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New conodont alteration index (CAI) and vitrinite reflectance (%Ro) data collected from drill holes in the Appalachian basin of New York State allow refinement of thermal maturity maps for Ordovician and Devonian rocks. CAI isotherms on the new maps show a pattern that approximates that published by Harris et al. (1978) in eastern and western New York, but it differs in central New York, where the isotherms are shifted markedly westward by more than 100 km and are more tightly grouped. This close grouping of isograds reflects a steeper thermal gradient than previously noted by Harris et al. (1978) and agrees closely with the abrupt west-to-east increase in thermal maturity across New York noted by Johnsson (1986). These data show, in concordance with previous studies, that thermal maturity levels in these rocks are higher than can be explained by simple burial heating beneath the present thickness of overburden. The Ordovician and Devonian rocks of the Appalachian Basin in New York must have been buried by very thick post-Devonian sediments (4-6 km suggested by Sarwar and Friedman 1995) or were exposed to a higher-than-normal geothermal flux caused by crustal extension, or a combination of the two.
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Thermal maturity patterns in New York State using CAI and %Ro