The course plan is a lecture in the morning, followed by field work in the afternoon that illustrates the elements of the morning lecture. The attendees will observe fracture and fault examples and collect fracture data to analyze. Longer field trips examine faults and fractures in the Utica, fractures in the Marcellus and a complete section of highly fractured Geneseo. The schedule is dependent upon the weather.
The course lectures are organized around three core areas: 1) Tectonics in the northern Appalachian Orogen, 2) Faults in the Northern Appalachian Basin, and 3) The development and characteristics of fractures and faults in the sedimentary section, including black shales. For Part 1 the attendee will learn extensive information that has promoted the advancement of Phanerozoic plate tectonic models of the Appalachian Orogen. For Part 2 the attendee will learn the connections among plate tectonics, faults and the development of the northern Appalachian Basin and selected reservoirs (e.g., the possible relation among faults and black shale maturity), as well as the evidence for faults (and their characteristics) in the Appalachian Basin of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In Part 3, the attendee learns details about stress and fracture development, faults and rock strength, rock failure types, fracture decorations, fluid/gas driven fracturing, fracture spacing, Fracture Intensification Domains, fracture intersections, and how to display fractures. Detailed examination of fault and fracture examples will include black shale units such as the Utica, Geneseo and Marcellus. Field trips will demonstrate in gray and black shales faults and fracture spacing, intersections, and decorations. These trips will also establish methodologies for characterizing and analyzing fractures. (See itinerary/syllabus in the Location Tab for details).
The course is located in the center of the Finger Lakes Wine Region, one of the most beautiful areas in the country, and is a natural laboratory that has been central to many of the advances in fracture understanding.