All Field Trips will depart from and return to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center uniless otherwise noted
Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists (PAPG) and Energy Minerals Division (EMD)
Organic-Rich Shales of New York: Core Workshop and Field Trip
Dates: Thursday, 16 May, 8:00 a.m.–Saturday, 18 May, 6:00 p.m. (Departs from the Best Western Albany Airport, Albany, New York, returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Leaders: Taury Smith and Jim Leone (New York State Geological Survey, Albany, New York), Juergen Schieber and Ryan Wilson (Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana)
Fee: Professionals $575; Students $288 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, two nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, lunch Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, refreshments, and guidebook
Limit: 54 people
This trip will include excellent cores and outcrop exposures of the Utica, Marcellus and Upper Devonian organic-rich shales of New York State. The trip will appeal to any geologist or engineer working in the Appalachian Basin or who has an interest in organic-rich shales. Themes will include basin-scale stratigraphy, depositional environment, sedimentary processes and reservoir characteristics. Day one will begin with overview talks and core viewing in the morning and will conclude with visits to several spectacular outcrops of the Utica Shale. Day two will include visits to quarries where the Marcellus and Geneseo Shales as well as the Onondaga and Tully Limestones are well exposed and a visit to beautiful Taughannock Falls in the Finger Lakes region. Day three will include visits to see the Rhinestreet and Dunkirk Shales in western New York and will conclude at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.
Note: Weather should be nice although it could rain and there is an outside chance it could snow. Participants will need to bring their own hard hats and safety glasses. Participants should also bring waterproof boots and steel toe boots.
Appalachian Geological Society (AGS)
Appalachian Basin Structure: Rafting Trip through the Smoke Hole Canyon
Dates: Thursday, 16 May, 10:00 a.m.–Saturday, 18 May, 6:30 p.m. (Departs and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Leaders: Jaime Toro (West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia)
Fee: Professionals $525; Students $263 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, boats, lifejackets, campground fee, camping gear, guidebook, breakfast Friday and Saturday; lunch Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; dinner Thursday and Friday
Limit: 12 people
The Smoke Hole Canyon provides an opportunity to experience the Appalachians as they were prior to the 20th Century. It crosses an isolated and roadless portion of West Virginia where the only signs of civilization are abandoned cabins and farm houses. The Canyon cuts obliquely through the core of the Cave Mountain anticline exposing several secondary folds in Silurian through Devonian strata.
Day 1: Drive from Pittsburgh to the Jess Judy Campground, near Petersburg, WV, a very scenic drive from the Appalachian Plateau to the Valley and Ridge province. 209 miles (4 hours). Camp at Big Bend Campground.
Day 2: Prepare the boats and launch into the South Branch of the Potomac River. Float about 12 miles through Smoke Hole Canyon observing spectacular exposures of the folded Lower Silurian to Middle Devonian stratigraphic succession including the Marcellus Shale, Onondaga Limestone and Huntersville Chert. Most of the rapids are gentle drops over gravel or cobble bars. Camp on the river bank at a primitive site (no facilities).
Day 3: Continue downstream 10 miles to Petersburg through the lower half of Smoke Hole Canyon. Take out at Petersburg and drive back to Pittsburgh.
Note: The trip involves two nights of camping, two days on a class I-II river in a raft or inflatable kayak. Participants should be physically fit and comfortable with the outdoors, but no whitewater experience is required. We can provide tents, sleeping bags, dry bags and all safety equipment, but participants will have to bring appropriate clothing to wear in the river and while camping. The temperature at this time of year typically ranges from 80 degrees Fahrenheit (high) to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (low). We need at least 2.5 feet of water in the river at the Franklin gauge, and May is nearly the peak rainfall month in this area. However, if the river is too low or too high, the trip may be canceled.
Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists (PAPG)
Devonian Gas Shales of the Appalachian Basin
Dates: Thursday, 16 May, 8:00 a.m.–Sunday, 19 May, 6:00 p.m. (need to arrive Wednesday, 15 May) (Departs from the Hilton Garden Inn in Ithaca, New York, returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Terry Engelder and Rudy Slingerland (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $1,550; Students $775 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, four nights’ lodging based on single occupancy, lunch Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, dinner Friday and Saturday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 25 people
The trip will examine, compare and contrast the two Middle Devonian gas shales of the Appalachian Basin (i.e., the Marcellus and Geneseo) from the point of view of both structural geology and stratigraphy. The structural geologist will have an opportunity to view the effect of Appalachian tectonics on the fabric of gas shale in a cross section from the foreland of the Appalachian Plateau, through the Allegheny Front, and into the hinterland of the anthracite coal district of the Valley and Ridge. The stratigrapher will view the Catskill Delta upward through the section starting near its base in the Onondaga Limestone through two or more gas shales and ending well into the Upper Devonian Red Beds of the Catskill Formation. Some stops will examine the nature of fracturing and gas migration in the clastic pile of the upper Catskill Delta. The outcrop visits will be tied to an extensive collection of electric logs so that the development of the Marcellus in the subsurface might be understood in the context of sequence stratigraphy as seen at the surface.
Note: Physical requirements and conditions: Some mild hikes up to two hours in duration. Weather can be very unpredictable, varying from sunny and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to thunderstorms and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Attendees should be prepared for rain or shine. Hard hats and field boots are necessary, along with water shoes (e.g. Tevas) for walking in ankle deep water at a few stops.
Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists (PAPG)
Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the “Other” Shales, Upper Devonian, Western New York State
Dates: Saturday, 18 May, 7:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (Departs from and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Gary G. Lash (SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, New York) and Randy Blood (Pure Earth Resources, New Brighton, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $300; Students $150 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, lunch, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 20 people
This trip will view the well-exposed Upper Devonian shale succession of western New York starting with the Dunkirk Shale and ending with the Middlesex Shale. Six or seven stops will be visited over this one-day trip. We will consider a variety of aspects of these rocks, including joint chronology and environment (i.e., near or at peak burial depth versus near-surface exhumation), subsurface stratigraphy, basin dynamics, burial and thermal history, and basin hydrography.
Note: Mid-May in western New York can be cool and sometimes rather wet. Attendees should be prepared for walking in some creeks. Certainly, we will not ford creeks if the water level is high, but attendees should have waterproof boots in anticipation of occasionally walking through perhaps 4-5 inches of water. A few stops require hiking up and down some grades, and some may require a hard hat.
Pittsburgh Geological Society (PGS)
Hills, Dales and Oil Trails
Dates: Saturday, 18 May, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (Departs from and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Kathy J. Flaherty (ABARTA Oil & Gas Co., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $200; Students $100 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, lunch, refreshments, guided tour, guidebook
Limit: 50 people
The group will depart from the convention center, travelling north to visit the McClintock Well, the oldest, continuously operating oil well in the world (drilled in 1861). We will continue north to the Drake Well Museum and Grounds for a guided tour of the new museum exhibits, have lunch in either the new all-purpose room indoors or the outdoor picnic pavilion, and then resume the guided tour with the outdoor exhibits including a Drake Well replica, central-power exhibit, and a deep cable-tool rig. Appropriate for spouses and families, as well as AAPG members.
Note: Expect 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures with good chance of rain in western Pennsylvania in May. Trip is easy walking, handicap accessible, lots of restrooms, and benches at all public park/ museum grounds. Participants should bring good walking shoes, jeans and windbreaker.
Division of Environmental Geology (DEG) and Pittsburgh Geological Society (PGS)
Rifts, Diabase and the Topographic “Fishhook”: Terrain and Military Geology of the Battle of Gettysburg — July 1–3, 1863
Dates: Wednesday, 22 May, 5:00 p.m.–Thursday, 23 May, 10:00 p.m. (Departs and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Jon D. Inners, Robert C. Smith II, Richard C. Keen, Helen L. Delano, Gary M. Fleeger (Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Middletown, Pennsylvania), Roger J. Cuffey (Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania), and John A. Harper (Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $325; Students $163 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, one night’s lodging based on double occupancy, lunch Thursday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 40 people
Just in time for the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest battle ever played out on American soil, this field trip visits historic Gettysburg, PA and the battle that turned the tide of the American Civil War. Few battles in recorded military history demonstrate the relationships between topography and geology and the ultimate outcome of the fighting as clearly and dramatically as the battle of Gettysburg. From McPherson’s Ridge to Seminary Ridge, from Devil’s Den to the “topographic fishhook” (all in the Mesozoic Gettysburg rift basin), the tactics of the competing commanders — Meade for the Union and Lee for the Confederacy — can be followed and rationalized with the use of a geologic map plotted with arrows to show troop movements keyed to the three days of conflict. Field trip stops will include most of the important topographic/geologic features that the two armies attempted to control, producing thousands of casualties in the process — McPherson’s Ridge, Seminary Ridge, Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, Cemetery Ridge, and Culp’s Hill. As an added bonus, we will stop at the stone bridge over Plum Run at the base of Big Round Top to view Triassic-age dinosaur tracks.
