Tag Archive for: microbialites

ENERGY & MINERALS

Microbialites

Microbialites are organic sedimentary lake or marine deposits that can indicate distinctive types of oil potential and reservoirs. Microbialites take several forms: thinly layered (stromatolites), clotted (thrombolites), spherical (oncolites), and precipitated from mineral-rich springs (tufa or travertine). The hypersaline environment of Utah’s Great Salt Lake is ideal for forming microbial mats, stromatolites, thrombolites, and other porous carbonate structures. Core samples from other areas in the state such as the Eocene-age Green River Formation display ancient examples of microbialites




Microbialites in Utah


Great Salt Lake is ideal for stromatolite formation and is home to some of the most extensive reefs of living stromatolites on Earth. The lake’s briny environment precludes organisms that would ordinarily graze or browse on nutritious stromatolites or burrow and bore into them. Additionally, a lack of animals minimizes stirring of sediments from the lake bed that would otherwise blanket stromatolites from sunlight. The absence of plants and scarcity of other algae on the lake floor also reduce competition for nutrients and space. They are most observable when lake level is near average elevation (4,200 feet) or lower and after planktonic algae have been grazed out by brine shrimp, making the water more transparent.

The lacustrine Eocene-age Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin, Utah, contains excellent examples of microbial carbonates—stromatolites, thrombolites, and grainstones—which can serve as analogues for highly productive nonmarine microbial reservoirs worldwide. The West Willow Creek field produces oil from a small microbial mound within the Green River Formation—the only such known field in the Uinta Basin. Microbialite heads often consist of stromatolitic crusts with thrombolitic internal characteristics. Oncolites are another significant component to the microbial system. The entire Skyline 16, Federal No. 15-24B from the West Willow Creek field, and other cores containing microbial carbonates, are available for examination at the Utah Core Research Center.


Antelope Island Flyover


The shallow waters of Bridger Bay, on the northwestern tip of Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake, support extensive microbial carbonate formation, especially in the north-northeast portion of the bay near Egg Island. Lake levels in the fall of 2014 were near 60-year lows, giving unprecedented access to the microbial structures. Characterizing the microbialites of Bridger Bay can inform interpretations of similar deposits in the ancient rock record, including potential petroleum reservoirs.


Publications, Abstracts, and Presentations

Microbial Carbonate Reservoirs and Analogs from Utah
Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr, David E. Eby, Michael D. Vanden Berg, and Douglas A. Sprinkel
UGS Special Study 168

PDF Publication

Unexpected abundance and diversity of phototrophs in mats from morphologically variable microbialites in Great Salt Lake, Utah
Mert Kanik, Mason Munro-Ehrlich, Maria Clara Fernandes-Martins, Devon Payne, Kathryn Gianoulias, Lisa Keller, Alexander Kubacki, Melody R. Lindsay, Bonnie K. Baxter, Michael D. Vanden Berg, Daniel R. Colman, Eric S. Boyd

PDF Publication

Domes, Rings, Ridges, and Polygons: Characteristics of Microbialites from Utah’s Great Salt Lake
Michael D. Vanden Berg, The Sedimentary Record, March 2019

PDF Publication

Petrography and characterization of microbial carbonates and associated facies from modern Great Salt Lake and Uinta Basin’s Eocene Green River Formation in Utah, USA 
from Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production

Download Abstract

Characterization of Microbialites in Bridger Bay, Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, Utah
Michael D, Vanden Berg, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Davis E. Eby, and Wayne Kelln
Presented at the International Limnogeology Congress 2015, June 15-19, 2015, Reno, NV.

Poster

Marine Microbial Carbonate Facies, Fabrics, and Petroleum Reservoirs in Utah
by David E. Eby, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., and Douglas A. Sprinkel
Presented at the Rocky Mountain/Cordilleran Section Meeting of Geological Society of America, May 18-20, 2014, Bozeman, MT.

Poster

Modern and Ancient Microbial Carbonates in Utah, U.S.A.: Examples from Great Salt Lake and the Uinta Basin’s Tertiary (Eocene) Green River Formation

by Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., David E. Eby, Michael D. Vanden Berg
Presented at The Geological Society (London) Microbial Carbonates in Time and Space: Implications for Global Exploration and Production Symposium, June 19-20, 2013, London, England.

Poster

Microbial Carbonates in Cores from the Tertiary (Eocene) Green River Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah, U.S.A.: Analogues for Non-Marine Microbialite Oil Reservoirs Worldwide
by Michael D. Vanden Berg, David E. Eby, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., and Michael D. Laine
Presented at The Geological Society (London) Microbial Carbonates in Time and Space: Implications for Global Exploration and Production Symposium, June 19-20, 2013, London, England.

