A geological and geophysical investigation of the area near Merkel, Taylor County, Texas
Wheeler, William Alfred
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Early petroleum exploration near Merkel, Texas centered on the Noodle Dome area and also in an area west-southwest of Merkel. The two areas display distinctly different characteristics. Noodle Dome is expressed by a high in crystalline basement, at three subsurface horizons, and at the surface; hence, it is expressed both structurally and topographically. In contrast, the Merkel wells area has neither surface nor subsurface structural expression. However, it is located in an area of positive gravity anomalies. Interpretations of structural, geophysical, and topographic maps indicate that Noodle Dome has a history of reef growth which began in Cambrian time and continued intermittently throughout the Paleozoic Era. Such reef development may have been localized along the rotational margin of the Eastem Shelf of the Midland Basin. However, the Merkel wells area shows evidence of neither basement control of overlying strata nor of the kind of reef growth which is characteristic of the Noodle Dome area. Anomalies in this area apparently reflect density contrasts within basement.