Note: Weather can be very unpredictable at this time of year, varying from sunny and 70 degrees to thunderstorms and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Attendees should be prepared for rain or shine. Dress for comfort. Concerns are ticks and poison ivy.
Ohio Geological Society (OGS)
Stratigraphy and Depositional Setting of Upper Devonian Ohio Black Shale Divisions and the Overlying Bedford/Berea Sequence in Northeastern Ohio: Dynamic End-Devonian Paleoclimatic Events, Sea-Level Changes, and Tectonism Interpreted from Outcrop, Core, and Wireline Logs
Dates: Wednesday, 22 May, 7:00 p.m.–Friday, 24 May, 6:00 p.m. (Departs from and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Gordon C. Baird (SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, New York), Joe T. Hannibal (Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio), Christopher Laughrey (Weatherford Laboratories, Golden, Colorado), John Wicks (J L Wicks Exploration, Wooster, Ohio), and Ed Mack (Mormack Industries, Orrville, Ohio)
Fee: Professionals double occupancy $525; Professionals single occupancy $645; Students double occupancy $263 (limited); Students single occupancy $323 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, two nights’ lodging, breakfast Thursday and Friday, lunch Thursday and Friday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 40 people
The latest Devonian stratigraphic succession in northern Ohio (Famennian Huron Shale through Berea Sandstone) records dramatic and imperfectly understood changes in sedimentary facies, spatial rock-unit geometry, and large-scale patterns of tectonic disturbances. This geologic time-slice is marked by global paleoclimatic perturbations (glaciation on Gondwana and in the Appalachian region) and mass extinction events (Hangenberg biocrises).
New correlation advances from outcrop information, coupled with wireline logs core, and geochemical information are brought to bear on patterns and timing of dysoxic basin development, recorded by black shale development, as well as patterns of constructive sediment progradation recorded by the Bedford Formation/Berea Sandstone succession. Two episodes of seismically triggered, sediment loading and diapirism events will be examined and discussed as will the related genesis of two coarse-clastic units, the Euclid bluestone and the Berea Sandstone.
The trip will visit classic outcrops, view core, and utilize a map and regional cross section (with electric logs and core) between outcrops to visualize a more complete section and underscore the relationship between these exploration tools and outcrops. A complete sourcerock geochemical and mineralogy analysis has been done on nearby core, and at least one of the black shale outcrops, so that participants may gain a better understanding of how these tools aid in the overall depositional-environment interpretation as well as potential hydrocarbon evaluation. The Huron and Cleveland Members of the Ohio Shale, and the Berea Sandstone are oil and gas producing horizons in Ohio, and/or adjacent states.
Note: Weather is variable at this time of year. Participants may need a jacket and raingear. Hammers will be useful but collecting is prohibited at some localities. The trip will involve some hiking. You should wear nonslip shoes; some paths may be muddy and we may walk in shallow water.
AAPG Student Chapter (AAPG-SC) and Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
Stratigraphy and Depositional Environments of Middle to Late Devonian Natural Gas Reservoirs in the Central Pennsylvania Appalachian Basin: Marcellus, Burkett and Lockhaven Formations
Dates: Wednesday, 22 May, 3:00 p.m.–Friday, 24 May 7:00 p.m. (Departs from and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Daniel Kohl (Chevron North America, Moon Township, Pennsylvania), Rudy Slingerland and Courtney Swanson (The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania), and Bob Clarke (Consultant, Irving, Texas)
Fee: Graduate Students & Faculty Advisors only $50
Includes: Ground transportation, two nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, breakfast Thursday and Friday, lunch Thursday and Friday, dinner Wednesday and Thursday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 35 people
This field trip will examine the sedimentology and stratigraphy of world famous Appalachian Basin oil and gas reservoirs. First day of the trip will examine the lower portion of the Middle Devonian Marcellus Formation. These strata were deposited within a thirdorder depositional sequence (~3 my duration), associated with the Mahantango Formation delta complex. We will examine the full spectrum of depositional environments associated with this sequence, from proximal deltaic sandstones, to the distal organic-rich mudstones and shales which are the target of unconventional production in the basin. Second day will examine the overlying Upper Devonian shale and sandstone reservoirs. The Burkett Member is an emerging unconventional shale gas reservoir in the basin, and exhibits many similarities to the underlying Marcellus Formation. The Lock Haven Formation is a conventional sandstone reservoir that has produced more than 55 billion cubic feet of gas in the Council Run Field, just a few miles west of the outcrop exposures.
