zones on basin fluid flow regimes is of crucial importance to resource exploration and recovery. Large km scale fault zones at the basin margin can act as significant conduits and barriers for fluids but are less commonly considered than faults within the basin sequence.

This project aims to describe and evaluate faulting and fluid flow at a basin-bounding fault zone by mapping the internal fault architecture of the North Solway Fault. The fault zone is a complex 3D outcrop and can be traced from fractured footwall to high strain fault breccias. These grade into and rework sedimentary breccias that are stacked against the fault. The footwall, fault breccias and sedimentary breccias are cut by mineralisation and the whole fault zone is exposed in a complexly incised coastal outcrop.

Detailed field mapping will be combined with laboratory analysis of thin sections to study the relationships between structural, sedimentary and fluid flow processes. These traditional methods will be augmented by construction of a 3D digital outcrop model using images from a digital camera mounted on a remotely operated air vehicle and structure from motion software. The 3D model will then be validated against on site measurements and information obtained through mapping and thin sections. These techniques will be used to reconstruct the history of interactions of fault zone geometry and fluid flow episodes at the basin margin.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90183©2013 AAPG Foundation 2013 Grants-in-Aid Projects