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Precambrian Basement Control on ‘Plains-Type Folds’ (Compacttonal Features) in the Midcontinent Region, USA

  • D. F. Merriam
  • Andrea Förster
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings of the International Conferences on Basement Tectonics book series (ICBT, volume 5)

Abstract

‘Plains-type folds’ were described in the early 1930s by petroleum geologists working in the Midcontinent, USA. The folds are characterized by small size, increased sharpness with depth, asymmetry, and association with faulting. These folds are ascribed to the compaction of sediments over crystalline, rigid basement, in this instance tilted Precambrian fault blocks. Initially, the ‘plains-type folds’ were formed when the present major structural features of the region were formed and adjustments continue today as recognized by neotectonics in the region. Development of these features in sediment veneers over the basement in the many cratonic environments of the world is of interest because locally they serve as traps for petroleum. Timing of development of the ‘plains-type folds’ determined when and if they were available for entrapment of petroleum as fluids moved through the system. This study indicates that there are two types of ‘plains-type folds’ in the Midcontinent: (1) the normal type developed mainly in the early Middle Pennsylvanian as a result of intraplate stresses caused by collision of the North and South American plates; and (2) those formed later as a result of other influences. By using a structural-depth gradient, which expresses the change in thickness of stratigraphic units on and off structure, it is possible to determine at which time(s) these features were affected by local or regional structural adjustments in the basement. By plotting the structural gradient, which is the change in structural closure with depth, the nature of the ‘plains-type fold’ can be recognized as being either (1) or (2). We propose that features exhibiting a low or no structural gradient (2), that is a similar structural closure with depth, and that are small and nearly circular in nature can be attributed to the emplacement of late Mesozoic or early Tertiary intrusive igneous plugs.

Keywords

Stratigraphic Unit PRECAMBRIAN Basement Structural Closure Petroleum Geologist Structural Gradient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. F. Merriam
    • 1
  • Andrea Förster
    • 2
  1. 1.Kansas Geological SurveyThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.GeoForschungsZentrum PotsdamGermany

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