Characterization of the Marcellus Shale based on computer-assisted correlation of wireline logs in Virginia and West Virginia

Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5131
By: , and 



The Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian basin extends from central Ohio on the west to eastern New York on the east, and from north-central New York on the north to northern Tennessee on the south. Its thickness ranges from 0 feet (ft) where it pinches out to the west to as much as 700 ft in its eastern extent. Within the Broadtop synclinorium, the thickness of the Marcellus Shale ranges from 250 to 565 ft. Although stratigraphic complexities have been documented, a significant range in thickness most likely is because of tectonic thickening from folds and thrust faults. Outcrop studies in the Valley and Ridge and Appalachian Plateaus provinces illustrate the challenges of interpreting the relation of third-order faults, folds, and “disturbed” zones to the regional tectonic framework. Recent field work within the Valley and Ridge province determined that significant faulting and intraformational deformation are present within the Marcellus Shale at the outcrop scale. In an attempt to determine if this scale of deformation is detectable with conventional wireline logs, petrophysical properties (primarily mineralogy and porosity) were measured by interpretation of gamma-ray and bulk-density logs. The results of performing a statistical correlation of wireline logs from nine wells indicated that there are discontinuities within the Millboro Shale (undifferentiated Marcellus Shale and Mahantango Formation) where there are significant thickness differences between wells. Also, some intervals likely contain mineralogy that makes these zones more prone to layer-shortening cleavage duplexes. The Correlator program proved to be a useful tool in a region of contractional deformation.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Characterization of the Marcellus Shale based on computer-assisted correlation of wireline logs in Virginia and West Virginia
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2013-5131
DOI 10.3133/sir20135131
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description Report: iv, 21 p.; 4 Plates: 41.69 x 24.64 inches or smaller
Country United States
State Virginia;West Virginia
Datum North American Datum of 1983
Projection Albers Equal-Area Conic projection
Scale 2000000
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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