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1997 Bighorn Basin Symposium Guidebook
Chapter 6: Natural and Remotely-Sensed Fractures in Badger Basin
This study of Badger Basin provides a test for the prediction of subsurface fractures using satellite images, aeromagnetic data, potentiometric surfaces, hydrocarbon production data, and outcrop studies of surface fractures. These diverse geologic data afford independent corroboration of important subsurface fractures. In Badger Basin as well as adjacent oil and gas fields, topography reflects important fractures. Present-day streams show structural influences: streams parallel the northwest strike of beds, some streams enter creeks at right angles, and some creeks parallel adjacent streams. Sand Coulee, a creek flanking Badger Basin, alters its course near a major northeast-trending surface lineament. This northeast-trending surface lineament overlies a broad, aeromagnetic gradient. The association of a surface lineament with an aeromagnetic gradient implies that movement along the Precambrian basement is expressed at the surface. In Badger Basin, surface fractures and linear features have the same orientation as natural fractures in the Cretaceous Frontier Formation at 8200-8400 ft depth. Therefore, prediction of major subsurface fractures is possible using field studies of joints and structural interpretation of remotely-sensed images.
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