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Structural Style and Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Maverick Basin: Integrating 3-D Seismic and Subsurface Fracture Fabric

Milton Sasser
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
[email protected]


A complicated structural history, dating back to the Late Proterozoic, is evident in the subsurface rock layers south of Del Rio, Texas. Several failed rifts, overthrusts and destructive lineaments are local signatures of ancient tectonic events associated with Rodinia and Pangea. By the Cretaceous Period, relative tectonic stability dominated the region and the area was characterized by a shallow inland sea and later the Maverick Basin became a depositional center of sandy deltaic sediment. Further, the Laramide orogeny affected the area from the west, inflicting a series of northwestward-southeastward oriented folds across the western Maverick Basin, including the field area.

A 3-D seismic data set is located across the western edge of the Maverick Basin. Field outcrops and potentially core samples will be used in conjunction with the seismic to create a reconstruction of tectonic history. Using seismic interpretation methods including azimuthal fracture orientation analysis or lateral discontinuity and wavelength reversals, a structural history can be developed and placed into the greater regional context. Additionally, microfracture orientation of hard rock-samples will be characterized and oriented with optical microscope and SEM data. The goal is to determine whether the abrupt termination of structural features from West to East across the Maverick Basin in the Western Gulf Coast Province can be traced to the Proterozoic Texas lineament to the northwest or are more closely related to the coalescence and disruption of Pangea. In addition, mechanical stratigraphic characterizations will be used to predict the fabric properties of rock at depth.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects