Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science

Department

Geology and Geological Engineering

First Advisor

Louis G. Zachos

Second Advisor

Walter Guidroz

Third Advisor

Larry R. Baria

Abstract

The Norphlet Formation is a Jurassic-aged siliciclastic unit located across the southeastern United States and offshore Gulf of Mexico. The eolian dune sands present in the Norphlet Formation serve as oil and gas reservoirs, making the formation of particular interest to oil and gas companies. Stable Appalachian ridges are the source of the Norphlet Formation, however deposition is related to complex faults and structures resulting from movement of the Louann Salt. Erosion of the ancestral Appalachian Mountains resulted in the deposition of four main lithofacies: basal shales, conglomerates and conglomeratic sandstones, the Denkman Sandstone member, and a redbed succession. Additionally, the presence of playa lakes allowed for deposition of evaporites associated with the Norphlet Formation. The Norphlet serves as a potential exploration target, therefore understanding the depositional patterns will aid when looking for drilling prospects. An analysis of each facies within the top 100 feet of the Norphlet Formation in the Conecuh Embayment was performed for this study in order to understand patterns within the lithofacies data, computed facies (electrofacies) data, and paleotopography. This study includes mudlog, geophysical wireline log, and core data used to analyze the Norphlet Formation and the structural features present in Little Cedar Creek and Brooklyn Fields and surrounding area, located in Conecuh, Covington, and Escambia Counties. Electrofacies data should not be relied on as the only way to identify facies within the Norphlet; mudlog data provided the best interpretation as it tied in confidently with the core description. Based on paleotopography and lithofacies of the Conecuh Embayment, an interpreted alluvial fan sequence should be investigated further as a possible prospect for Norphlet production.

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