The Tulsa Geological Society - Technical Program Luncheon, Dr. Molly Turko, "The Birth and Tectonic Evolution of the Anadarko Basin"

  • February 15, 2022
  • 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

The Tulsa Geological Society

Please join us for our Technical Program Luncheon

Molly Turko, PhD


"The Birth and Tectonic Evolution of the Anadarko Basin"

TGS LUNCHEON 2/15/22 - Dr. Molly Turko
Tue, Feb 15, 2022 11:45 PM - 1:15 AM (CST)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.


The tectonic evolution of the Anadarko Basin began in the Precambrian during the opening of the southern Iapetus Ocean when one arm of a failed rift tore through southern Oklahoma as a large igneous province was emplaced. This event was followed by thermal post-rift subsidence as the Great American Carbonate Bank covered North America, resulting in thick carbonate deposition into the failed rift. During the Pennsylvanian Orogeny, intra-plate tectonics inverted the failed rift creating the Wichita Uplift and associated Anadarko foreland basin. A detailed study on structures in the Anadarko Basin and Wichita Uplift records the tectonic evolution of southern Oklahoma which included a rotation in regional stresses during the Late Pennsylvanian. This insight helps to understand the structural styles that developed in the basin and on the Anadarko Shelf with implications to timing of trap and hydrocarbon migration. The deep Anadarko Basin consists of thin-skin deformation along two regional detachments that can be linked back to the thick-skin frontal faults of the Wichita Uplift. Several of these structures were cut by late-stage strike-slip deformation leading to additional structural complexity. Structures on the Anadarko Shelf occur at a smaller scale, yet still have a significant impact on operations and production by acting as fluid conduits (leaky faults and fractures resulting in mud loss and well connectivity), or by acting as barriers (fault seals and reservoir compartmentalization). These structures include subtle Pennsylvanian-age strike-slip faults, fracture corridors, and reactivated basement faults. By understanding these structures, we can do a better job at predicting the impact on a play, such as identifying sweet spots or preparing for operational risks, but it all starts by looking at the system from the basement up and by knowing the structural origin of the basin.  


Dr. Molly Turko has over 13 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and is a subject matter expert in structural geology. She has had the opportunity to work in multiple basins in the U.S including the Anadarko, Ardmore, Delaware, Powder River, Appalachian, Onshore Gulf Coast, and Rocky Mountain Basins. She received both a B.Sc. (2009) and a M.Sc. (2011) in geology from the University of Tulsa followed by a Ph.D. (2019) from the University of Oklahoma where she studied under Dr. Shankar Mitra. Her work experience includes Chesapeake Energy, Devon, and several small operators in Tulsa. She has taught courses for R.M.A.G., AAPG, Applied Stratigraphix, and for the Ore Geology Conference. She is also the Vice President of AAPG’s Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division for 2021-2023. Molly’s passion is mentoring and teaching, but her favorite role is leading structural geology field courses in Nevada and Southern Oklahoma. She is currently a team member of Applied Stratigraphix as their Structural Geology Expert along with consulting for Turko Tectonics and Structural Geology.

"Geophysical Society of Tulsa (GST)" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Oklahoma, P.O. Box 2784, Tulsa, OK 174101

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