The Bavarian Molasse Basin represents a peripheral foreland basin hosting abundant hydrothermal resources in 3–5 km deep Upper Jurassic carbonate rocks. Faults and facies play a major role in targeting production wells; however the kinematic evolution of fault zones and the classification
of carbonate facies of the Upper Jurassic are still debated. At the geothermal prospect Mauerstetten in the Western Bavarian Molasse Basin, a geothermal well and a side track are drilled along and about 650 m off an ENE–WSW striking normal fault. A stratigraphy related fault throw analysis
of six 2D seismic sections crossing this fault evidences multiphase normal faulting from Cretaceous to Upper Miocene with a major activity phase in the Oligocene. This fault, inactive since Upper Miocene, is presumably a fossil normal fault in the present-day stress field that has a maximum
horizontal stress direction in N–S. Analysis of carbonate facies by thin section petrography of drill cuttings and geophysical borehole logs lead to two major conclusions: (i) the reservoir rock represents low permeable platform limestones, reef detritus and dolostones of the Franconian
facies, and (ii) the fault consists of multiple normal fault- ing steps with higher permeability than in intact rock. This observation suggests a fracture controlled reservoir with perme- able damage zones in a tight rock mass along reactivated normal faults.
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FAULT THROW ANALYSIS;
FAULT ZONE ANALYSIS;
STRUCTURAL SEISMIC INTERPRETATION;
THIN SECTION ANALYSIS;
WESTERN MOLASSE BASIN
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2018
This article was made available online on September 4, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Multiphase fossil normal faults as geothermal exploration targets in the Western Bavarian Molasse Basin: Case study Mauerstetten".
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