Tectonically Induced Transient Groundwater Flow in Foreland Basin

  1. Raymond A. Price
  1. Shemin Ge and
  2. Grant Garven

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM048p0145

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

How to Cite

Ge, S. and Garven, G. (1989) Tectonically Induced Transient Groundwater Flow in Foreland Basin, in Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources (ed R. A. Price), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM048p0145

Author Information

  1. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904528

Online ISBN: 9781118666654

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Keywords:

  • Sedimentary basins—Congresses;
  • Mines and mineral resources—Congresses;
  • Power resources—Congresses

Summary

Deep groundwater flow in sedimentary basins can be driven by several mechanisms. In the case of evolving foreland basins, large scale compression and thrusting could develop high pore pressures in the foreland sag and initiate transient fluid flow. It has been argued also that fluid flow associated with the compression of foreland basins could play a role in the formation of sediment-hosted ore deposits and in petroleum migration. One goal of our research is to quantitatively evaluate the role of compressional tectonics in driving regional fluid flow in foreland basins. A numerical model has been constructed to study the coupled processes of mechanical deformation and pore-pressure dissipation. Part of the modeling study examines the mechanical behavior of a foreland basin as it is subjected to specified tectonic forces of compression and thrusting. The finite element method is used to analyze the mechanical deformation as a plane strain problem, from which the computed displacement field is used to define transient boundary conditions for regional groundwater flow in the sedimentary basin. The second part of our modeling study examines the influence of the tectonic forces on inducing transient fluid flow. Preliminary computations suggest that flow rates on the order of 10−3 ∼ 10−2 m yr −1 are possible soon after compression of the foreland, and that the flow field dissipates in about 103 to 1034 years, but longer diffusion times can exist in very low permeability strata.