The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences

 

Madison Group, Williston Basin

General Setting

The Williston Basin is an elliptical-shaped, small topographic-relief intracratonic basin that extends from the northern Great Plains of the U.S. into Canada. The basin occupies most of North Dakota, northwestern South Dakota, eastern Montana, and a part of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada. The basin is bordered on the east and southeast by the Canadian Shield and the Sioux Uplift. The western and southwestern border limits include the Black Hills Uplift, Miles City Arch, Porcupine Dome, and Bowdoin Dome. The U.S. part of the basin presents a maximum Phanerozoic thickness of 16,000 ft in North Dakota. Sedimentary rocks of Cambrian through Holocene age are present in the basin. The basin began subsiding during Late Cambrian or Early Ordovician time and has continued to subside through time. The style of deformation has been explained as horizontal compression, vertical tectonics, and wrench-fault tectonics. Present structure has been controlled by the Precambrian structure that was modified by the Laramide deformation. Even though Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks are exposed, most studies are of subsurface data (Gerhard and Anderson, 1988; Peterson, 1988;).

Information Search and Selection

Formation properties in the Williston Basin are unusually well documented. Maps of different formations capable of storing CO2 in sandstone and carbonate brine formations from Cambrian to Lower Cretaceous can be found in the literature.

Subsurface disposal in the Williston Basin is restricted to three main divisions: the lower siliciclastic division (Middle to Upper Cambrian Ordovician), about 1,600 ft thick, the middle carbonate-evaporitic division (Ordovician to Mississipian), about 4,800 ft, and the upper siliciclastic division (Jurassic to Holocene), 5,300 ft. The Mississipian Madison carbonate-evaporitic group was selected for this study (even though it is one of the main oil producers in the basin) not only because of its depth and the presence of a high-density brine on the northeastern flank of the basin but also because of the presence of other good CO2 storage characteristics that are described later.

Almost the entire set of maps that was used for the GIS data base for the 14 properties was published by Downey (1984, 1986). Only two formation property maps came from others sources.

Comments on Geologic Parameters

References

Busby, J., Plummer, L., and Hansshaw, B., 1991, Geochemical evolution in the Madison in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1272-f, 89 p.

Downey, J. S., 1984, Geohydrology of the Madison and associated aquifers in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1273-G, 47 p.

___________ 1986, Geohydrology of bedrock aquifers in the northern Great Plains in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1402-E, 87 p.

Downey, J. S., and Dinwiddie, G. A., 1988, The regional aquifer system underlying the northern Great Plains in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1402-A, 64 p.

Gerhard, L. C., and Anderson, S. B., 1988, Geology of the Williston Basin (United States portion): The Geology of North America, v. D-2, Sedimentary Cover—North America Craton: U.S.: Geological Society of America, p. 221–240.

MacCay, L. M., 1984, Apparent water resistivity, porosity and water temperature in the Madison Limestone and underlying rocks in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1273-D, 14 p.

Peterson, J. A., 1988, Geologic summary and hydrocarbon plays, Williston Basin, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Sioux Arch, South Dakota and Nebraska, U.S.: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 87-450-N, 43 p.

Peterson, J. A., Longman, M. W., Anderson, S. B., Pilatzke, R. H., and Kent, D. M., 1987, Williston Basin, anatomy of a cratonic oil province: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, 440 p.

Prepared by Martha Romero.

 
 
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