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Source rocks in foreland basins: a preferential context for the development of natural hydraulic fractures

Abstract : Bedding-parallel veins of fibrous calcite (also called BPV or ‘beef’) occur in many sedimentary basins, especially those containing low-permeability strata with organic source material for petroleum. The formation of such veins is often linked with fluid overpressure in these source rocks. In this review, we demonstrate that beef veins are most commonly present in foreland basins worldwide or in basins that recorded a compressive tectonic period. The formation of beef veins is related to two main phases: (1) the initiation of bedding-parallel fracture and (2) the infilling of the fracture. Previous structural studies have shown that formation of beef veins occurred during a period of compressive stress activity. This is especially the case for the Wessex Basin (UK) and the Neuquén Basin (Argentina). Here we provide more observations for other basins: the Cordillera Oriental (Colombia), the Paris Basin (France), the northern Pyrenees (France), the Uinta Basin (US), the Tian Shan Mountains (central Asia) and the Appalachian Mountains (US). In the Paris Basin, beef vein formation is dated at 155 Ma (U/Pb calcite method) and is coeval with the compressional deformation in the eastern part of the basin. Because of the timing of generation for such veins and even if the theory and the experiments of fracturing demonstrate that bedding-parallel fractures can be generated only with a distributed fluid overpressure, the formation of beef veins seems to be a consequence of both fluid overpressures and a compressional tectonic stress.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 4:14:37 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 3:08:32 AM

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Alain Zanella, Peter Cobbold, Nuno Rodrigues, H Loseth, Marc Jolivet, et al.. Source rocks in foreland basins: a preferential context for the development of natural hydraulic fractures. AAPG Bulletin, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, In press, ⟨10.1306/08122018162⟩. ⟨insu-03010282⟩

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