Geologic cross section E-E' is the first in a series of cross sections planned by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to document and improve understanding of the geologic framework and petroleum systems of the Appalachian basin. Cross section E-E' provides a regional view of the structural and stratigraphic framework of the basin from the Findlay arch in northwestern Ohio to the Valley and Ridge province in eastern West Virginia, a distance of approximately 380 miles (mi) (fig. 1, on sheet 1). Cross section E-E' updates earlier geologic cross sections through the central Appalachian basin by Renfro and Feray (1970), Bennison (1978), and Bally and Snelson (1980) and a stratigraphic cross section by Colton (1970). Although other published cross sections through parts of the basin show more structural detail (for example, Shumaker, 1985; Kulander and Dean, 1986) and stratigraphic detail (for example, Ryder, 1992; de Witt and others, 1993; Hettinger, 2001), these other cross sections are of more limited extent geographically and stratigraphically.
Although specific petroleum systems in the Appalachian basin are not identified on the cross section, many of their key elements (such as source rocks, reservoir rocks, seals, and traps) can be inferred from lithologic units, unconformities, and geologic structures shown on the cross section. Other aspects of petroleum systems (such as the timing of petroleum generation and preferred migration pathways) may be evaluated by burial history, thermal history, and fluid flow models based on information shown on the cross section.
Cross section E-E' lacks the detail to illustrate key elements of coal systems (such as paleoclimate, coal quality, and coal rank), but it does provide a general framework (stratigraphic units and general rock types) for the coal-bearing section. Also, cross section E-E' may be used as a reconnaissance tool to identify plausible geologic structures and strata for the subsurface storage of liquid waste (for example, Colton, 1961; Lloyd and Reid, 1990) or for the sequestration of carbon dioxide (for example, Smith and others, 2002; Lucier and others, 2006).