Detailed lithologic log of the Dow Chemical #1 B.L. Garrigan Drill Hole, Mississippi County, Arkansas

Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 2296




The geology and tectonic setting of the New Madrid region in southeastern Missouri has received considerable attention because of the area's high seismic activity. The largest recorded earthquakes in this area occurred in the winter of 1811-1812. These earthquakes has estimated magnitudes as large as 8.0 on the Richter scale (Johnsonton and Kanter, 1990) and affected an area of about 1 million square miles (Fuller, 1912). Today, an area of continuously high seismic activity defines the New Madrid seismic zone, which extends from northeastern Arkansas into southeastern Missouri and northwestern Tennessee. Seismicity is locally concentrated along two subsurface archers--the Blytheville and Pascola (Hildenbrand and others, 1977; Crone and others, 1985; Hildenbrand, 1985; McKeown, 1988). The Padcola arch is not pertinent to this study and, therefore will not be discusses further. The Blytheville arch is located in and is subparallel to the axis of the northeast-southwest-trending Reelfoot structural basin, which formed during early Paleozoic rifting (Ervin and McGinnis, 1975; fig. 1). The Reelfoot basin is filled with Cambrian and Ordovician sedimentary rocks (Grohskopf, 1955; Howe, 1984; Houseknevht, 1989; Collins and others, 1992) that are uncomfortably overlain by Cretacaous and Tertiary sedimentary rocks and underlain by crystalline rocks of the eastern granite-rhyolite province (see Bickford and others, 1986). The presence of some Late Proterozoic sedimentary rocks in the Reelfoot basin currently cannot be ruled out. The Dow Chemical #1 B.L. Garrigan drill hole (hereafter, Garrigan) penetrated Paleozoic rocks on the Blytheville arch. The Garrigan is locted in the Reelfoot basin in the NW1/4, NW1/4 sec. 28, T. 15 N., R. 10 E., Mississippi County, Arkansas (fig. 1) and was completed to a total depth of 12,038 ft from a ground elevation of 239 ft on April 11, 1982 (Swolfs, 1991). The Garrigan is the only reported drill hole that penetrates the subsurface Blytheville arch and is an important source of core from the Reelfoot basin (Collins and others, 1992). Therefore, this drill hole is important for understanding structure and Paleozoic stratigraphy in a basin where stratigraphic and structural data are sparse. Rocks in the Garrigan were originally logged and described by J.R. Howe (personal communication to D.S. Collins, 1990) and published as a composite stratigraphic section along with the rock description for the Dow Chemical #1 Wilson drill hole (Howe, 1984). F.A. McKeown later relogged the rocks in the Garrigan and presented a generalized log in McKeown and others (1990). Swolfs (1991) presented another version of the Garrigan drill-hole geologic section (fig. 2). Aided by new biostratigraphic information, Taylor and others (1991) corrected major errors in the characterization and correlation of rocks in the Garrigan (fig. 2). Collins (1991) described the insoluble residues from the cuttings of the Garrigan, but could not correlate them with the insoluble resides from rocks of the carbonate platform west of the basin. However Taylor and others (1991), Collins and others (1992), and Collins and Bohm (1993) did correlate fossils from the Garrigan to other drill holes in the Reelfoot basin and adjacent areas. Using these correlated data, Collins and Bohm (1993) provided information on the structural relief across a part of the Reelfoot basin. Collins and others (1992) also interpreted the depositional setting for the Paleozoic rocks of the Garrigan. This report presents a detailed lithologic log of the Paleozoic rocks penetrated by the Garrigan that differs from the lithologic logs of previous workers (Howe, 1984; McKeown and others, 1990; see also Dart, 1992, p. 18-19). The lithologic descriptions of the Garrigan are derived from observations of well cuttings and core. Cored intervals used were 11,426-11,402 ft, 10,229-10,200 ft, and 8,002-7,979 ft. These intervals were the only intervals cored during the Garrigan drill project. Detailed analyses of the core will be described in a subsequent report.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Detailed lithologic log of the Dow Chemical #1 B.L. Garrigan Drill Hole, Mississippi County, Arkansas
Series title:
Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
2 Plates: 40.99 x 60.03 inches and 40.84 x 58.40 inches
United States
Mississippi County