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Basic Petroleum Geology

Daniel N. Miller, Jr., Basic Oil and Gas Technology for Lawyers and Landmen (1979)


Introduction to Sedimentary Geology

The concepts of sedimentary geology most often applied to exploration and development of petroleum resources are based on rather fundamental principles and physical laws, extensive data, and more than seventy years of practical application. They evolved over the years as geologists in industry collected and exchanged information among themselves and with geologists in universities and state and federal agencies. Basically, the concepts deal with the types of changes that have modified the earth's surface throughout geologic time.

To a non-geologist the concepts may at first seem vague and highly interpretive, but for the most part such an impression is both temporary and superficial. The following material is arranged to provide non-geologists with a better understanding of the principles that are applied in geological reasoning in an effort to explain definitions and illustrations most commonly used by the petroleum industry, with emphasis on technology and the adequacy and validity of data.

North America — a hypothetical model of sedimentary processes

Assume for the sake of brevity, that sometime long ago in the geologic past a broad bulge developed in the earth's crust, and smaller wrinkles occurred in the bulge as the result of the crust's mobility under the influence of the earth's internal heat a