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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 13 (1929)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 409

Last Page: 440

Title: Tectonic Classification of Oil Fields in the United States

Author(s): Walter A. Ver Wiebe (2)


Up to the present it has been customary to group the oil fields of the United States according to geographic location. Facts brought out by intensive geological work of petroleum geologists during the last decade make it evident that the architecture of the continent has exercised the controlling influence over distribution of oil-producing areas. Petroliferous provinces should be named according to the tectonic element with which they are associated. The writer therefore groups the oil fields into eleven provinces: (1) Appalachian geosyncline, (2) Cincinnati arch, (3) Eastern Interior coal basin, (4) Michigan basin, (5) Western Interior coal basin, (6) Ouachita-Amarillo Mountain, (7) Bend arch, (8) Gulf embayment, (9) West Texas basin, (10) Rocky Mountain geosyncline, an (11) Pacific geosyncline. Some of these are subdivided into districts on the basis of subordinate structural features. The writer describes each province as to location, included fields, characteristics of each, such as age of producing horizons, lithologic character of horizons, tectonic elements and structural features of the second and third order, and relation of production to structure. In conclusion, the outstanding features of the provinces are recapitulated on a comparative basis in order to show that the age and nature of the producing horizons can not be used as a criterion, or the relation between structure and production, that the peculiar structural habit of a province can be used with certain limitations, but that the best criteria are the structural elements of the first rder.

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