Great Plains Seismogenic Study

Seismogenic reservoirs – those affected by earthquakes – can be interpreted throughout the Upper Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway which extended from Alaska to Texas starting about 100 MY ago. Surface geology, well log data and seismic data show that most reservoirs can be interpreted using seismogenic models. The study is not mapping geology tops - the study is presenting new interpretation models based on simple rules (click here to see the working titles).

Information for the reservoir models can be obtained here, but be sure to check back as we update the study progress. We are also undertaking some theoretical research; click here for current research.

We have some exciting results to present in these studies!  Simple models range from surface mass wasting to shallow reservoir fracturing over large areas. The most exciting results involve fairways for reservoirs such as the Cardium or Second White Speckled Shale Formations in Canada and equivalent USA strata.

The written portion of study will be complete and available here in May 2019. We will soon be examining borehole cores. The well log cross-sections are complete and many seismic displays and maps will be presented. But they are intended to be simple; they can be updated as new wellbore data is released from confidentiality.

Please visit the contact page if you have any questions or comments.

Basemap showing the approximate outline of the area applicable for this study. The area extends north into British Columbia and the Yukon, south into Texas. The Pierre Shale Formation outline is based upon: Roberts, L., and Kirschbaum, M., 1995, Paleogeography of the Late Cretaceous of the Western Interior of Middle North America- Coal distribution and sediment accumulation, USGS Professional Paper 1561, US Government Printing Office, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1561/report.pdf.

Basemap showing the approximate outline of the area applicable for this study. The area extends north into British Columbia and the Yukon, south into Texas. The Pierre Shale Formation outline is based upon: Roberts, L., and Kirschbaum, M., 1995, Paleogeography of the Late Cretaceous of the Western Interior of Middle North America- Coal distribution and sediment accumulation, USGS Professional Paper 1561, US Government Printing Office, http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1561/report.pdf.

An interpreted seismogenic fault from a 3-D dataset near Lethbridge, Alberta. The green oval highlights a fault that extends from the Upper Cretaceous 2WS (Second White Speckled Shale Formation) to a Jurassic marker. The Barons sandstone reservoir would be to the right of the fault (black line). The colors below are a map of the time difference between the 2WS and the BFS. An exploration well could be drilled on the map location at the location of the ‘S’ in ‘Scales’. The exact locations are confidential.

An interpreted seismogenic fault from a 3-D dataset near Lethbridge, Alberta. The green oval highlights a fault that extends from the Upper Cretaceous 2WS (Second White Speckled Shale Formation) to a Jurassic marker. The Barons sandstone reservoir would be to the right of the fault (black line). The colors below are a map of the time difference between the 2WS and the BFS. An exploration well could be drilled on the map location at the location of the ‘S’ in ‘Scales’. The exact locations are confidential.

This ‘cube’ of seismic data shows how the deeper geological layers are flat, but the shallowere layers are faulted as indicated by the offset blue and red acoustic reflections from these layers. PFS is short for ‘polygonal fault system’ because of the  patterns that the faults make in map view .

This ‘cube’ of seismic data shows how the deeper geological layers are flat, but the shallowere layers are faulted as indicated by the offset blue and red acoustic reflections from these layers. PFS is short for ‘polygonal fault system’ because of the patterns that the faults make in map view.

A Seismic line from southeast Saskatchewan. This pervasive faulting below the Great Plains has not been discussed in detail, except for some work from the Colorado School of Mines and scant work by others. The purpose of this study is to encourage earth scientists to recognize this pervasive faulting, as it affects hydrocarbon reservoirs and subsurface fluid transport.

A Seismic line from southeast Saskatchewan. This pervasive faulting below the Great Plains has not been discussed in detail, except for some work from the Colorado School of Mines and scant work by others. The purpose of this study is to encourage earth scientists to recognize this pervasive faulting, as it affects hydrocarbon reservoirs and subsurface fluid transport.