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April 17th, 2019 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


April 17, 2019


SPEAKER:  Andrew Cullen,

Warwick Energy   


Reinterpreting the Meers Fault.  Did the Hoary Giant Sleep Through the Pennsylvanian?  Implications for Seismic Risk Beneath the Deep Anadarko Basin



10 NW 6th Street


WEDNESDAY April 17, 2019

LUNCH 11:30am – 1:00pm





The Meers fault is a prominent feature of the Slick Hills, a window of deformed lower Paleozoic rocks between the Wichita Mountains to the south and the Mountain View fault, which bounds the deep Anadarko Basin, to the north. The Meers fault (Donovan’s hoary giant; 1986) and the Mountain View fault are generally presumed to have been active during Pennsylvanian mountain building. The Meers fault has a prominent 16mi N60oW linear surface scarp (Harlton, 1951).  Paleoseismic studies indicate that the Meers fault scarp resulted from an earthquake of ~Mw 7.0 around 1,400 years ago (Luza et al., 1987). These trench-based studies, as well as near surface geophysical data (Matthews et al., 1990; Jones-Cecil, 1995) show the Meers fault is a reverse fault that dips north 65o to 85o away from the Wichita Mountains. This steep northerly dip conflicts with interpretations of deep reflection seismic data  that show the Meers fault as a thrust fault dipping ~40o south beneath the Wichita Mountains (Brewer et al., 1983; Keller, 2012).    


This presents talk recent work in the Slick Hills that includes: 

  1. The Kimbell Ranch 32-1, a 15,000ft dry hole about 2mi north of the Meers fault.
  2. Recent trenching that establishes a Holocene rupture length of at least 27mi (Streig and Chang, 2018).
  3. Shallow seismic and resistivity profiles that show a south-dipping thrust, almost coincident with, but south of the Meers fault (Behm et al., 2018).
  4. Surface geological observations and cross sections from on-going field work.


To reconcile all these data, I propose that there are 2 different faults on the south side of the Slick Hills: the Meers fault sensu stricto and a basement-involved thrust. Holocene rupture of the Meers fault is consistent with reactivation of an optimally-oriented in the Holocene stress field (Darold and Holland, 2005), which is nearly orthogonal to late Paleozoic shortening.  Furthermore, I suggest that the Meers fault was not a significant Pennsylvanian structure, but rather is a deep-seated Proterozoic fault that has cut through the Mountain View fault. If so, one should consider the possibility that the deep Anadarko basin has similar beveled Proterozoic faults that could be reactivated in today’s stress field as is observed in the induced earthquakes on the shelf and hinge of the Anadarko Basin. The Meers fault and its sleeping brethren may indeed be hoary giants.



Andrew Cullen is currently Senior Vice President of Geology at Warwick Energy Group. His evolutionary tree traces through Chesapeake, Shell, EOG, Altex Oil, Clear Creek Silver Company, Energy Reserves Group, Kennecott Copper, and the Oklahoma Geological Survey- exploring for oil, gas, gold, uranium, titanium, and sand & gravel. Dr. Cullen holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Oregon.  Andrew has multiple peer-reviewed publications primarily from field-based studies on Borneo, Papua New Guinea, and the Galapagos Islands. “Dr. Exotica” spent much his career as an expatriated American. Andrew is an adjunct professor in the OU College of Law and teaches Petroleum Geology for the Zinke School of Energy Management at OU. Andrew is the current Chair of the Alumni Advisory Council for OU’s School of Geology & Geophysics.  Since returning to Oklahoma, Andrew has undertaken several research projects, such as reevaluating the Meers fault. Presently, he is co-leader of a graduate seminar on the provenance of Devono-Mississippian silt in the SCOOP and STACK. Andrew recently stepped down from the OCGS Board of Directors and has been a regular contributor to the Shale Shaker’s “My Favorite Outcrop” series. Dr. Cullen was the AAPG Asia-Pacific Regional Lecturer (2008) and helped organize a Hedberg Conference on Tropical Deltas in Jakarta (2010). In the last year he served as a reviewer for the Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, Tectonics, Earth Science Reviews, and the Journal of Basin Research. In his spare time, rather than garden, Andrew likes to roll with The Boulders and practice feline hypnosis.  His aphorism for this bio is “If you’re not falling sometimes, you’re not reaching high enough.”

 Attendance without reservation will not be possible.  Reservations must be cancelled by April 12, 2019 at noon to avoid being charged.  Thank you for your consideration.