HGS General Dinner- Texas A&M Night: Outcrop Windows to the Unconventional Reservoirs and Stratigraphy of Wolfcamp Group in the Permian Basin

In order to register, please click login to either sign in to an existing account or create a user profile. Go to the HGS home page and login with your user name and password and then return to this page in order to register as a member or guest of a member. For help registering contact the HGS office or email webmaster@hgs.org. Thank you!

 Registration is closed for this event

Monday, December 9, 2019
ROOM • Norris Conference Center • 816 Town and Country Blvd #210
Site MapFloor Plan
Social Hour 5:30–6:30 pm
Dinner 6:30–7:30 pm, Presentation 7:30- 9:00 pm
Member/Emeritus/ Honorary Life- $40.00 Non-Member- $45.00 Student- $15.00
WALKUPS: $45.00

To guarantee a seat, you must pre-register on the HGS website and pay with a credit card.  You may walk up and pay at the door if extra seats are available.  Please cancel by phone or email within 24 hours before the event for a refund.  Online & pre-registration closes Monday, December 9, at 5:00 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. Art Donovan
Company: Texas A&M


Outcrop Windows to the Unconventional Reservoirs and Stratigraphy of Wolfcamp Group in the Permian Basin


Donovan, A.D*, M.C. Pope, J.C. Laya, J. Sleight, M.A. Gutierrez, B. Richards, E. Sims, & E. Peavey

Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, MS-3115 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-3115


The type locality for both the Wolfcampian and Leonardian North American Stages occur within the Glass Mountains of Brewster County, Texas.   These outcrops, which are located along the south flank of the Delaware Basin (Figure 1), provide unique opportunities to examine the unconventional reservoirs within both the Wolfcamp and Leonard (Bone Springs) Groups.  Interestedly, these outcrops were studied by P.B. King (1930) for his classic dissertation research at Yale almost a hundred years ago, however they have received scant attention since, because their mudstone-prone facies were different from the carbonate shelf-margin reservoirs, which were the traditional conventional play in the Permian Basin throughout most of the 20th Century. However, with 21st-Century interest in unconventional mudstone-prone basinal plays in the Wolfcamp and Leonard Groups in the subsurface of the Permian Basin, these long ignored outcrops have become both timely and relevant for renewed research.


The type locality of the Wolfcamp Group is located in the Wolf Camp Hills, a topographic outlier along the Glass Mountains (Figure 2).   At this locality, various researchers (King, 1930 & 1937; Ross, 1963) have placed the base of the Wolfcamp Group at different stratigraphic positions within this succession (Figure 3).   In our research, the base of the Wolfcamp Group, as defined by King (1937), coincides with a regional angular unconformity that truncates underlying Pennsylvanian strata (Figure 4).  However, based on recent revisions of the geologic time scale (Gradstein and others, 2012), this angular unconformity would be placed within the uppermost Pennsylvanian (Gzhelian) Stage, or at the base of the recently proposed Bursumian Stage (Davydov, 2001), which encompasses Uppermost Pennsylvanian strata, that for most of the 20th Century was interpreted as Lowermost Permian (Figure 5).

In outcrop, besides the angular unconformity at the base of the Wolfcamp Group, major angular unconformities also were identified within the Wolfcamp Group, as well as at the bae of the Leonard (Bone Springs) Group (Figures 3 & 5).  Within the Wolfcamp Group, other unconformable surfaces defined by onlap and/or conglomerate beds also were identified.   All told, four unconformity-bounded depositional sequences are presently defined within the 893 ft (272 m) Wolfcampian succession, which spans approximately twenty-one million-years of the earth’s history (Figure 5).  Our outcrop research to date also suggests that the mudstones within the Wolfcamp Group are compositionally different from the underlying Cisco Group, and that the various mudstone-prone sequences defined within the Wolfcamp Group also have distinct chemostratigraphic signatures.






Blakey, R, 2019, Paleogeography of the Greater Permian Basin Series, Deep Time Maps, Colorado Plateau Geosystems Inc., 22 plates.

Davydov, V., 2001, The terminal stage of the Carboniferous: Orenburgian versus Bursumian. Newsletter on Carboniferous Stratigraphy. 19. 58-64.

