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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-71
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-71
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  26 Jun 2020

26 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE and is expected to appear here in due course.

Analysis of deformation bands associated with the Trachyte Mesa intrusion, Henry Mountains, Utah: implications for reservoir connectivity and fluid flow around sill intrusions

Penelope I. R. Wilson1, Robert W. Wilson2, David J. Sanderson3, Ian Jarvis1, and Kenneth J. W. McCaffrey4 Penelope I. R. Wilson et al.
  • 1Kingston University London, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 2EE, UK
  • 2BP Exploration Operating Company Limited, Chertsey Road, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 7LN, UK
  • 3University of Southampton, University Rod, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
  • 4Durham University, Science Labs, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK

Abstract. Shallow-level igneous intrusions are a common feature of many sedimentary basins, and there is increased recognition of the syn-emplacement deformation structures in the host rock that help to accommodate this magma addition. However, the sub-seismic structure and reservoir-scale implications of igneous intrusions remain poorly understood. The Trachyte Mesa intrusion is a small (~ 1.5 km2), NE–SW trending satellite intrusion to the Oligocene-age Mount Hillers intrusive complex in the Henry Mountains, Utah. It is emplaced within the highly porous, aeolian Entrada Sandstone Formation (Jurassic), producing a network of conjugate sets of NE–SW striking deformation bands trending parallel to the intrusion margins. The network was characterized by defining a series of nodes and branches, from which the topology, frequency, intensity, spacing, characteristic length, and dimensionless intensity of the deformation band traces and branches were determined. These quantitative geometric and topological measures were supplemented by petrological, porosity and microstructural analyses. Results show a marked increase in deformation band intensity and significant porosity reduction with increasing proximity to the intrusion. The deformation bands are likely to impede fluid flow, forming barriers and baffles within the Entrada reservoir unit. A corresponding increase in Y- and X- nodes highlights the significant increase in deformation band connectivity, which in turn will significantly reduce the permeability of the sandstone. This study indicates that fluid flow in deformed host rocks around igneous bodies may vary significantly from that in the undeformed host rock. A better understanding of the variability of deformation structures, and their association with intrusion geometry, will have important implications for industries where fluid flow within naturally fractured reservoirs adds value (e.g. hydrocarbon reservoir deliverability, hydrology, geothermal energy and carbon sequestration).

Penelope I. R. Wilson et al.

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Penelope I. R. Wilson et al.

Penelope I. R. Wilson et al.

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Latest update: 01 Dec 2020
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Short summary
Magma accommodation in the shallow crust leads to deformation of the surrounding host rock through the creation of faults, fractures and folds. This deformation will impact fluid flow around intrusive magma bodies (including sills and laccoliths) by changing the porosity and permeability network of the host rock. The results may have important implications for industries where fluid flow within the sub-surface adds value (e.g. oil and gas, hydrology, geothermal and carbon sequestration).
Magma accommodation in the shallow crust leads to deformation of the surrounding host rock...
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