Geostatistical Interpolation of Subsurface Geologic Structure in southeast Ohio and northwest West Virginia
Graydon Leo Konzen
The objective of this study is to constrain the spatial and temporal extent of subsurface geologic structures in an area along the Ohio River in Washington County, Ohio and adjacent West Virginia counties. The Ohio River section from New Martinsville to the Willow Island Dam is unusually straight and strikingly coincident with a major basement fault defining the northwestern margin of the Early Cambrian Rome Trough. We hypothesize that this river segment is structurally controlled, implying that the zone of basement structural disruption may extend vertically upward through the entire Paleozoic stratigraphic section. To test this hypothesis, we have employed geostatistical interpolation of Ohio DNR and West Virginia Geological Survey oil and gas well data to construct a series of structure contour and isopach maps at a range of stratigraphic levels, especially on the shale and sandstone formations that are economically important as reservoir horizons in Appalachian oil and gas plays. Specifically, the rock formations contoured using the ArcGIS geostatistical analyst extension include the Cow Run sandstone (Pennsylvanian), the Big Injun and Berea Sandstones (Mississippian), the Marcellus Shale and Oriskany Sandstone (Devonian),and the Utica Shale (Ordovician). These results indicate that a significant Paleozoic fold, the Burning Springs Arch, shows at least 5 km of right-lateral strike-slip displacement where it intersects the newly recognized Ohio River fault system. Consequently, additional work is justified to understand the possibility that this fault or related structures could be vulnerable to induced seismicity as oil and gas production via hydraulic fracturing expands into the area with attendant increases in the volumes of deep wastewater injection.
Capstone Project - Undergraduate
Allen J. McGrew, Shuang-Ye Wu
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project
"Geostatistical Interpolation of Subsurface Geologic Structure in southeast Ohio and northwest West Virginia" (2017). Stander Symposium Projects. 906.