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. This schedule is dependent upon the weather.
The course lectures are organized around three core areas:
- Faults and their effects on shales in the Northern Appalachian Basin.
- The development and characteristics of fractures in sedimentary section of the Northern Appalachian Basin, including black shales.
- Tectonic context of the faults and fractures in the northern Appalachian Orogen.
For Part 1 the attendee will learn the evidence for, and characteristics/motion histories of, faults in the Appalachian Basin of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
In Part 2, 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 other fracture aspects.
For Part 3 the attendee will the connections among plate tectonics, faults/fractures and the development of the northern Appalachian Basin and selected reservoirs. The attendees will also learn information that promoted the advancement of Phanerozoic plate tectonic models of the Appalachian Orogen. Detailed examination of faults and fractures will be conducted in such black shale units 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.
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.