Each day of this trip will begin by examining cores provided by the Penn State’s Appalachian Basin Black Shale Research Group (ABBSG), followed by a short drive to exposures of these formations in the central Pennsylvania Nittany Anticlinorium. Accommodations will be provided in State College, PA, within walking distance to The Pennsylvania State University.
Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
Stratigraphy, Stratal Packaging, and Sedimentology of Devonian Shales in Ohio and Kentucky
Dates: Wednesday, 22 May, 4:00 p.m.–Friday, 24 May, 3:00 p.m. (Departs from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and ends at the Bluegrass Airport, Lexington, KY) Registrants must book their own transportation from Lexington, KY
Leaders: Juergen Schieber and Ryan Wilson (Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana) with Kevin Bohacs, Remus Lazar (ExxonMobil Upstream Research, Colorado [as instructors], Houston, Texas
Fee: Professionals $600; Students $300 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, two nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, breakfast Thursday and Friday, lunch Thursday and Friday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 36 people
Late Devonian black shales of the eastern U.S. are a key analog for hydrocarbon sources and shale gas reservoirs — they have long been studied for clues to ancient climates, past ocean conditions, and mass extinctions. Black shales were commonly thought to represent distal deposits that accumulated more or less continuously in deep waters of stratified anoxic basins. Recent research, however, has shown that these mudstones contain numerous stratal surfaces, primary sedimentary structures, and diverse burrows indicating discontinuous sediment accumulation under relatively energetic and benign conditions. In depth, petrographic and geochemical studies have also revealed that although bottom water conditions were often oxygen restricted, truly anoxic conditions were probably exceedingly rare.
Experimental work on mud deposition at the Indiana University flume lab has demonstrated that laminated shales most likely record deposition from persistent bottom currents (capable of transporting coarse sand) rather than quiet water accumulation. Similar sedimentary structures are quite common in Devonian black shales, indicating an energetic depositional history.
Within these rocks, large scale erosion surfaces can be traced for more than 600 km and commonly represent more time than the preserved shale strata. These erosion surfaces record intermittent decreases in accommodation and more energetic bottom conditions. Overlying mudstone strata show distinct stacking patterns bounded by laterally extensive surfaces that can be recognized in systematic changes in physical, biological and chemical attributes.
Note: Conditions will include spring temperatures from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and rain is possible, so rain gear is recommended. There will be only moderate hiking but care should be taken along all road cuts.
Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
Sequence Stratigraphy and Paleoenvironments of the Upper Ordovician Strata of the Cincinnati Arch (Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio Tristate Area): Shell Beds, Storms, Sediment Starvation and Cycles
Dates: Wednesday, 22 May, 8:00 p.m.–Saturday, 24 May, approximately 8:00 p.m. (Departs from the Comfort Inn, near the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport in Erlanger, Kentucky and ends at the Cincinnati- Northern Kentucky Airport in Erlanger, Kentucky) Registrants must book their own transportation to and from Erlanger, Kentucky
Leaders: Carlton E. Brett (University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio) and Benjamin Dattilo, (Indiana University– Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Fee: Professionals $560; Students $280 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, three nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, breakfast Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, lunch Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 30 people
The Upper Ordovician Mohawkian and Cincinnatian Series (ca. 450 to 442 Ma) strata of the Cincinnati Arch are world renowned because of their pristine preservation and exceptional exposure. As such, they provide a natural laboratory for exploring cycle and sequence stratigraphy of mixed carbonates and siliciclastics. Recent field and subsurface studies provide a well correlated framework for more extensive research on paleoenvironments, paleobiology, and sedimentary processes. They also include the up-dip equivalents of organic-rich source rocks that are presently being targeted by the petroleum industry: the Point Pleasant and Utica formations. These rocks also feature some of the most spectacular Ordovician fossils in the world. The rich faunas of bryozoans, brachiopods, molluscs, echinoderms, and trilobites are preserved in discrete shell-rich limestones, cyclically interbedded with sparsely fossiliferous shales and mudstones that may yield exceptionally preserved trilobites and crinoids. Similar successions of shell beds interbedded with mudstones are common components of Paleozoic successions.
