Year of Publication

2017

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

Subsurface data derived from ~388 ft of drill core from Martin County (TX) were used to understand the depositional setting of the Wolfcamp-D, a petroleum producing interval in the Midland Basin. Elemental geochemistry collected via x-ray fluorescence revealed a highly variable depositional history marked by the deposition of diverse siliciclastic and carbonate lithofacies. Integration of multiple datasets resulted in the interpretation of nine lithofacies, whose deposition appears cyclical. Correlations between molybdenum and total organic carbon indicate slow recharge of bottom waters and anoxic/euxinicconditions within the basin. The presence of phosphatic nodules coinciding with siliceous black mudrocks suggested high levels of primary productivity driven by upwelling. High-frequency sea level variability, driven by far-field glaciation and regional paleoclimate, were key controls on both the chemostratigraphy and lithofacies. Along-strike variability is seen throughout the basin due to paleobathymetry, proximity and connections to paleochannels, and localized structures. Rhenium-osmium (Re/Os) geochronology was conducted on siliceous mudrocks with high total organic carbon. A depositional age of 300 ± 18 Ma was obtained, partially confirming previous correlations to shelf biostratigraphic data. Scatter in the Re/Os data is likely due to mixing in the basin or non-hydrogenous Os incorporated into the analysis due to the method of preparation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.163

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