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K-State Today

December 12, 2019

Geologist receives grant from American Chemical Society to study Arbuckle Mountains

Submitted by Department of Geology

Brice Lacroix, assistant professor of geology, has received a grant from the American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund to study the syn-tectonic diagenetic history of carbonates from the Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma.

The Arbuckle Mountains expose 450-million-year-old carbonate rocks from the Arbuckle group, a natural hydrocarbon reservoir that occurs deep in the subsurface in Kansas and parts of Oklahoma. In addition to hydrocarbon extraction, the reservoir is also used to dispose of the wastewater produced during the hydrocarbon extraction process.

The purpose of this research is to better understand the timing and conditions of past fluid-flow that occurred along faults through the Arbuckle group rocks, which would have potentially altered them. Such alteration can affect key rock characteristics such as porosity and permeability.

Lacroix will apply the latest thermochronometry techniques — such as ∆47/U-Pb — that he is currently developing in collaboration with colleagues in Switzerland and France. A better understanding of the fault behaviors and their relationship with fluid flow are important to better understand this natural disposal water reservoir and its link with induced seismicity.