In such successions, the genesis of the highly concentrated shell beds is often attributed to storm winnowing, but this is not the main story; we will highlight new and old approaches and paradigms in the Late Ordovician. This trip will offer an overview of the classic Mohawkian and Cincinnatian Series, with ample opportunity for examining and collecting the rich fossil assemblages throughout much of the succession. Discussions will focus on the origin and correlation of interbedded mudstone limestone cycles in terms of high-resolution sequence stratigraphy; subsidiary themes will be taphonomy, trace fossils, and paleoecology. We will emphasize depositional processes, particularly the role of cyclic variations in siliciclastic sediment supply, carbonate (shell) production, and winnowing by storms and other highenergy events in a critical discussion of the storm-winnowing model.
Note: Conditions should be warm, 60 degrees Fahrenheit to low 80 degrees Fahrenheit, possibly humid and quite possibly rainy; layered clothes, light rain gear may be needed. Physical requirements are not too strenuous; minor climbing on road cuts; need sunscreen. The safety assessment includes caution required on road cuts but we will be well away from traffic and mostly on secondary roads.
Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) and Energy Minerals Division (EMD)
Sequence Stratigraphy, Reservoir Architecture of a Coal-Bearing Fluvial Deltaic Sedimentary Succession: the Middle Pennsylvanian Upper Breathitt Group, Eastern Kentucky
Dates: Wednesday, 22 May, 5:00 p.m.–Saturday, 25 May, 5:00 p.m. (Departs from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and ends at the Cincinnati- Northern Kentucky Airport in Erlanger, Kentucky)
Leaders: Steve Greb (Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington, Kentucky), Stephen Flint (University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom), and Rhodri Jerrett (Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom)
Fee: Professionals $800; Students $400 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, three nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, breakfast Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, lunch Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, dinner Thursday and Friday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 40 people
Coal bearing terrestrial sedimentary rocks deposited in paralic settings remain extremely important hydrocarbon reservoirs, in the context of both petroleum and coal bed methane (CBM). The middle Pennsylvanian upper Breathitt Group of the central Appalachian foreland basin represents such a succession, and it is superbly exposed in a series of spectacular new and old road-cut sections throughout eastern Kentucky. The purpose of this trip is to examine sub-seismic to seismic-scale facies, and facies distributions in the upper Breathitt Group, and the controls upon these. In particular, the trip aims to highlight and discuss: 1) architecture and geometry of fluvial-influenced, partly tide-influenced mouth bars and bay-fills; 2) fluvial incised valley-fills including longitudinal transects for 10s of km; 3) the influence of accommodation through space and time on the composition and geometry / thickness (hence correlatability) of coal seams; 4) the manner in which coal, a common facies in terrestrial hydrocarbon reservoirs, can influence the depth of fluvial incision, with implications for the compartmentalisation of fluvial reservoirs; and 5) palaeosol types and their stratigraphic significance.
The Breathitt Group road cuts provide spectacular access to world class examples of paralic reservoir analogues that contrast markedly with the much better known Western Interior outcrops. The field trip showcases two generations of work by the Liverpool Group in the early 1990s plus the enormous body of ongoing studies by the Kentucky Geological Survey.
Note: Conditions should be warm, 60 degrees Fahrenheit to low 80 degrees Fahrenheit, possibly humid and quite possibly rainy; layered clothes, light rain gear may be needed. Physical requirements are not too strenuous; minor climbing on road cuts; need sunscreen. The safety assessment includes caution required on road cuts.
Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists (PAPG) and Range Resources – Appalachia LLC, Southern Marcellus Shale Division
Range Resources Marcellus Shale Operations in Washington County, Pennsylvania
Date: Thursday, 23 May, 7:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. (Departs from and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Bob Trevail (Dallas Energy, LLC, Freedom, Pennsylvania) and Bill Zagorski (Range Resources – Appalachia LLC, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $100; Students $50 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, required safety equipment (hard hats, safety glasses, FR jackets and steel-toe protection for those without safety boots), lunch, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 80 people
Southwestern Pennsylvania has become a major core region for Marcellus Shale development since its original modern discovery in 2004 and successful horizontal development in 2007. The region has a rich petroleum-development history dating back to the late 1800s that includes the development of the McDonald and Washington- Taylorstown oil field and associated pools, once one of the largest oil fields in the world until the discovery of Spindle top in 1904. Planned for the tour is a drive by of a number of older producing fields dating from before 1900 as well as a number of early attempts to test the Marcellus Formation commercially. One of the key planned stops is the official discovery well for the modern Marcellus Shale Gas Play, the Renz Unit #1. A modern horizontal production site of the Marcellus will be visited to show what a well pad area looks like following drilling, completion, tie-in and restoration.
