Date of Graduation

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Doy L. Zachry

Committee Member

Walter L. Manger

Second Committee Member

Christopher L. Liner

Abstract

The Boone Formation in northwest Arkansas and southwestern Missouri exposes a nearly complete sequence of Lower Mississippian chert-bearing carbonates deposited by a single 3rd order transgression and regression. An abundant amount of chert that has replaced limestone highlights the Boone, but little is understood about the timing and development of chert in Lower Mississippian carbonates. Interpretation of the diagenetic history of the chert, in particular tripolite, has significant implications beyond the outcrop. Determining the origin, timing, and extent of tripolitic chert in the Lower Mississippian System improves reservoir characterization in subsurface petroleum reservoirs in the mid-continent that are laterally equivalent to the Boone Formation. The Boone exposures are used as analogs for subsurface carbonate intervals in the Mississippi Lime Play. Results from Petrographic, SEM, EDX, and carbonate weight percent analyses have determined the stratigraphic extent of tripolitization in the Lower Mississippian carbonate succession, as well the controls on tripolite formation. The interpretation that tripolitic chert occurs as a result of a leaching by groundwater and the presence of carbonate controls the development of tripolitic chert can be used to locate highly porous tripolitic chert in analogous carbonate reservoirs in the midcontinent.

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