Poster

Microbial Carbonates from Core and Outcrop, Tertiary (Eocene) Green River Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah
by David E. Eby, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Michael D. Vanden Berg, and Michael D. Laine
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, CA.

Poster

ENERGY & MINERALS

Hydrocarbons

Utah has consistently ranked high in domestic oil and gas production nationwide. The majority of hydrocarbon resources are concentrated in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah and the Paradox Basin in southeastern Utah. Organic-rich shale, carbonates, and evaporites accumulated over time to produce vast oil and gas resources in these areas. Utah’s geologic setting also provides world-class outcrops of every geologic eon, era, period, and epoch, providing a natural laboratory for study.








UGS Funded Hydrocarbon Research

Projects designed to improve recovery, development, and exploration of Utah’s hydrocarbon resources and other Energy and Minerals topics.



Highlighted Scientific Publications







Special Study 160

Potential Oil-Prone Areas in the Cane Creek Shale Play, Paradox Basin, Utah, Identified by Epifluorescence Microscope Techniques


Miscellaneous Publication 13-1

Outcrop Chemostratigraphic Correlation of the Upper Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin, Utah—Mahogany Oil Shale Zone to the Uinta Formation





Public Interest Articles

Search:
TitleTopicYear
Potential Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act on Carbon Capture and Storage in Utah CO2 Sequestration 2023
Assessing Geologic Carbon Sequestration Opportunities in Utah CO2 Sequestration 2022
Massive Core Donations Spurred by Low Oil Prices Core Center 2021
Utah’s Emerging Northern Paradox Basin Unconventional Oil Play Oil and Gas 2021
Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Utah’s Energy Industry Energy 2020
Covenant Oil Field in the Central Utah thrust Belt Turns 15 Years Old Oil and Gas 2020
The Benefits of Oil and Gas Production to the State of Utah and Its Citizens—How Things Work! Oil and Gas 2019
New Core, New Insights into Ancient Lake Uinta Evolution and Uinta Basin Energy Resources Oil and Gas 2019
Oil and Gas in the Uinta Basin, Utah –What to Do With the Produced Water Oil and Gas 2018
Horizontal Drilling in Utah: Can Utah Compete with Surrounding States? Oil and Gas 2018
Core Like Never Before – An Unprecedented 1600-foot Core from the Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin Core Center News 2018
Crystal Geyser, Grand County Water 2018
A Partner in the CarbonSAFE Rocky Mountains Project CO2 Sequestration 2017
Not All Megawatts Are Created Equal – An Examination of Electric Generation Capacity Factor Electricity 2017
UCRC Receives a Treasure Trove Donation of Greater Aneth Oil Field Cores Core Center News 2017
Some impacts of low oil prices on Utah Oil 2016
Cores from Central Utah’s Covenant Field – Oil-Bearing Ancient Sand Dunes Core Center News 2016
Cores from Greater Aneth Oil Field: A Trip Back in Time to Utah’s “Bahama Islands” and “Florida Keys” Core Center News 2016
Updated Map Shows Utah’s Many Oil and Gas Fields Oil and Gas 2015
Understanding Southeast Utah’s Cane Creek Oil, A Continuing Challenge Oil and Gas 2015
Development of New Markets for Uinta Basin Crude via Rail Oil 2015
Utah Hosts Petroleum Geology Convention Oil and Gas 2014
Utah still supplying gilsonite to the world after 125 years of mining Mining 2014
Frack Sand in Utah? Mining 2014
UGS Set to Publish Major Study on Potential Paleozoic Shale-Gas Resources Oil and Gas 2014
Are Ownership and Production Patterns of Utah Petroleum Resources Related? Oil and Gas 2013
Liquid-rich Shale Potential of the Uinta and Paradox Basins Oil Shale 2013
New UGS study to determine what best to do with water produced from gas fields in the Uinta Basin Gas 2013
Utah Oil and Gas: a rich history, a powerful future (updated 2013) Oil and Gas 2013
Utah’s Gordon Creek Field to Test Commercial-Scale Storage of Carbon Dioxide CO2 Sequestration 2012
Hydraulic fracturing and shale gas Oil and Gas 2012
A Longer Term View of the Results of U.S. Energy Policy Energy 2012
Northwest Utah—Could it be Utah’s Newest Energy Hotspot? Energy 2012
Natural Buttes Field – Utah’s “tight” sandstone gas storehouse Oil and Gas 2011
Utah Shales May Contain The “Right Stuff”—Natural Gas Natural Gas 2011
Saline Water Disposal in the Uinta Basin, Utah: Protecting fresh water while allowing for increased hydrocarbon production Hydrocarbons 2010
Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity Oil and Gas 2010
Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Demonstration Project Underway in Utah! CO2 Sequestration 2009
Evaluating Utah’s Oil Shale Resource Oil Shale 2009
Ancient Exhumed River Channels of the Morrison and Cedar Mountain Formations Geologic History 2008
Carbon Dioxide Sequestration CO2 Sequestration 2007
Utah Core Research Center: Aiding Utah’s Petroleum Development Oil and Gas 2007
Tight Gas Reservoirs, Uinta Basin Oil and Gas 2007
Utah Shale Oil and Gas 2007
Taking Another Look at Utah’s Tar Sand Resources Tar Sands 2007
Funding Encourages a Wide Spectrum of Research on Utah's Hydrocarbon Resources Hydrocarbons 2006
Utah Key Player in Future Oil Shale Development Oil Shale 2006
Increased Oil and Gas Drilling in Utah Starting to Produce Dividends Oil and Gas 2006
“Elephant” Discovered in Central Utah? Oil and Gas 2005
“Bubblin’ Crude” at Rozel Point, Box Elder County Great Salt Lake 2005

