Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level





Christopher Liner

Committee Member

Matt Covington

Second Committee Member

Steve Milligan


Mississippian, Mississippi Lime, Osage County, Seismic, Tripolite, Tripolitic Chert


The Mississippi Lime play is an important recent oil and gas development in the mid-continent of the United States. In April of 2007, Chesapeake Energy Corporation used horizontal drilling and tracing to bring the Howell 1-33H well online. This well revitalized the Mississippi Lime play, expanding exploration with potential Mississippian reservoirs.

The Mississippian section is a complex carbonate reservoir containing several distinct lithologies. An important Mississippian lithology known from outcrops in Arkansas and Missouri is tripolitic chert, or tripolite; a bleach, highly diagenetically altered, silica rock with high porosity, low density, and high permeability. Tripolite is an important reservoir target with the broader Mississippi dense lime play, but should not be confused with Mississippi Chat reservoirs found in Kansas or Oklahoma which commonly are described as cherty paleosols, chert breccia or conglomerates. Acoustic impedance of tripolite is quite low, leading to a characteristic strong negative amplitude anomaly in 3D seismic data (i.e., a lithology bright spot).

This study presents techniques and results for seismic mapping of probable tripolite occurrences in the Wild Creek 3D seismic survey of Osage County, Oklahoma. Resolution estimates are also presented, along with preliminary reflection coefficient calculations indicating observed amplitude anomalies represent tripolite embedded in dense Mississippian limestone, a stratigraphic relationship in agreement with recent outcrop observations.