Gradstein, F.M, J.G. Ogg, M. Schmitz, and G. Ogg (eds.), 2012 The Geologic Time Scale 2012, 1144p.

King, P.B., 1930, The geology of the Glass Mountains, Texas: Part 1, Descriptive Geology: University of Texas Bulletin 3038, p.167.

King, P.B., 1937, Geology of the Marathon Region, Texas, USGS Professional Paper 187, 147p.

Ross, C.A., 1963, Standard Wolfcampian Series (Permian), Glass Mountains, Texas: Geological Society of America Memoir 88, 205p.

Wardlaw, B.R. and V.I. Davydov, 2000, Preliminary Placement of the International Lower Permian Working Standard to the Glass Mountains, Texas, Permophiles: Newsletter of the Sub-commission on Permian Stratigraphy, Number 36, p.11-13





Figure 1: Paleography of the Early Wolfcampian across the Greater Permian Basin.  Please note the location of the Wolf Camp Hills, the Type Wolfcamp Locality (*) along the south flank of the Delaware sub-basin. Paloeogeographic map from Blakey (2019), courtesy of Deep Time Maps.


Figure 2: Google Earth Image of the Wolf Camp Hills (foreground) and Glass Mountains (background) in Brewster County, Texas

Figure 3: Composite stratigraphic section of the Wolfcamp Group in the Glass Mountains of Brewster County, Texas.  Please note: 1) Base Wolfcamp pick by King (1930), King (1937), and Ross (1963; 2) Relative placement difference between the classic Base Permian and recent ICS Base Permian (Gradstein and others, 2012); 3) interpreted position of the International Stage Boundaries based on the work of Wardlow and Davydov (2002), and 4) position of the W01 angular unconformity, which was interpreted as the base of the Wolfcamp Group in this study.

Figure 4: A) Uninterpreted, and B) Interpreted Seismic-scale Drone photo-imagery of the eastern Wolfcamp Hills illustrating the stratal terminations associated with the interpreted Base Wolf Camp (Wc_01) Sequence Boundary.


Figure 5: Chronostratigraphic Chart of the Wolfcamp Group in the Glass Mountains of Brewster County, Texas.  Please note: 1) interpreted ages of the four depositional sequence presently interpreted within the Wolfcamp Group in the Glass Mountains; 2) absolute age differences between the classic 20th Century global base Permian and the recent placement of the base Permian by the ICS (Gradstein and others, 2012), which corresponds to the recently proposed Bursumian Stage (Davydov, 2001); and 3) approximate 21 million year duration of the Wolfcamp Group in the Wolfcamp Hills in Brewster County, Texas.



Vendor's Corner

Ellington Geological Services is a team of highly-trained, dedicated professionals and technicians that truly understand the importance of the data contained in rocks and the care require to protect, preserve, and extract that essential data.  The company history goes back to 1989 and it has been 30 years.  We continue to offer the premium services that include Biostratigraphy, Wellsite Services, Geochemistry, Core Scanning, and Sample Management. 


Instructions to Norris Conf. Center:

The Norris Conference Center is on the Second (2nd) Floor, and cannot be seen from the street. From Town and Country Blvd, turn west at Plaza Way and go past "Kendra Scott" store to STOP sign.  Turn right = North and go to Level 3 of the parking structure.The parking structure can also be reached from the northbound Beltway 8 frontage road. Turn into the driveway that is 0.33 mi. north of Kimberley Ln., just before the Amegy Bank sign.

December 9th, 2019 5:30 PM   through   9:00 PM
Terra Ex Office
United States
Phone: 303 319 3043
Event Fee(s)
HGS member $ 40.00
Non-member $ 45.00
Emeritus/Honorary Life $ 40.00
Student $ 15.00
Event Attachments
Speaker Lineup
Sponsorship Opportunities
Vendor Form
Additional Info
Additional Info 2
Additional Info 3
Additional Info 4
Event Contact
Contact Scott Sechrist
Contact Phone
contact Email vice.president@hgs.org

If this event is specific to a Committee, select the committee here, so the event will ONLY be listed on that committees calendar.

Event Filter Informations
Event Owner General Dinner
Event Categories HGS
Event Image

Help spread the word

You can also share the below link in an email or on your website.