WSGS Maps Oil Mountain Quadrangle in Natrona County | New

Sandstone of the cross-bedded Cloverly formation on the southwest flank of Oil Mountain.

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) has released a new bedrock geological map of the Oil Mountain quadrangle in central Wyoming. The study better characterizes the region’s mineral and energy resources, as well as sedimentation trends from when Wyoming was covered by an ancient sea.

“Energy and mineral resources are our primary criteria for prioritizing geological mapping targets in Wyoming,” says Dr. Erin Campbell, state geologist and director of WSGS. “The Oil Mountain map addresses several aspects of the state’s economic potential.”

The Oil Mountain quadrangle is 15 miles west of Casper and on the southeast margin of the Wind River Basin. The eastern boundary of the basin is defined by the Casper Arch, a northwest-trending region of folding and faulting that separates the Wind River and Powder River basins. Several of the Oil Mountain Quadrilateral’s geologic units, such as the Wall Creek Sandstone of the Frontier Formation and the Parkman Sandstone of the Mesaverde Formation, are well-known oil and gas reservoirs or source rocks in both basins. . These same units may also be local sources of groundwater or enriched with mineral resources.

Oil and gas production in the quadrangle dates back to the mid-1800s and includes the Iron Creek, Poison Spider, Oil Mountain and Canal fields, which produce primarily from Cretaceous age rock in reservoirs controlled by the folding and Laramide faulting.

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“The Casper Arch area is an ideal location to study Wyoming’s iconic Cretaceous sedimentary section,” says WSGS geologist Derek Lichtner. “These usually buried formations rise to the surface here, allowing geologists to connect the dots between wells in nearby basins.”

The 1:24,000 scale map and accompanying 34-page report provide up-to-date information on the geological structure and sedimentary history of the formations in the quadrangle, as well as their potential as a mineral resource. groundwater, heavy mineral sands, coal, uranium and bentonite. , and aggregated.

The report summarizes analytical results acquired from rock samples of key formations: whole rock geochemistry, bedrock analysis, palynomorph biostratigraphy, and detrital zircon geochronology. These analyzes shed light on various aspects of the geological history of the formations, such as depositional age, depositional environment, fossil assemblages and organic content. An extended dataset is available on the WSGS website.

The map also draws on recent WSGS surveys of the Powder River Basin and the Greater Green River Basin, as well as recent quadrangular maps including Ervay Basin, Ervay Basin SW, and Richards Gap.

The Oil Mountain Quadrilateral Mapping Project was funded by the US National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (STATEMAP), which is managed by the US Geological Survey.

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