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dc.contributor.advisorSonnenberg, Stephen A.
dc.contributor.authorKernan, Nicholas Devereux
dc.date.accessioned2007-01-03T06:42:09Z
dc.date.accessioned2022-02-03T12:50:39Z
dc.date.available2007-01-03T06:42:09Z
dc.date.available2022-02-03T12:50:39Z
dc.date.issued2015
dc.identifierT 7725
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/11124/17082
dc.description2015 Spring.
dc.descriptionIncludes illustrations (some color), color maps.
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (pages 120-128).
dc.description.abstractThe Niobrara Formation is a fine-grained marine rock deposited in the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous. It is composed of fossil-rich interlayered shale, marls, and chalks. Recent interest in the Niobrara has grown due to the advent of lateral drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. This technology allows operators to economically extract hydrocarbons from chalkier Niobrara facies. Yet two aspects of the Niobrara Formation have remained enigmatic. The first is the occurrence of abundant, randomly oriented, layer-bound, normal faults. The second is the large degree of vertical heterogeneity. This research aimed to increase understanding in both these aspects of the Niobrara Formation. Randomly oriented normal faults have been observed in Niobrara outcrops for nearly a hundred years. Recent high resolution 3D seismic in the Denver Basin has allowed investigators to interpret these faults as part of a polygonal fault system (PFS). PFS are layer bound extensional structures that typically occur in fine-grained marine sediments. Though their genesis and development is still poorly understood, their almost exclusive occurrence in fine-grained rocks indicates their origin is linked to lithology. Interpretation of a 3D seismic cube in Southeast Wyoming found a tier of polygonal faulting within the Greenhorn-Carlile formations and another tier of polygonal faulting within the Niobrara and Pierre formations. This research also found that underlying structural highs influence fault growth and geometries within both these tiers. Core data and thin sections best describe vertical heterogeneity in fine-grained rocks. This investigation interpreted core data and thin sections in a well in Southeast Wyoming and identified 10 different facies. Most of these facies fall within a carbonate/clay spectrum with clay-rich facies deposited during periods of lower sea level and carbonate-rich facies deposited during periods of higher sea level. Because the average operator will typically have little core but abundant well logs, this investigation used three different methods of describing facies variability with logs. Facies interpreted with these methods are referred to as electrofacies. First, a conventional interpretation of Niobrara sub-units was done using gamma ray and resistivity logs. Then a cluster analysis was conducted on an extensive petrophysical log suite. Finally, a neural network was trained with the previous core interpretation so that it learned to identify facies from logs. The research found that when little core is available a cluster analysis method can capture significant amounts of vertical heterogeneity within the Niobrara Formation. But if core is available then a neural network method provides more meaningful and higher resolution interpretations.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediummasters theses
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherColorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes Library
dc.relation.ispartof2010-2019 - Mines Theses & Dissertations
dc.rightsCopyright of the original work is retained by the author.
dc.subjectelectrofacies
dc.subjectDenver Basin
dc.subjectCodell sandstone
dc.subjectGreenhorn formation
dc.subjectNiobrara formation
dc.subjectpolygonal fault systems
dc.subject.lcshFaults (Geology) -- Wyoming
dc.subject.lcshFacies (Geology) -- Wyoming
dc.subject.lcshGeology, Structural -- Niobrara Formation
dc.subject.lcshCluster analysis
dc.subject.lcshNeural networks (Computer science)
dc.subject.lcshNiobrara Formation
dc.titleStructural and facies characterization of the Niobrara Formation in Goshen and Laramie counties, Wyoming
dc.typeText
dc.contributor.committeememberTrudgill, Bruce, 1964-
dc.contributor.committeememberHumphrey, John D.
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science (M.S.)
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.disciplineGeology and Geological Engineering
thesis.degree.grantorColorado School of Mines


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