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Faults in the Northern Appalachian Basin and Their Effects on Black Shale
- INSTRUCTOR :
- Robert Jacobi, University at Buffalo and EQT, Buffalo, NY
- May 19, 2013
- Pittsburgh, PA, with AAPG Annual Meeting
(increases to $795/$995 after 4/19/2013), includes course notes and refreshments. No refunds for cancellations after 4/19/2013.
- .75 CEU What is a CEU?
Who Should Attend
The target audience for this course is oil and gas exploration geologists working in black shales and other units in the northern Appalachian Basin where the character and orientation of faults and affected fractures are critical components for a successful drilling program. Others should attend who are interested in the tectonics of the northern Appalachian Basin, the evidence for fault controlled development of the northern Appalachian Basin, and the effects of fault development on the sedimentary record.
The attendee will gain knowledge of:
- the faulting history in the northern Appalachian Basin and relation to plate tectonics,
- typical characteristics of faults in the Ordovician Utica black shale and the Upper Devonian Marcellus and Geneseo black shales,
- how fracture sets in the black shales are influenced by faulting
- the influence of faulting on deposition, including black shale,
This knowledge base is important for black shale gas exploration and development, since fractures and faults (and the orientation of lateral well bores with respect to those faults and fractures) have a significant influence on gas production. Although such knowledge is of prime importance for those involved in the Appalachian Basin, the concepts of fracture development and faulted basin development are transportable to other basins.
The course will examine the characteristics of the four predominant fault systems in the northern Appalachian Basin of New York (NY) and Pennsylvania (PA). These fault systems, defined by their orientations, include northerly-striking faults, NW-striking faults, arcuate (in map view) faults, and westerly-striking faults (in NY). Additionally, cross-strike-discontinuities (CSDs), which have variable trends across NY and PA, will also be addressed (in western PA, CSDs strike NW and are synonymous with the NW-striking fault set). These fault systems have long-lived histories--each fault system has faults that have been (re)activated in each of the Phanerozoic orogenies.
The regional plate tectonic context will be addressed first by reviewing the relationships of the 4 major fault systems to plate tectonic evolution models of the Appalachian Orogen and Basin. Each fault system will then be examined in terms of 1) motion history, 2) fault type, and 3) detailed fault character. The fault descriptions will be especially focused on the Ordovician Utica black shale and the Upper Devonian black shales. Sources will be primarily: 1) proprietary 3D and 2D seismic reflection data, 2) well log data, including FMI images, and 3) outcrop data—the Mohawk Valley section in eastern NY for the Utica, and the Appalachian Basin outcrops across NY for the Devonian black shales. A short review of the standard regional fracture systems is necessary in order to understand the local anomalous fractures that developed as a result of the fault activity. The anomalous fracture studies are based on outcrop and FMI data. The effects of faulting on depositional tracts in the Ordovician and the Devonian will be determined from seismic reflection data, outcrop data, and well logs.