At this site, a major liquids processing facility can be viewed and photographed. If time and operational schedules allow, the tour may visit an active horizontal drilling rig and possibly a hydrofracturing operation. During the tour, active discussions will be given covering the region’s geology, history of coal and oil development and the story of the Marcellus development, its early shows and tests, failures, and its recent evolution into one of the largest gas plays in the world.
Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG)
Coal Mine Drainage Discharges and Treatment Systems in Southwestern Pennsylvania
Dates: Thursday, 23 May 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. (Departs and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Bob Hedin (Hedin Environmental, Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania) and Katherine Schmid (Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $150; Students $75 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, lunch, guidebook
Limit: 30 people
The Pittsburgh area has been extensively mined for coal, and many of the abandoned underground mines produce large flows of contaminated water. Some discharges flow untreated into streams polluting them, while others are treated with passive and chemical technologies. The field trip will be in the Chartiers Creek watershed just south of Pittsburgh which has a 150-year mining legacy. We will visit: 1) a reclamation project that includes stream channel reconstruction, subsidence control, and sealing of mine entries; 2) an automated pumping and lime treatment system; and 3) a passive system where mine water is treated without electricity or chemicals. Discussion will focus on hydrogeochemical aspects of the discharges, their treatment, and the growing interest in using mine water in shale-gas operations.
Note: The weather should be warm and sunny. You will need to be able to walk ½ mile or more on grassy paths, so be sure to bring walking shoes or hiking boots. There are no safety concerns at reclamation site or passive treatment site. We will coordinate with operator of lime treatment plant about safety issues (may require hard hats).
Energy Minerals Division (EMD)
The Marcellus Shale in South-Central Pennsylvania, Eastern West Virginia and Western Virginia
Dates: Thursday, 23 May, 8:00 a.m.–Friday, 24 May, 6:00 p.m. (Departs and returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
Leaders: Katharine Lee Avary (Retired-West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey, Morgantown, West Virginia) and John M. Dennison (Retired-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Fee: Professionals $350; Students $175 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, one night’s lodging based on double occupancy, lunches, refreshments, and guidebook
Limit: 35 people
Outcrops of the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale in the Valley and Ridge Province of south central Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and adjacent western Virginia, and on Browns Mountain Anticline (the westernmost outcrop belt of the Marcellus) will be visited to gain an understanding of the lithology, stratigraphy, depositional environments and deformation styles of the Marcellus.
Note: Short walks along outcrops at road level will not be strenuous. Weather in May can range from cool and wet to hot and humid. Boots, rain gear, hat, long pants and long sleeved shirts are highly recommended. Most exposures are along lightly traveled country roads, with some along state and U.S. highways which are also not heavily traveled. Poison ivy can be present so those who are susceptible should be aware of its presence. Ticks and rattlesnakes are other potential hazards. The outcrops are in rural areas with limited access to primary medical care. Cell phone service is limited on much of the trip.
Pittsburgh Geological Society (PGS)
Facies of the Great American Carbonate Bank in the Central Appalachians
Dates: Thursday, 23 May, 8:00 a.m.–Saturday, 25 May, 6:00 p.m. (Departs from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and ends at the Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport, Baltimore, Maryland)
Leaders: David K. Brezinski (Maryland Geological Survey, Baltimore, Maryland), John F. Taylor (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania), John E. Repetski (U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia), and Albert D. Kollar (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Fee: Professionals $700; Students $350 (limited)
Includes: Ground transportation, two nights’ lodging based on double occupancy, lunch Thursday, refreshments, guidebook
Limit: 20 people
This trip will visit key exposures that illustrate of the inception, growth and destruction of the Cambrian-Ordovician Great American Carbonate Bank in the central Appalachians. The trip will include stops along the Nittany arch of central Pennsylvania, the Great Valley of western Maryland, and the Frederick and Conestoga valleys of central Maryland and eastern Pennsylvania.
Note: Mid-Atlantic weather in May is typified by temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a chance of rain. Most exposures are road and quarry exposures that require little physical exertion. Quarry visits will require hard hats and safety glasses. Participants should wear sturdy field shoes. Participants will need to bring their own hard hats and safety glasses.