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Illustrated Summary of Compartments / Pressure Regimes in Selected North American Basins: Part 3—Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, and Alaska

By

David E. Powley1

 

Search and Discovery Article #60011 (2007)

Posted February 17, 2007

 

*Compiled from slides prepared by the author for his numerous presentations about the subject of compartments and pressure regimes, for which he was pioneer, advocate, and mentor.  

1Deceased October 29, 2006. Consultant after retirement from Amoco Production Company.

 

uLocation map

uRocky Mountains

  uDenver basin

  uSan Juan basin

  uUinta basin

  uSW Wyoming

  uPowder River basin

  uBig Horn basin

  uWilliston basin

uWestern Canada

uAlaska

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uLocation map

uRocky Mountains

  uDenver basin

  uSan Juan basin

  uUinta basin

  uSW Wyoming

  uPowder River basin

  uBig Horn basin

  uWilliston basin

uWestern Canada

uAlaska

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uLocation map

uRocky Mountains

  uDenver basin

  uSan Juan basin

  uUinta basin

  uSW Wyoming

  uPowder River basin

  uBig Horn basin

  uWilliston basin

uWestern Canada

uAlaska

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uLocation map

uRocky Mountains

  uDenver basin

  uSan Juan basin

  uUinta basin

  uSW Wyoming

  uPowder River basin

  uBig Horn basin

  uWilliston basin

uWestern Canada

uAlaska

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uLocation map

uRocky Mountains

  uDenver basin

  uSan Juan basin

  uUinta basin

  uSW Wyoming

  uPowder River basin

  uBig Horn basin

  uWilliston basin

uWestern Canada

uAlaska

uReferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

uLocation map

uRocky Mountains

  uDenver basin

  uSan Juan basin

  uUinta basin

  uSW Wyoming

  uPowder River basin

  uBig Horn basin

  uWilliston basin

uWestern Canada

uAlaska

uReferences

 

 

 

 

Location Map

Rocky Mountains

Denver Basin and Plains to the East and Northeast

Figure 2. Schematic cross-section, Denver Basin, showing pressure regimes and potentiometric surfaces.

Figure 3. Map of Dakota artesian aquifer, Kansas to North Dakota. Water analyses from Darton, 1896, Leonard and Berry, 1961, Swenson, 1968, Barnes et al., 1971, McNellis, 1974, and Bayne and Ward, 1974.

Figure 4. Diagrammatic cross-section, central Kansas to North Dakota, showing configuration of “Dakota” Sandstone, potentiometric surface, and topographic surface.

 

San Juan Basin

Figure 5. Structure map, San Juan Basin (after Rice, 1983).

Figure 6. Pressure/depth profiles, for western flank of San Juan Basin and Defiance Platform.

 

Uinta Basin

Figure 7.  Map of Utah and parts of Wyoming and Colorado, with front of thrust belt and areal extent of Jurassic Carmel salt.

Figure 8. Generalized cross-section of Uinta Basin showng position of overpressures, along with index map showing areal extent of overpressures.

 

Southwestern and Central Wyoming

Figure 9. Map of Red Desert and Washakie basins, showing general area of “tight formations gas.” Inset (after Shaughnessy and Butcher, 1974) shows generalized line of cross-section (in Figure 10), northwest of the area of the larger map.

Figure 10. Generalized cross-section, Big Piney / La Barge through Pinedale to Wind River Range.

Figure 11. Generalized cross-section, Wind River Basin, showing overpressured and underpressured compartments and their areal extents.

 

Powder River Basin

Figure 12. Structure map, Powder River Basin, with fields producing from Muddy Sandstone.

Figure 13. Southwest-northeast schematic cross-section, Power River Basin, showing position of abnormal pressures in the basin.

Figure 14. Map of Powder River Basin, with areal extent for top of overpressures near -4000 ft and extent for top of overpressures shallower than -4000 ft.

Figure 15. Map of Powder River Basin, with areal extents of overpressures and underpressures in Lower Cretaceous formations and overpressures in both Upper and Lower Cretaceous formations.

Figure 16. Detail map for extents of underpressured and overpressured Lower Cretaceous formations, Powder River Basin.

Figure 17. Salinity, pressure compartments, and thickness of Muddy Sandstone, northeast Powder River Basin.

 

Big Horn Basin and South- Central Montana

Figure 18. Pressure distribution, Tensleep Sandstone, Big Horn Basin.

Figure 19. Structure map, Phosphoria Formation, Big Horn Basin, as location map of Cottonwood Creek field (Figure 20).

Figure 20. Structure map, Cottonwood Creek field, on Phosphoria Formation, showing outline of Cottonwood Creek fluid compartment.

Figure 21. Tectonic elements, south-central Montana, as location map for Dry Creek field in cross-section in Figure 22.

Figure 22. Schematic cross-section, south-central Montana, showing normal pressures across Nye Bowler Fault and potentiometric surface that is the same as topographic elevation at Dry Creek field.

 

Williston Basin

Figure 23. Pre-Devonian paleogeologic map, Rocky Mountains and environs (after Loucks, 1977).

Figure 24. Pre-Upper Devonian paleogeologic map, Rocky Mountains and environs (after Loucks, 1977).