Hydrocarbon Articles: 63

nhmu.utah.edu

In June of 2016, we added a new, living exhibit in the Great Salt Lake Gallery on the third floor of the museum. At first glance, the three stone-looking bumps in a tank aren’t as impressive as the Cretaceous monsters looming in the background. But their humble appearance masks what might be the most awesome creature on display: these lumpy guys are one of the oldest forms of life on Earth.

standard.net

Stand on the railroad causeway dividing the Great Salt Lake into two different bodies of water, and the tipping point for life in the lake becomes clear.

READ MORE

Check out the Natural History Museum of Utah’s behind the scenes weekend in pictures. This gallery features an adventure to Great Salt Lake where researchers—including one of our geologists, Tom Chidsey and Michael Vanden Berg—pulled up microbialites for display at the museum.

VIEW GALLERY HERE

Tag Archive for: microbialites

ENERGY & MINERALS

Microbialites

Microbialites are organic sedimentary lake or marine deposits that can indicate distinctive types of oil potential and reservoirs. Microbialites take several forms: thinly layered (stromatolites), clotted (thrombolites), spherical (oncolites), and precipitated from mineral-rich springs (tufa or travertine). The hypersaline environment of Utah’s Great Salt Lake is ideal for forming microbial mats, stromatolites, thrombolites, and other porous carbonate structures. Core samples from other areas in the state such as the Eocene-age Green River Formation display ancient examples of microbialites




Microbialites in Utah


Great Salt Lake is ideal for stromatolite formation and is home to some of the most extensive reefs of living stromatolites on Earth. The lake’s briny environment precludes organisms that would ordinarily graze or browse on nutritious stromatolites or burrow and bore into them. Additionally, a lack of animals minimizes stirring of sediments from the lake bed that would otherwise blanket stromatolites from sunlight. The absence of plants and scarcity of other algae on the lake floor also reduce competition for nutrients and space. They are most observable when lake level is near average elevation (4,200 feet) or lower and after planktonic algae have been grazed out by brine shrimp, making the water more transparent.

The lacustrine Eocene-age Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin, Utah, contains excellent examples of microbial carbonates—stromatolites, thrombolites, and grainstones—which can serve as analogues for highly productive nonmarine microbial reservoirs worldwide. The West Willow Creek field produces oil from a small microbial mound within the Green River Formation—the only such known field in the Uinta Basin. Microbialite heads often consist of stromatolitic crusts with thrombolitic internal characteristics. Oncolites are another significant component to the microbial system. The entire Skyline 16, Federal No. 15-24B from the West Willow Creek field, and other cores containing microbial carbonates, are available for examination at the Utah Core Research Center.


Antelope Island Flyover


The shallow waters of Bridger Bay, on the northwestern tip of Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake, support extensive microbial carbonate formation, especially in the north-northeast portion of the bay near Egg Island. Lake levels in the fall of 2014 were near 60-year lows, giving unprecedented access to the microbial structures. Characterizing the microbialites of Bridger Bay can inform interpretations of similar deposits in the ancient rock record, including potential petroleum reservoirs.


