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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 97, No. 6 (June 2013), P. 877898.

Copyright copy2013. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


Analog modeling of normal faulting above Middle East domes during regional extension

Darrell W. Sims,1 Alan P. Morris,2 Danielle Y. Wyrick,3 David A. Ferrill,4 Deborah J. Waiting,5 Nathan M. Franklin,6 Shannon L. Colton,7 Yoshihiko Tamura Umezawa,8 Mamoru Takanashi,9 Emily J. Beverly10

1Boerne, Texas. Former employee of Southwest Research Institutereg
2Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institutereg, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas; amorris@swri.org
3Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institutereg, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas; dwyrick@swri.org
4Department of Earth, Material, and Planetary Sciences, Southwest Research Institutereg, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas; dferrill@swri.org
5Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, Geosciences and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institutereg, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas; djw@swri.org
6Former employee of Southwest Research Institutereg; nathan.franklin@gmail.com
7Former employee of Southwest Research Institutereg
8Senior Coordinator, Asia Unit, INPEX Corporation, Akasaka Biz Tower, 5-3-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; yoshihiko.umezawa@inpex.co.jp
9Co-chief Research geophysicist at Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation; takanashi-mamoru@jogmec.go.jp
10Former temporary agency employee at Southwest Research Institutereg, present address: Department of Geology, Baylor University, Waco, Texas; Emily_Beverly@Baylor.edu


We study the effects of planform dome shape on fault patterns developing with and without concurrent regional extension oriented oblique to the long axis of the dome. The motivation was the need to understand fault and fracture patterns in two adjacent mature hydrocarbon fields in the Middle East: one, an elliptical dome, and one, an irregularly shaped dome. The largest faults have throws of approximately 30 m (sim98 ft), which is close to the resolution limit of older two-dimensional seismic reflection data. The known fault trends are not parallel to the highest transmissivity direction but could form compartment boundaries. Fault and fracture patterns developed over the modeled domes provide insight into the populations of faults and fractures that are likely to exist in the reservoirs but have been undetected because they are at or below the resolution limit of reflection seismic data. Major domal structural elements, crestal fault systems, end splay systems, and radial faults are observed in modeled domes rising both with and without concurrent regional extension. Experimental results indicate that fault and fracture patterns are influenced by the effects of dome shape, regional extension, and relative timing of uplift with respect to regional extension. The expression of particular sets of faults and fractures associated with concurrent doming and regional extension depends on the interaction among regional extension, outer arc extension over the dome, and tangential extension around the dome margins. Our results also indicate that the two adjacent natural domes possibly experienced different kinematic histories from those previously interpreted.

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