Conceptual Model for Basement and Surface Structure Relationships in an Oblique Collision, Sawtooth Range, MT

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jason Michael Palu and Caroline M Burberry, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, United States
The reactivation potential of pre-existing basement structures affects the geometry of subsequent deformation structures. A conceptual model depicting the results of these interactions can be applied to multiple fold-thrust systems and lead to valuable deformation predictions. These predictions include the potential for hydrocarbon traps or seismic risk in an actively deforming area. The Sawtooth Range, Montana, has been used as a study area. A model for the development of structures close to the Augusta Syncline in the Sawtooth Range is being developed using: 1) an ArcGIS map of the basement structures of the belt based on analysis of geophysical data indicating gravity anomalies and aeromagnetic lineations, seismic data indicating deformation structures, and well logs for establishing lithologies, previously collected by others and 2) an ArcGIS map of the surface deformation structures of the belt based on interpretation of remote sensing images and verification through the collection of surface field data indicating stress directions and age relationships, resulting in a conceptual model based on the understanding of the interaction of the two previous maps including statistical correlations of data and development of balanced cross-sections using Midland Valley's 2D/3D Move software. An analysis of the model will then indicate viable deformation paths where prominent basement structures influenced subsequently developed deformation structures and reactivated faults. Preliminary results indicate that the change in orientation of thrust faults observed in the Sawtooth Range, from a NNW-SSE orientation near the Gibson Reservoir to a WNW-ESE trend near Haystack Butte correlates with pre-existing deformation structures lying within the Great Falls Tectonic Zone. The Scapegoat-Bannatyne trend appears to be responsible for this orientation change and rather than being a single feature, may be composed of up to 4 NE-SW oriented basement strike-slip faults. This indicates that the pre-existing basement features have a profound effect on the geometry of the later deformation. This conceptual model can also be applied to other deformed belts to provide a prediction for the potential hydrocarbon trap locations of the belt as well as their seismic risk.