Publications, Abstracts, and Presentations

Microbial Carbonate Reservoirs and Analogs from Utah
Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr, David E. Eby, Michael D. Vanden Berg, and Douglas A. Sprinkel
UGS Special Study 168

PDF Publication

Unexpected abundance and diversity of phototrophs in mats from morphologically variable microbialites in Great Salt Lake, Utah
Mert Kanik, Mason Munro-Ehrlich, Maria Clara Fernandes-Martins, Devon Payne, Kathryn Gianoulias, Lisa Keller, Alexander Kubacki, Melody R. Lindsay, Bonnie K. Baxter, Michael D. Vanden Berg, Daniel R. Colman, Eric S. Boyd

PDF Publication

Domes, Rings, Ridges, and Polygons: Characteristics of Microbialites from Utah’s Great Salt Lake
Michael D. Vanden Berg, The Sedimentary Record, March 2019

PDF Publication

Petrography and characterization of microbial carbonates and associated facies from modern Great Salt Lake and Uinta Basin’s Eocene Green River Formation in Utah, USA 
from Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production

Download Abstract

Characterization of Microbialites in Bridger Bay, Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, Utah
Michael D, Vanden Berg, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Davis E. Eby, and Wayne Kelln
Presented at the International Limnogeology Congress 2015, June 15-19, 2015, Reno, NV.

Poster

Marine Microbial Carbonate Facies, Fabrics, and Petroleum Reservoirs in Utah
by David E. Eby, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., and Douglas A. Sprinkel
Presented at the Rocky Mountain/Cordilleran Section Meeting of Geological Society of America, May 18-20, 2014, Bozeman, MT.

Poster

Modern and Ancient Microbial Carbonates in Utah, U.S.A.: Examples from Great Salt Lake and the Uinta Basin’s Tertiary (Eocene) Green River Formation

by Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., David E. Eby, Michael D. Vanden Berg
Presented at The Geological Society (London) Microbial Carbonates in Time and Space: Implications for Global Exploration and Production Symposium, June 19-20, 2013, London, England.

Poster

Microbial Carbonates in Cores from the Tertiary (Eocene) Green River Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah, U.S.A.: Analogues for Non-Marine Microbialite Oil Reservoirs Worldwide
by Michael D. Vanden Berg, David E. Eby, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., and Michael D. Laine
Presented at The Geological Society (London) Microbial Carbonates in Time and Space: Implications for Global Exploration and Production Symposium, June 19-20, 2013, London, England.

Poster

Microbial Carbonates from Core and Outcrop, Tertiary (Eocene) Green River Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah
by David E. Eby, Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Michael D. Vanden Berg, and Michael D. Laine
Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, CA.

Poster

ENERGY & MINERALS

Hydrocarbons

Utah has consistently ranked high in domestic oil and gas production nationwide. The majority of hydrocarbon resources are concentrated in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah and the Paradox Basin in southeastern Utah. Organic-rich shale, carbonates, and evaporites accumulated over time to produce vast oil and gas resources in these areas. Utah’s geologic setting also provides world-class outcrops of every geologic eon, era, period, and epoch, providing a natural laboratory for study.








UGS Funded Hydrocarbon Research

Projects designed to improve recovery, development, and exploration of Utah’s hydrocarbon resources and other Energy and Minerals topics.



Highlighted Scientific Publications







Special Study 160

Potential Oil-Prone Areas in the Cane Creek Shale Play, Paradox Basin, Utah, Identified by Epifluorescence Microscope Techniques


Miscellaneous Publication 13-1

Outcrop Chemostratigraphic Correlation of the Upper Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin, Utah—Mahogany Oil Shale Zone to the Uinta Formation





