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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 38 (1954)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 950

Last Page: 950

Title: Exploration Frontiers in Southwestern Wyoming and Northwestern Colorado: ABSTRACT

Author(s): John F. Partridge, Jr.

Article Type: Meeting abstract


That part of Wyoming southwest of the Gros Ventre-Wind River-Sweetwater uplift and west of the Rawlins-Sierra Madre uplift and that part of Colorado north of the Uinta-Axial uplift is truly an exploration frontier. The three basins--Green River, Great Divide-Red Desert, Washakie--and the overthrust belt of western Wyoming comprise an area of 25,000 square miles or 15,850,000 acres. This is 22.5% of the area of Wyoming and 3% of the area of Colorado. Practically every acre of this vast area is potential oil land as the basement complex is not exposed within these limits. Yet to date, despite extensive surface mapping, seismic surveys, and almost complete lease coverage, there are only five known oil fields, 13 gas fields, and only one exploratory well per 230 square miles. Rocks of every age from Tertiary to Cambrian are present under all or part of this province and each rock unit is capable of yielding oil or gas. There are abrupt facies changes across this area from the Wyoming shelf to the Cordilleran geosyncline. Structure in this area varies from simple to complex. There are complex folded and faulted rim structure, simple basin structure, basinal uplift structure, and the complex folds and overthrusts in the overthrust belt. Every ingredient for the accumulation of oil and gas is present. It remains for the oil industry to explore and exploit this frontier of the Rocky Mountain region.

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