Contribution of studies of sub-seismic fracture populations to paleo-hydrological reconstructions (Bighorn Basin, USA)
- Publisher: Elsevier
Procedia Earth and Planetary Science,
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.