Public Interest Articles

Search:
TitleTopicYear
Potential Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act on Carbon Capture and Storage in Utah CO2 Sequestration 2023
Assessing Geologic Carbon Sequestration Opportunities in Utah CO2 Sequestration 2022
Massive Core Donations Spurred by Low Oil Prices Core Center 2021
Utah’s Emerging Northern Paradox Basin Unconventional Oil Play Oil and Gas 2021
Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Utah’s Energy Industry Energy 2020
Covenant Oil Field in the Central Utah thrust Belt Turns 15 Years Old Oil and Gas 2020
The Benefits of Oil and Gas Production to the State of Utah and Its Citizens—How Things Work! Oil and Gas 2019
New Core, New Insights into Ancient Lake Uinta Evolution and Uinta Basin Energy Resources Oil and Gas 2019
Oil and Gas in the Uinta Basin, Utah –What to Do With the Produced Water Oil and Gas 2018
Horizontal Drilling in Utah: Can Utah Compete with Surrounding States? Oil and Gas 2018
Core Like Never Before – An Unprecedented 1600-foot Core from the Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin Core Center News 2018
Crystal Geyser, Grand County Water 2018
A Partner in the CarbonSAFE Rocky Mountains Project CO2 Sequestration 2017
Not All Megawatts Are Created Equal – An Examination of Electric Generation Capacity Factor Electricity 2017
UCRC Receives a Treasure Trove Donation of Greater Aneth Oil Field Cores Core Center News 2017
Some impacts of low oil prices on Utah Oil 2016
Cores from Central Utah’s Covenant Field – Oil-Bearing Ancient Sand Dunes Core Center News 2016
Cores from Greater Aneth Oil Field: A Trip Back in Time to Utah’s “Bahama Islands” and “Florida Keys” Core Center News 2016
Updated Map Shows Utah’s Many Oil and Gas Fields Oil and Gas 2015
Understanding Southeast Utah’s Cane Creek Oil, A Continuing Challenge Oil and Gas 2015
Development of New Markets for Uinta Basin Crude via Rail Oil 2015
Utah Hosts Petroleum Geology Convention Oil and Gas 2014
Utah still supplying gilsonite to the world after 125 years of mining Mining 2014
Frack Sand in Utah? Mining 2014
UGS Set to Publish Major Study on Potential Paleozoic Shale-Gas Resources Oil and Gas 2014
Are Ownership and Production Patterns of Utah Petroleum Resources Related? Oil and Gas 2013
Liquid-rich Shale Potential of the Uinta and Paradox Basins Oil Shale 2013
New UGS study to determine what best to do with water produced from gas fields in the Uinta Basin Gas 2013
Utah Oil and Gas: a rich history, a powerful future (updated 2013) Oil and Gas 2013
Utah’s Gordon Creek Field to Test Commercial-Scale Storage of Carbon Dioxide CO2 Sequestration 2012
Hydraulic fracturing and shale gas Oil and Gas 2012
A Longer Term View of the Results of U.S. Energy Policy Energy 2012
Northwest Utah—Could it be Utah’s Newest Energy Hotspot? Energy 2012
Natural Buttes Field – Utah’s “tight” sandstone gas storehouse Oil and Gas 2011
Utah Shales May Contain The “Right Stuff”—Natural Gas Natural Gas 2011
Saline Water Disposal in the Uinta Basin, Utah: Protecting fresh water while allowing for increased hydrocarbon production Hydrocarbons 2010
Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity Oil and Gas 2010
Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Demonstration Project Underway in Utah! CO2 Sequestration 2009
Evaluating Utah’s Oil Shale Resource Oil Shale 2009
Ancient Exhumed River Channels of the Morrison and Cedar Mountain Formations Geologic History 2008
Carbon Dioxide Sequestration CO2 Sequestration 2007
Utah Core Research Center: Aiding Utah’s Petroleum Development Oil and Gas 2007
Tight Gas Reservoirs, Uinta Basin Oil and Gas 2007
Utah Shale Oil and Gas 2007
Taking Another Look at Utah’s Tar Sand Resources Tar Sands 2007
Funding Encourages a Wide Spectrum of Research on Utah's Hydrocarbon Resources Hydrocarbons 2006
Utah Key Player in Future Oil Shale Development Oil Shale 2006
Increased Oil and Gas Drilling in Utah Starting to Produce Dividends Oil and Gas 2006
“Elephant” Discovered in Central Utah? Oil and Gas 2005
“Bubblin’ Crude” at Rozel Point, Box Elder County Great Salt Lake 2005

Hydrocarbon Articles: 63

nhmu.utah.edu

In June of 2016, we added a new, living exhibit in the Great Salt Lake Gallery on the third floor of the museum. At first glance, the three stone-looking bumps in a tank aren’t as impressive as the Cretaceous monsters looming in the background. But their humble appearance masks what might be the most awesome creature on display: these lumpy guys are one of the oldest forms of life on Earth.

standard.net

Stand on the railroad causeway dividing the Great Salt Lake into two different bodies of water, and the tipping point for life in the lake becomes clear.

READ MORE

Check out the Natural History Museum of Utah’s behind the scenes weekend in pictures. This gallery features an adventure to Great Salt Lake where researchers—including one of our geologists, Tom Chidsey and Michael Vanden Berg—pulled up microbialites for display at the museum.

VIEW GALLERY HERE