Consolidation of Geologic Studies of Geopressured-Geothermal Resources in Texas

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Morton, Robert A.
Ewing, T. E.
Kaiser, W. R.
Finley, Robert J.

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Detailed structural mapping at several horizons in selected study areas within the Frio growth-fault trend demonstrates a pronounced variability in structural style. At Sarita in South Texas, shale mobilization produced one or more shale ridges, one of which localized a low-angle growth fault trapping a wedge of deltaic sediments. At Corpus Christi, shale mobilization produced a series of large growth faults, shale-cored domed anticlines, and shale-withdrawal basins, which become progressively younger basinward. At Blessing, major growth faults trap sands of the Greta/Calhoun barrier system, having some discrete shale diapirs but little progradation. At Pleasant Bayou, a major early growth-fault system was overprinted by salt tectonics—the intrusion of Danbury Dome and the development of a salt-withdrawal basin. At Port Arthur, low-displacement, long-lived faults formed on a sand-poor shelf margin contemporaneously with broad salt uplifts and basins. Variability in styles can be related to the nature and extent of Frio sedimentation and shelf-margin progradation and to the presence of salt. Structural styles that are conducive to large geothermal reservoirs include blocks between widely spaced growth faults having dip reversal, salt-withdrawal basins, and shale-withdrawal basins. These styles are widespread on the Texas Gulf Coast. However, actually finding a large reservoir depends on demonstrating the existence of sufficient sand having adequate quality to support geopressured geothermal energy production.


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