A Joint AAPG / University at Buffalo field seminar

Utica, Marcellus And Black Shales In The Northern Appalachian Basin

Monday, 15 June, 8:00 a.m. – Friday, 19 June 2015, 5:00 p.m.
Watkins Glen, New York, United States


Who Should Attend
Oil/gas and environmental geoscientists who wish to learn about fracturing, faulting, and tectonics in the northern Appalachian Basin (including black shales). A BS in geology/geophysics is recommended, and a geology/geophysics MS is helpful, as is experience in the geosciences world.

The attendee will gain a working knowledge concerning:

  • how faults and fractures develop and their terminology;
  • methodologies utilized in collecting and analyzing fracture data;
  • characteristics of faults and fractures that affect the sedimentary units (including black shales) in the northern Appalachian Basin of NYS;
  • tectonics that led to the formation of the structures in the northern Appalachian Basin and the adjacent Appalachian Orogen.
Course Content

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:

  1. Faults and their effects on shales in the Northern Appalachian Basin.
  2. The development and characteristics of fractures in sedimentary section of the Northern Appalachian Basin, including black shales.
  3. 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.

Field Seminar Location
Begins and ends in Watkins Glen, NY (please plan to arrive in Watkins Glen the evening of June 14). More details will follow soon.

Expires on
17 May, 2015
Early Tuition
Expires on
19 June, 2015
Regular Tuition
15 people

PLEASE NOTE:  Registrants in AAPG Field Seminars must complete and sign the Release and Indemnity Form on the bottom of the Registration Form (or read and agree to the appropriate box during online registration.) Your registration will not be complete until we have your signed form in our files.

Tuition includes course notes and field guide, and transportation during field trips. Does not include hotels or meals. No refunds for cancellations after 5/18/2015.


Robert Robert Jacobi Professor, University at Buffalo, NY
Vicky Vicky Kroh Registrar, Education Department +1 918 560 2650 +1 918 560 2678
Debbi Debbi Boonstra Education Manager +1 918 560-2630

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