Thermal History Research in the Delaware Basin 2005

Geotrack is currently supporting Dr Richard Swarbrick of Durham University (UK) and his post-graduate research student Tom Sinclair in an exciting new study applying Geotrack’s AFTA-based thermal history reconstruction technologies in the Delaware Basin of Texas. Geotrack’s research support for the preliminary study involving 10 samples is worth more than US$12,000. Anadarko and BP are also supporting this research.

The key aims of the study are to provide direct constraints on the thermal and denudation histories in the basin, especially the timing and magnitude of major periods of heating and cooling and the mechanisms responsible. These results will provide a framework within which Tom will investigate the mechanisms responsible for sub-surface pressure distribution in the basin.

As far as we know, no other fission track thermal history studies have been carried out in the basin, perhaps due in part to the perception that apatite-bearing sands will be rare as a result of the preponderance of limestone and evaporities in the Palaeozoic sedimentary section.

In a pilot study of 10 samples, 5 from outcrop and 5 from a deep well sequence, apatite suitable for AFTA has been recovered from all samples, with excellent yields obtained from eight of these samples. This points to a successful study and reliable results.

Stay tuned for the results!

If you have an idea for a research study similar to this, contact Ian Duddy or Paul Green at Geotrack for more information.

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