Date of Award
Master of Science - Geology
Dr. Julie Bloxson
Dr. Michael Read
Dr. Melinda Faulkner
Dr. I-Kuai Hung
Located in the western most region of the Appalachian Basin, Morrow County, Ohio, was once one of the largest oil-producing regions in the nation and continually produces today. To date, approximately 30 million barrels of oil and 6.5 billion cubic feet of gas have been produced, primarily from the Copper Ridge Dolomite. Past studies suggest that regional remnant doming within the Copper Ridge accounts for production, however it is hypothesized that faulting within the basement rock exerts an important control on trapping and migration of hydrocarbons. In order to gain insight into the underlying structure and the causes of significant hydrocarbon production in Morrow County, this study characterized structural architecture of the basement in the region by analyzing well log data from 2,662 wells to create structure, isopach, trend surface, and residual maps. A key objective of this study was to correlate stratigraphic horizons across the county within Cambrian-Ordovician strata to determine locations of thinning and thickening that are translated throughout the strata, disruptions to the structure maps indicating potential faults (i.e., lineaments), and correlate those lineaments to the four consecutive orogenies spanning from Early Cambrian through Permian time in the Appalachian Basin.
Nine lineaments trending in a northwest-southeast orientation and five lineaments trending in a northeast-southwest orientation resulted from this study (14 in total). These lineaments were located by tracing the outlines of highs or lows in the residual maps, and verified and interpreted by observing the isopach maps and lithofacies. The deformation associated with the lineaments trending in both orientations represent extensional horst-graben sequences; the northwest-southeast trending lineaments in the northwestern portion of the county, and the northeast-southwest trending lineaments in the southeastern half of the county.
The northwest-southeast lineaments likely originated in relation to Precambrian midcontinent rifting and reactivated during the four subsequent Paleozoic orogenies (Taconic, Salinic, Acadian and, Alleghanian). The second set of lineaments trending northeast-southwest can be linked to the creation of the Rome Trough (Early to Middle Cambrian) and were likely reactivated during the four Paleozoic orogenies. Both sets of lineaments appear to have been reactivated during deposition of these Cambrian-Ordovician strata, creating localized thinning and thickening adjacent to the discerned lineaments. Furthermore, these lineaments appear to have undergone additional reactivation since deposition of these strata, as they act as a migration pathway allowing for migration of hydrocarbons into the remnant domes within the Copper Ridge Dolomite (Knox Group) and leakage from these reservoirs as well.
Valdez, Adrian Isaiah-Sias, "Sub-Surface Structural Analysis of the Appalachian Basin in Morrow County, Ohio" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 369.
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