The Wind River Basin is a large Laramide (Late Cretaceous through Eocene) structural and sedimentary basin that encompasses about 7,400 square miles in central Wyoming. The basin is bounded by the Washakie Range, Owl Creek, and southern Bighorn Mountains on the north, the Casper arch on the east and northeast, the Granite Mountains on the south, and the Wind River Range on the west. Important conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources have been discovered and produced from reservoirs ranging in age from Mississippian through Tertiary. It has been suggested that various Upper Cretaceous marine shales are the principal hydrocarbon source rocks for many of these accumulations. Numerous source rock studies of various Upper Cretaceous marine shales throughout the Rocky Mountain region have led to the conclusion that these rocks have generated, or are capable of generating, oil and (or) gas. With recent advances and success in horizontal drilling and multistage fracture stimulation there has been an increase in exploration and completion of wells in these marine shales in other Rocky Mountain Laramide basins that were traditionally thought of only as hydrocarbon source rocks. Important parameters that control hydrocarbon production from shales include: reservoir thickness, amount and type of organic matter, and thermal maturity. The purpose of this report is to present maps and a structural cross section showing levels of thermal maturity, based on vitrinite reflectance (Ro), for Upper Cretaceous marine shales in the Wind River Basin.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Maps showing thermal maturity of Upper Cretaceous marine shales in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming
Scientific Investigations Map
U.S. Geological Survey
Central Energy Resources Science Center
Report: iv, 13 p.; Map: 27.00 inches x 54.25 inches