Subsurface geology of the Dalhart Basin, Texas Panhandle



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Texas Tech University


The Dalhart Basin is a small intra-continental basin located in the northwestorn corner of the Texas Panhandle. It occupies most of Dallam and Hartley Counties and extends south into Oldham County and north into Cimarron County, Oklahoma. The stratigraphic sequence consists of a variety of lithic types. Pennsylvanian and lower Permian (Wolfcarnp) sediments, which comprise most of the sediments of the basin, include: carbonates, granite wash (arkosic conqlomerate), fine sand and shale.. The granite wash and other clastics appear to have been derived locally from the Bravo Dome and the Amarillo Uplift which are situated southwest and southeast of the Dalhart Basin, respectively, and from the Sierra Grande Arch and the Pedernal Uplift, both of which are situated to the west. Downwarping and major faulting characterized the Pennsylvanian. By early Permian time nearly all structural deformation had ceased, and before the end of the Wolfcampian sediments virtually had infilled the basin. Faulting and downwarping was most intense in northeastern Oldham County and in Hartley County. There is promise that the Dalhart Basin will become a productive petroleum province. Recent granite wash discoveries combined with present economic incentives will undoubtedly generate future exploration.