Figure 25. Generalized stratigraphic chart, Williston Basin, with positions of underpressures, overpressures, and normal pressures.

Figure 26. Structure map, on base of Mississippian, Williston Basin, with southern limit of the Bakken Formation and area of overpressures (after Meissner, 1978).

Figure 27. Map of potentiometric surfaces, Devonian Dawson Bay Formation.

Figure 28. Map of potentiometric surfaces, along with general water character, Silurian Interlake and Siluro-Ordovician Stonewall formations.

Figure 29. Map of potentiometric surfaces, along with area of low-permeable strata, Ordovician Red River Formation.

Figure 30. Map of the Dakotas and eastern Montana, showing of the boundary in the Red River Formation that separates potentiometric surface of +1100 feet and pressure gradient of 51.2 psi/100 feet, to the east and northeast, from the potentiometric surface of +2400 feet and pressure gradient of 45 psi/100 feet, to the west and southwest.

Figure 31. Schematic cross-section showing the positions of the different types of water in the Red River Formation, along with associated potentiometric surfaces and pressure gradients.

Figure 32. Map of potentiometric surface, Ordovician Winnipeg Sandstone (from Paterson, 1971, in part).

Click to view in sequence maps of potentiometric surfaces (Figures 27, 28, 29, 32)

Figure 33. Structure map and pressure-depth profile, Sanish oil pool, Antelope Field, McKenzie County, North Dakota. Sanish Sandstone, a member of the Devonian Three Forks Formation, is overpressured.

 

Western Canada

Figure 34. Map of Western Canadian regions with fluid compartments.

Figure 35. Schematic cross-section showing compartments in Lower Cretaceous – Upper Cretaceous (to Coniacian [Pouce Coupe]) strata, Western Canada (after Smith, 1984).

Figure 36. Schematic cross-section, showing the setting of the Athabasca tar sands and position of upper seal of the McMurray Formation.

Figure 37. Generalized cross-section, Beaufort Basin, Arctic Canada, showing overpressures in Tertiary section.

Alaska

Figure 38. Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska, with location of cross-section in Figure 39.

Figure 39. Generalized cross-section of Cook Inlet Basin, showing position of overpressures.

Figure 40. Map of Copper River sedimentary province, where cross-section in Figure 41 is located.

Figure 41. Generalized cross-section, Copper River Basin, showing position of overpressured compartment, from which fluidized rock material, mainly shale, and high- pressured water with minor hydrocarbons are being ejected and venting at the surface to form a mud volcano. The rising, high-pressured mixture may pressure-up any shallow, permeable beds encountered, thereby locally complicating recognition of the layered arrangement of hydraulic systems. 

References 

Bayne, C.K.; and J.R. Ward, 1974, Geology and hydrology of Rice County, central Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin, no. 206, pt. 3, 17 p.

Bayne, C. K., P.C. Franks, and W. Ives, Jr., 1971, Geology and ground-water resources of Ellsworth County, Central Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin, no. 201, 84 p.

Darton, N. H. (1896) Preliminary report on artesian waters of a portion of the Dakotas. 17th Annual Rept., U. S. Geological Survey, v. p. 609-694.

Leonard, A.R., and D.W. Berry, 1961, Geology and ground-water resources of southern Ellis County and parts of Trego and Rush counties, Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 149, 156 p.

Loucks, Gerald G., 1977, Geologic History of the Devonian Northern Alberta to Southwest Arizona, in Rocky Mountain Thrust Belt Geology and Resources: WGA 29th Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p. 119-134

McNellis, J.M., 1973, Geology and ground-water resources of Rush County, central Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin, no. 207, 45 p.

Meissner, F.F., 1978, Patterns of source-rock maturity in non-marine source rocks of some typical western interior basins in non-marine Tertiary and Upper Cretaceous source rocks and the occurrence of oil and gas in the west central U.S.: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Continuing Education Notes, unpaginated.

Paterson, D.F., 1971, The stratigraphy of the Winnipeg Formation: Saskatchewan Department of Mineral Resources, Report, v. 140, 57 p.

Rice, D.D., 1983, Relation of natural gas composition to thermal maturity and source rock type in San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado: AAPG Bulletin, v. 67, p. 1199-1218.

St. John, Bill, A.W. Bally, and H.D. Klemme, 1984, Sedimentary provinces of the world – hydrocarbon productive and nonproductive (map with booklet): AAPG.

Shaughnessy, J., and R.H. Butcher, 1974, Geology of Wagon Wheel nuclear stimulation project, Pinedale field, Wyoming: AAPG Bulletin, v. 58, p. 2250-2259.

Smith, R.D., 1984, Gas reserves and production performance of the Elmworth/Wapiti area of the Deep Basin, in Elmworth: Case Study of a Deep Basin Gas Field: AAPG Memoir 38, p. 153-172.

Swenson, Frank A., 1968, New theory of recharge to the artesian basin of the Dakotas: GSA Bulletin, v. 79, p. 163-182. Also, Swenson, Frank A., 1968, Recharge and movement of water in the Artesian Basin of the Dakotas, in Black Hills Area: South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming: WGA 20th Field Conference Guidebook, p. 199-207

 

 

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