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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Pacific Section of AAPG


Structure, Stratigraphy and Hydrocarbon Occurrences of the San Joaquin Basin, California, 1990
Pages 133-140

Structural Overview of Elk Hills

Geoffrey E. Nicholson


The Elk Hills field is located near the southern end of the en echelon fold-thrust belt on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Structural analysis reveals that the field is an antiform characterized by extensional faulting in the shallow intervals, wrenching in the Miocene rocks and high-angle reverse and strike-slip faulting at depth. Elk Hills is a positive flower structure which has been uplifted along a strike-slip fault with a left-lateral sense of displacement. The direction of maximum horizontal stress is northeast-southwest which compares well with that reported by other workers in the northern portion of the belt. These workers have observed that fault-bend folds have developed as a result of this compressional stress, while at Elk Hills the response to this stress has taken the form of wrench deformation. The presence of a high-angle strike-slip fault indicates that the movement of basement(?) blocks is another factor to be considered in the interpretation of the structural evolution of the belt.

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