Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. William Sauck

Second Advisor

Dr. G. Michael Grammer

Third Advisor

Dr. William Harrison III

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Michelle Kominz

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Birefringence of seismic shear waves has proven to be a useful tool for identifying fracture intensity and orientation in the subsurface. Naturally occurring fractures have been shown to contribute to the deliverability of natural gas production in some reservoir formations in Rocky Mountain sedimentary basins. A multicomponent 3D 3C seismic survey acquired on the southeastern end of Pinedale Anticline in Sublette County, Wyoming was mapped to characterize fault systems within the sedimentary section. The tectonic and depositional history in the study area was determined by literature search and by one-dimensional backstripping. Compressional and wrench fault systems were observed and mapped. Shear wave birefringence was observed to be the greatest on the forelimb of the Pinedale Anticline in the Tertiary and Upper Cretaceous section. Birefringence diminished with depth as a function of decreasing porosity and decreasing fracture porosity.