Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology)

First Advisor

Dr. Michael M. McGlue

Abstract

This M.S. thesis utilizes diverse subsurface datasets from the central Midland Basin, a recently reinvigorated petroleum producing region, to better understand the depositional history of the prospective Wolfcamp-D interval. An integrated set of methods were applied to ~320 ft of drill core from Midland County (Texas). Elemental chemostratigraphy collected via x-ray fluorescence highlights the pervasive fine-scale variability in the stratigraphy of the core, and aided in the classification of three different mudrock facies types. Organic-rich, siliceous mudrocks are cyclically interbedded with aluminum-rich mudrocks and carbonates throughout the Wolfcamp-D. Trace metal correlations with total organic carbon indicate slow bottom-water recharge from the open ocean, and that the Midland Basin was at times strongly anoxic during the deposition of black mudrocks. The changes in depositional environment associated with these different lithofacies are interpreted to have been driven by glacioeustatic sea level change, as well as shifts in global and regional climate that occurred during the Late Pennsylvanian. The repetitively stacked lithofacies are therefore consistent with a deep-basin cyclothem depositional motif and share some commonalities with well-studied shelf cyclothems. The results hold important implications for unconventional reservoir characterization of basin-center shale plays in the Permian Basin.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.469

Supplemental Table 1. Facies Table Midland County Core.pdf (167 kB)
Supplemental Table 1. Facies Table Midland County Core

Supplemental Figure 1. Whole Midland County Core XRF Analysis.pdf (809 kB)
Supplemental Figure 1. Whole Midland County Core XRF Analysis

Supplemental Figure 2. Integrated Stratigraphy and Chemostratigraphy, Midland County Core.pdf (3504 kB)
Supplemental Figure 2. Integrated Stratigraphy and Chemostratigraphy, Midland County Core

Supplemental Figure 3. Principle Component Analysis and Interpreted Sea Level Curve Midland County Core.pdf (525 kB)
Supplemental Figure 3. Principle Component Analysis and Interpreted Sea Level Curve Midland County Core

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