Conditions during syntectonic vein formation in the footwall of the Absaroka Thrust Fault, Idaho-Wyoming-Utah fold and thrust belt Academic Article uri icon


  • The Twin Creek Limestone in the footwall of the Absaroka thrust sheet contains three sets of bed-normal syntectonic calcite veins. Vein formation occurred during Cretaceous motion along the Absaroka thrust fault as indicated by (1) crosscutting relationships among these vein sets, (2) a previously dated solution cleavage, and (3) calcite twin analysis. Fluid inclusions in the veins and overburden estimates constrain inclusion entrapment temperatures to be between 175 C and 328 C. Results from stable oxygen isotopes indicate that the host and vein fluid compositions were in near isotopic equilibrium. Applying both reasonable geothermal gradients and constraints on overburden temperature yields fluid pressures during vein precipitation that are near hydrostatic. All data taken together suggest both that vein formation within the Twin Creek Formation occurred in a relatively closed system, and that the veins filled near hydrostatic fluid pressure. Because the veins fill precursory cracks, vein filling might not reflect the maximum fluid pressure that existed during the complete vein forming process. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wiltschko, D. V., Lambert, G. R., & Lamb, W.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Wiltschko, David V||Lambert, George R||Lamb, Will

publication date

  • January 2009