Caves and Other Features of Permian Karst in San Andres Dolomite, Yates Field Reservoir, West Texas


Material Information

Caves and Other Features of Permian Karst in San Andres Dolomite, Yates Field Reservoir, West Texas
Craig, Dexter H.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Vadose Zone ( local )
Freshwater Lens ( local )
Internal Sediment ( local )
Unconformity Surface ( local )
Permian Basin ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Cave cements, breccias, and several kinds of internal sediment are lithologic features of a Late Permian (Guadalupian, Kazanian) karst recognized in cores from the San Andres Formation in the reservoir of the Yates oil field in the Permian basin of west Texas. Other indications of a paleokarst system at Yates have been bit drops, sudden rushes of oil during drilling, extremely high flow rates recorded for some early field wells, and fragments of dissolution rubble produced with the oil from some wells. Karst is also indicated by 285 unfilled caves in 142 of the 898 wells drilled within the boundaries of the field to the end of year 1983. The caves range in height from 1 foot (0.3 m) to 21 feet (6.4 m), average 2.9 feet (0.9 m), and have a modal height of 2 feet (0.6 m). They are most numerous in the eastern part of the field, where permeable shelf-edge skeletal sands in the upper San Andres made the rock more susceptible to meteoric infiltration and solution. The agents of karstification were probably dynamic freshwater lenses which developed beneath a cluster of low-relief limestone islands produced by tectonic uplift of the field or by one or more low stands of the Late Permian seas. Support for this island hydrologic model comes from well data on the heights of the San Andres caves and their spatial distribution in the Late Permian. The patterns of cave abundance and height closely fit patterns of physical and chemical dynamics believed to be characteristic of freshwater lenses beneath limestone islands.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.