Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Doy Zachry

Committee Member

Ralph Davis

Second Committee Member

Christopher Liner

Abstract

Carbonate bodies with lobate geometries form a substantial part of the Osagean (early Mississippian) section in northwest Arkansas. The purpose of this study is to isolate and describe a single lobe from three-dimensional exposures in quarry walls to provide criteria by which lobe and lobe porosity can be recognized in the subsurface. Carbonate sediment generated on the Mississippian Burlington shelf moved southward by gravity flows from the shelf margin to positions on a prograding ramp in Arkansas where overlapping deposits with lobate geometries accumulated. These deposits are recognized in outcrops of the Boone Formation. Stratigraphic units within the Boone are also identified as the Mississippian lime and Reeds Spring Formation, and are targets for hydrocarbon exploration in Oklahoma.

The Hindsville Quarry located in the northeastern portion of Washington County, Arkansas, operated by APAC Central, has exposed walls each in excess of 1000 feet in length and wall heights near 114 feet. Beaver Lake Dam Quarry is located west of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and is operated by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and also has exposed quarry walls the reach 75-80 feet in height. The walls at both sites were photographed with the purpose of creating panoramic views of each of the walls. Stratigraphic boundaries within each wall were positioned to define lobe packages and internal facies. Selected intervals were then made into thin section samples for a petrographic study. A distinct coarsening up pattern in the grains was recorded. The use of Terrestrial LiDar scans that were captured four years ago were used to determine stratigraphic pattern, bedding planes and orientation of inaccessible quarry walls of the study areas. Terrestrial LiDar allows improvements of current field methods by quantifying observations and visually capturing information visible and invisible to the human eye (Bellian, et al, 2005). Productive intervals within the Mississippian carbonates of north-central Oklahoma have not been positioned with respect to depositional or diagenetic facies. The methods used in this study provide criteria by which lobe boundaries can be recognized in the subsurface. The petrography indicates where within the lobe porous and permeable units exist. Terrestrial LiDar scans allowed for the designation of the quarry wall's chert content and access to areas that were inaccessible.

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