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Basin Analysis

Chapter1: Basins and their plate


tectonic environment
This presentation contains illustrations and
some text from Allen and Allen (2005 ) as
well as illustrations from Press et al.
(2004)
Basins

• INTRODUCTION
– Definition and examples
(What is a basin?)
– How are basins classified?
– Essay (due next Thursday, barring days off for hurrican Gustav)
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Compositional division
– Rheological division
• BASIN FORMING MECHANISMS
– Plate Tectonics
– Thermal
– Thermo-mechanical
– Mechanical
Basins
• Definition and examples
Basins
• Definition
Areas of the earth where there is a net sedimentation,
or in the fossil (ancient) record of such areas
Zones of pronounced subsidence where sediment can
accumulate.
What makes a basin interesting for oil and gas
exploration?
• Examples

Gulf of Mexico (today and ancient)


Pyrenees (ancient)
Oman (oil from 650 Ma stromatolites still in living
position)
Permian-Pre-Cambrian
angular unconformity, Oman

Permian

Pre-
Cambrian
Basins

• INTRODUCTION
– Definition and examples
(What is a basin?)
– How are basins classified?
– Homework # 1.A (due next Thursday)
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Compositional division
– Rheological division
• BASIN FORMING MECHANISMS
– Plate Tectonics
– Thermal
– Thermo-mechanical
– Mechanical
How are basins classified?

Basin can be classified according to many priorities of the individual. A


classification scheme should not just create "order from the chaos", but
highlight patterns that are useful for predicting stratigraphy, and
faulting.

Dickinson's (1974) classification scheme is based on tectonic history:


(a) lithospheric substratum: oceanic versus continental
(b) proximity of the basin to a plate margin
(c) type of plate margin nearest the basin i.e., convergent, divergent,
conservative (similar to Bally and Snelson, 1980)
Other factors used are: hydrocarbon characteristics, types of sedimentary
sequences filling the basin, and the tectonics that modify the sediment
infill
If on the other hand one is interested in WHERE they are to be found with
respect to PLATE TECTONIC boundaries we might also get a hint about
the mechanism of formation. Fossil basins may no longer be in the plate
tectonic setting in which they were originally formed.
.
How are basins classified?

If one is interested in HOW Basins are formed then it is very natural that
we break up the basin types according to their mechanism of formation.
E.g., mechanical, thermal or thermal-mechanical.
Basins

• INTRODUCTION
– Definition and examples
(What is a basin?)
– How are basins classified?
– Homework # 1.A (due next Thursday)
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Compositional division
– Rheological division
• BASIN FORMING MECHANISMS
– Plate Tectonics
– Thermal
– Thermo-mechanical
– Mechanical
Homework due next
Thursday
Essay
• For the basin you have chosen to write a proposal in this class write an
essay (1 page or 300 words at most, including figures). In the essay
you will classify your basin according to Kingston et al., (1983a) scheme
(4-5 sentences). You should read Ch.1 of your book and the original
paper to get a detailed understanding of their classification
scheme. (This scheme was devised to help predict hydrocarbon
potential). Write a brief sentence or two about your opinion of this
classification scheme? Does it help you? Does it make it more difficult
to understand the basin? Please justify your answer with a
reason. Reason your case with evidence and write clearly in your own
words. Propose an alternative classification of your basin, if needed.
• Kingston, D.R. Dishroon,C.P. and Williams,P.A. (1983) Global basin
classification. Bull. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. 67, 2175-2193. There is
also a *.pdf file of this paper available from my website.
Basins

• INTRODUCTION
– Definition and examples
(What is a basin?)
– How are basins classified?
– Homework # 1.A (due next Thursday)
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Compositional division
– Rheological division
• BASIN FORMING MECHANISMS
– Plate Tectonics
– Thermal
– Thermo-mechanical
– Mechanical
Basins
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Compositional subdivision
Crust
10-70 km
thick

Mantle
cont. granite peridotite
mantle
2.7 g/cc >3.1 g/cc
oceanic- basaltic down to
>2.8 g/cc 2900 km
depth
Where is the Moho
deepest?

Where is the Moho the


shallowest?

Where are there basins?

Allen and Allen (2005)


Compositional zonation

• Based only on the composition, which affects density, and short-


term rigidity (and hence seismic velocities) the shallow portions
of the earth (0-80 km) can have one of three flavors:

• oceanic composition, i.e. gabbroic melt and all its cooling


derivatives- mafic rocks, density ~ 2,800 kg/m3, Vaverage
Vp=5km/s

• continental composition, i.e. granitic melt and all its cooling


derivatives - felsic rocks, density ~ 2,700 kg/m3, average Vp =
6.5 km/s

• mantle i.e. peridotite and high temperatures and pressures,


density = 3,300 kg/m3, average Vp>=8.1 km/s
Basins
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Rheological divisions RIGID

lithosphere

DUCTILE

asthenosphere
Key parts of Plate Tectonics

Lithosphere or rigid lid that holds both


crust and cold mantle together as one
solid block (0-100km)
asthenoshphere or plastic,ductile, layer also
within the mantle (100km depth to 300
km depth??)
Comparison of views earth
structure
RIGID

crust lithosphere

DUCTILE
mantle
Mantle asthenosphere
Plates

• Group of rocks all moving in the same


direction
• Can have both oceanic and continental
crust or just one kind.
Earth Divisions

What type of subdivisions are being used in these diagrams from Allen
and Allen (2005)?
Basins
• Definition and examples
• INTRODUCTION
– What is a basin?
– How are basins classified?
– Essay (due next Thursday)
• MAKEUP of the EARTH
– Compositional zonation
– Rheological zonation
• BASIN FORMING MECHANISMS
– Plate Tectonics
– Thermal
– Thermo-mechanical
– Mechanical
Plate Tectonics
What drives plate tectonics?
Driving Mechanism of
Plate Tectonics
• GRAVITY
• Convection may have overturned asthenosphere 4–6
times.
• Convection may initiate process but cooling leads to
densification and plate movement.
• A cold planet is a dead planet. Is there oil on Mars?
Ridge Push and Trench Pull

Press et al., 2005


Two Models of Mantle
Convection

Press et al. 2004


Divergent Plate Boundary
Usually start within continents—
grows to become ocean basin

Press et al. 2004


Basins
• BASIN FORMING MECHANISMS
– Thermal (lithospheric thermal erosion, plumes (active upwelling)
– as well as cooling)
– Thermo-mechanical (cooling leading to subsidence)
– Mechanical (e.g.,regional isostasy (sub- super-crustal),
aestenospheric drag, crustal extension)

– Link to composition of N.American Plate


– Link to thermal structure of N. American Plate
The Rock
Cycle

Press et al. 2004


Rock Cycle

Igneous rocks originate from magma. These rocks are subsequently


eroded to form sediments that are transported and deposited in
basins and can be preserved within continents

… Why is there a rock cycle?


Allen and Allen, 2005
Diachronous Appalachian
Orogenic events

• Taconic (Ordovician) All Appalachians


• Acadian (Devonian) Mostly in northern
Appalachians
• Alleghanian (Late Carboniferous-
Permian) Mainly in the southern
Appalachains