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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 933

Last Page: 934

Title: The Time is Now for All Explorationists to Purposefully Search for Subtle Trap: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Michel T. Halbouty

Article Type: Meeting abstract


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Geologists and geophysicists have made little effort to purposefully search for the subtle traps--stratigraphic, unconformity, or paleogeomorhic--because of (1) motivation to continue looking for structures which can be found with present-day tools and ideas, and (2) the pressure exerted on explorationists by their knowledge that anticlines, domes, and fault structures are more acceptable to management. As a result, our domestic exploratory successes during the past decades have been declining not only in number of fields found annually, but also in the quality or economic worth of the fields.

Hidden trends may occur below unconformities, at undrilled depths in productive trends, and in relatively unexplored regions. Hidden features may be ancestral anticlines and domes, faults, stratigraphic traps, and buried geomorphic features. The difference between these hidden features and the obvious type is that the former are not obvious to present-day exploratory methods and thinking. Many of these probably can now be found, but only if we point our methods and thinking toward them, not around them.

Domestic explorationists must make a turn in the direction of purposefully looking for the obscure trap. The large domestic reserves required for the future are contained in hidden trends and features. If we are to succeed in finding them, geologists and geophysicists, and, equally, management, will have to place greater emphasis on the deliberate search for the subtle trap. In this search, emphasis must be placed on detailed study and research in stratigraphy, paleogeomorphology, paleogeography, paleostructure, paleontology, and palynology.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists