Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Geology



First Advisor

Julie Bloxson

Second Advisor

Russel Nielson

Third Advisor

Kevin Stafford

Fourth Advisor

I-Kuai Hung


The Ordovician Utica shale play is a major oil and gas producing interval in the Appalachian Basin. The Utica shale play can be found as far as New York and Canada and to the south into Indiana and Kentucky. The play consists of the Trenton/Lexington limestones, Point Pleasant Formation, and Utica shale. The shallow marine fossiliferous limestones of the Trenton and shallow marine shaley limestones of the Lexington are overlain by an interbedded shale and limestone of the Point Pleasant Formation, which grade into the deeper marine interbedded shales and limey shales of the Utica. These formations are highly heterogeneous, varying not only vertically but laterally as well. Pockets of preferential carbonate deposition in a primarily siliciclastic formation or vice versa have been noted throughout the basin, which also contain pockets of organic matter enrichment. Controls on deposition have been studied on a global (eustatic) scale, or at large scales across the basin.

This research studies the Utica shale system on a county scale, detailing potential structural influences on deposition. A combination of core and well log analyses were used to create detailed structure and isopach maps across east central Ohio. Results show that there are areas of thickening of the underlying carbonate platform (Trenton/Lexington limestones) overlain by thin fine-grained siliciclastic deposits (Utica/Point Pleasant), suggesting movement of basement blocks along pre-existing Proterozoic basement faults creating localize topographic highs and lows. The Utica shale also thickens along the northern side of the study area, suggesting that the Sebree Trough further extends into northeastern Ohio. This research: (1) helps formalize the Utica shale in Ohio; (2) provide evidence for Sebree Trough extension into northeast Ohio; and (3) further demonstrates the reactivation of structures throughout the formation history of the Appalachian Basin.

Creative Commons License

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

Included in

Geology Commons



Tell us how this article helped you.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.