Contribution of studies of sub-seismic fracture populations to paleo-hydrological reconstructions (Bighorn Basin, USA)

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Beaudoin, Nicolas ; Lacombe, Olivier ; Bellahsen, Nicolas ; Emmanuel, Laurent (2013)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Journal: Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, volume 7, pages 57-60 (issn: 1878-5220)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.proeps.2013.03.198
  • Subject: Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

This work reports on the reconstruction of the paleo-hydrological history of the Bighorn Basin (Wyoming, USA) and illustrates the advantages and drawbacks of using sub-seismic diffuse fracture populations (i.e., micrometric to metric joints and veins forming heterogeneous networks), rather than fault zones, to characterize paleo-fluid systems at both fold and basin scales. Because sub-seismic fractures reliably record the successive steps of deformation of folded rocks, the analysis of the geochemical signatures of fluids that precipitated in these fractures reveals the paleo-fluid history not only during, but also before and after, folding. The present study also points out the need for considering pre-existing fluid systems and basin-scale fluid migrations to reliably constrain the evolution of fluid systems in individual folds.
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