Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Doy L. Zachry

Committee Member

Matt Covington

Second Committee Member

Steve Milligan

Third Committee Member

Christopher L. Liner

Keywords

Earth sciences; Arkoma basin; Geology; Geophysics; Paleokarst; Viola group

Abstract

Paleokarst features are important to understand, both with regards to research geologists and to the petroleum industry. In terms of geology, understanding paleokarst features can yield more information about the depositional and surface environments of past times, and how diagenetic alteration affected the environment during the formation of karst features. In the petroleum industry, paleokarst features can have positive or negative consequence resulting in a potential reservoir with enhanced porosity due to the paleokarst features, or as a geo-hazard to prepare for or avoid when drilling.

Inspired by issues faced when drilling in the Ft. Worth basin, this study utilizes multiple 3-D seismic surveys and subsurface well control to map paleokarsts within the Viola Limestone in the Arkoma Basin. Calculated seismic attribute volumes used to identify paleokarst sinkholes within the Viola Group include coherency and curvature attributes. ImageJ software was used to aid in counting and measuring paleokarst sinkholes identified using seismic mapping, coherency, and curvature attribute volumes. In addition to mapping, a cumulative distribution plot was produced from the diameters of the seismically mapped paleokarst sinkholes, allowing for an estimate to be made as to what the total amount of paleokarst sinkholes are within the study area.

The methods detailed in this study proved to be effective in mapping and analyzing paleokarst sinkholes within the Viola Group. The paleokarst sinkholes mapped were determined to have been formed on the outer edge of the Southern Oklahoma aulacogen, as a result of the Sylvan/Viola unconformity. In addition to this, it has been determined that these paleokarst sinkholes are linked in formation to visually similar paleokarst sinkholes located in the Ellenburger Group in the Fort Worth Basin.

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