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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 105, No. 10 (October 2021), P. 1993-2015.

Copyright ©2021. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1306/08212019114

Structural geometry and evolution of the Carter-Knox structure, Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma

Molly Turko1 and Shankar Mitra2

1School of Geosciences, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; [email protected]
2School of Geosciences, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; [email protected]


The Carter-Knox field is located on a northwest-southeast–trending faulted anticline in the southeastern part of the Anadarko Basin. Three-dimensional seismic and well data were used to develop a model for the geometry and evolution of the structure. The Carter-Knox structure formed during contractional deformation associated with the Wichita basement uplift in the Pennsylvanian. It is characterized by different structural styles in two main structural units. The lower unit, which includes the Cambrian Arbuckle Group to Mississippian Sycamore Limestone, is folded into a broad anticline associated with one or more frontal faults and back thrusts, with a change in vergence along trend. The upper unit, which includes the Upper Mississippian Springer shale to the Morrowan Primrose and the overlying Pennsylvanian growth units, is marked by a tight faulted detachment fold with a steep front limb, associated with multiple thrust faults that detach within the Springer shale. Kinematic reconstruction shows differential shortening between the two main structural packages. The evolution of the structure was episodic, resulting in two major angular unconformities within the Pennsylvanian. A major Permian unconformity truncates the structure. The southwestern flank of the structure was rotated along an active flexural hinge in the basement because of sedimentary loading, resulting in thickening of growth units on this flank. The Carter-Knox structure is an analogue for other thin-skinned structures in the Anadarko Basin and illustrates the impact of the thick-skinned Wichita uplift on the thin-skinned fold-thrust structures in the basin.

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