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2015 10 19 Oak Ridge Anticline
California

This panorama was shot from a high point of the Oak Ridge Anticline. An anticline is formed when an area of layers of geologically different formations of rock, originally deposited in a flat sequence (like a layer cake) is subjected to compressional stress from one direction causing the rock layers to bow upwards forming an elongated dome like structure. In this case it was the Pacific Tectonic Plate colliding with the North American Plate that provided the stress. The prominent formations in this area are the Sespe unit, or layer, (youngest and composed of layered clayey and sandy river delta deposits) that is on top of the Monterey Shale (deposited earlier and comprised of deep marine sediment rich in oil producing organics). The anticline is structured as a bumpy east to west line of interconnected domes that have trapped crude oil seeping upwards from the Monterey Shale, accumulating in the porous sandstone and unable to migrate further upward by siltstone and mudstone in the upper part of the Sespe Formation. Oil production fields cover the north slope of South Mountain, the high point of the anticline to the west. The geological process at this location however did not result in an oil reservoir. Clean sand and gravel are quarried extensively and a large sand quarry can be seen to the southwest. An accepted theory of what occurred is that the oil in the Monterey Shale spontaneously combusted at depth, possibly by a catalytic reaction with pyrite. The temperature reached 3,000 degrees C and fused creating red, yellow, and white rock (referred to as “burnt monterey”) which is exposed in outcrops and can be seen on the mountain across the canyon to the north east.  

Copyright: Pete Babij
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 62400x31200
Taken: 19/10/2015
Uploaded: 12/02/2017
Updated: 06/01/2019
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Tags: anticline; formation; rock; deposit; layer; dome; structure; tectonic; plate; sespe unit; clay; sand; river; delta; monterey shale; sediment; oil; crude; seeping; porous; sandstone; siltstone; mudstone; slope; mountain; geology; reservoir; gravel; quarry; spontaneous; combustion; catalyst; pyrite; temperature; fused; outcrop; canyon
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