An exhumed palaeo-hydrocarbon migration fairway in a faulted carrier system, Entrada Sandstone of SE Utah, USA

I. R. Garden, S. C. Guscott, S. D. Burley, K. A. Foxford, J. J. Walsh, J. Imarshall

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    The Moab Anticline, east-central Utah, is an exhumed hydrocarbon palaeo-reservoir which was supplied by hydrocarbons that migrated from the Moab Fault up-dip towards the crest of the structure beneath the regional seal of the Tidwell mudstone. Iron oxide reduction in porous, high permeability aeolian sandstones records the secondary migration of hydrocarbons, filling of traps against small sealing faults and spill pathways through the Middle Jurassic Entrada Sandstone. Hydrocarbons entered the Entrada Sandstone carrier system from bends and other leak points on the Moab Fault producing discrete zones of reduction that extend for up to 400m from these leak points. They then migrated in focused stringers, 2-5 m in height, to produce accumulations on the crest of the anticline. Normal faults on the anticline were transient permeability barriers to hydrocarbon migration producing a series of small compartmentalized accumulations. Exsolution of CO2 as local fault seals were breached resulted in calcite cementation on the up-dip side of faults. Field observations on the distribution of iron oxide reduction and calcite cements within the anticline indicate that the advancing reduction fronts were affected neither by individual slip bands in damage zones around faults nor by small faults with sand: sand juxtapositions. Faults with larger throws produced either sand: mudstone juxtapositions or sand: sand contacts and fault zones with shale smears. Shale-smeared fault zones provided seals to the reducing fluid which filled the structural traps to spill points. © 2001 Blackwcll Science Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-213
    Number of pages19
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Faulting
    • Fluid flow
    • Hydrocarbon migration
    • Utah


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