Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Geology



First Advisor

Dr. Julie Bloxson

Second Advisor

Dr. LaRell R. Nielson

Third Advisor

Dr. Melinda Faulkner

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Friedfeld


The Utica Shale/Point Pleasant Formation system has recently become a highly developed unconventional target for oil and natural gas production, leading to an increased desire for knowledge of the controls on deposition of this system. Precambrian basement features have long been known to affect deposition of older strata near these features across Ohio, but the effects of far field tectonics is not fully agreed upon. Precambrian faults and lineaments are known to exist and have been mapped, but are thought to have ceased their influence on deposition by the time of the Knox unconformity during the Cambrian. In the case of the Ordovician Utica Shale, Point Pleasant Formation, Trenton Limestone, and the Black River Group, many believe that the deposition of these strata were not affected by Precambrian faults/lineaments or other basement features, rather their main influence was changes in sea level due to basin loading, climatic changes, and localized uplift/subsidence. The objective of this study was to determine if the deposition of these younger strata were influenced by Precambrian faults and basement features. This was done by analyzing a group of oil and gas wells in Lorain, Cuyahoga Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Stark, Portage, Summit, Wayne, Ashland, and Medina counties in northeastern Ohio. Electric well logs from these wells were ii added to Petra, a geological mapping program, and the tops of the Utica Shale, Point Pleasant Formation, Trenton Limestone, and the Black River Group were picked. These tops were then contoured into four structure maps and 4 isopach thickness maps. These maps were analyzed with known Precambrian faults and lineaments, along with known Precambrian basement features, to determine if these Precambrian influences affected the deposition of these Ordovician strata. It is known that high spatial resolution structure maps show contour offsets across known and inferred structural features. It is also known that high spatial resolution isopach maps show thinning and thickening across known and inferred structural features. The purpose of this study was to take these methods and apply them to the Utica Shale/Point Pleasant Formation system in order to determine structural influence from the Precambrian basement on Ordovician strata in northeastern Ohio.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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