Posters and Presentations at Scientific and other Meetings

Posters Presented at the Geological Society of America's (GSA) Annual Meeting

November 1-4, 2015 in Baltimore, MD

Bedrock Geology of the New River Gorge National River, West Virginia: Mapping Ten Quadrangles in the New River Gorge for the National Park Service

Paula J. Hunt, Gayle H. (Scott) McColloch, Jane S. McColloch, and Bascombe Mitch Blake Jr.
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The National Parks Service (NPS) contracted with WVGES to map bedrock geology in and around the New River Gorge National River park unit. The NPS protects over 53 miles (85 km) of the New River Gorge within the park boundary, and the map area includes ten United States Geological Survey 7½-minute topographic quadrangles. The area is known for its incredible scenery and abundant recreational opportunities, including hiking, cycling, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, and whitewater rafting. Four West Virginia State Parks (Hawks Nest, Babcock, Bluestone, Little Beaver) and the Army Corps of Engineers' Bluestone Lake and Dam are located in the map area, as is a large portion of the Boy Scouts of America's Summit Bechtel Reserve. The New River Gorge mapping project aids in defining the boundaries of paleovalleys filled with Mississippian and Pennsylvanian quartz-rich fluvial sands that became the Princeton, Pineville, Upper Raleigh, and Nuttall sandstones. The spectacular scenery of the New River Gorge is the result of erosion through these and other thick, resistant sandstones of the Hinton and New River formations.
One panel, 90 by 42 inches              (Download the poster pdf icon PDF, 15.2 MB)

Using Fossils to Aid in Bedrock Mapping: Examples from West Virginia

Ronald R. McDowell1, Paula J. Hunt1, Mary Sue Burns2, Goldie McClure2
1West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, 2Pocahontas County High School, Dunmore, WV
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For the purposes of "modern-day" mapping, we concentrate primarily on facies fossils and treat their presence (or absence) as an indicator of a particular set of environmental conditions during the deposition of individual stratigraphic units. In general, no time constraints are inferred - our purpose is to use the fossil content as an adjunct lithologic property to help us differentiate and identify rock units. To this end, we have had success mapping Paleozoic siliciclastic and carbonate rock units using both body fossils and ichnofossils. The presence or absence of individual fossils or assemblages of fossils can be equally important, as can the numbers and diversity of fossils. For example, the shales and minor sandstones of the Devonian Brallier Formation are typically devoid of body fossils but contain a unique, easily recognizable trace fossil; similar strata of the overlying Devonian Foreknobs Formation are typically highly fossiliferous and contain a diverse and prolific assemblage of trace fossils; similar strata of overlying Devonian Hampshire Formation are typically barren except for rare plant fossils. Treating fossil content as a critical component of lithology when mapping is a technique applicable to sedimentary rocks ranging in age from latest Proterozoic through Cenozoic.
One panel, 90 by 42 inches              (Download the poster pdf icon PDF, 14.5 MB)

Poster Presented at the Eastern Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologist's (ES-AAPG), 44th Annual Meeting

September 20-22, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Evaluation of Potential Stacked Shale-Gas Reservoirs Across Northern and North-Central West Virginia

Jessica P. Moore1, Susan E. Pool1, Philip A. Dinterman1, J. Eric Lewis1, and Ray Boswell2
1West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, 2National Energy Technology Laboratory
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Three shale-gas units underlying northern and north-central West Virginia create opportunity for one horizontal well pad to produce from multiple zones. The Upper Ordovician Utica/Point Pleasant, Middle Devonian Marcellus, and Upper Devonian Burket/Geneseo Shales yield significant quantities of hydrocarbons in this area, and comparison of individual reservoir characteristics enables construction of fairway maps for each play.
One panel, each 84 by 48 inches              (Download the poster pdf icon PDF, 196MB - very large!)

Posters Presented at the Geological Society of America's (GSA) Northeastern Section Annual Meeting

March 23-25, 2014 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 46, No. 2, p.0

Surprises from the Devonian Foreknobs Formation of Eastern West Virginia

Ronald R. McDowell, Katharine Lee Avary, Jaana E. Hitzig, Jaen E. Sidney, and George N. Case
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Unusual microfossils recently recovered from the Upper Devonian Foreknobs Formation (Greenland Gap Group) of eastern West Virginia suggest that the paleoenvironmental model for the unit may need revision or refinement. Rock samples from lowermost Foreknobs containing a combination of sedimentary material suggests paleoenvironments ranging from fluvial to brackish water lagoon to back-reef marine to normal marine shelf. While the assemblage probably represents a storm deposit, it indicates sedimentary "sampling" of Foreknobs depositional environments that are not preserved or not yet exposed in this part of the Appalachians.
One page 92 by 48 inches             (Download the poster pdf icon PDF, 14MB - large!)

The Shifting Landscape of Marcellus Shale Development in West Virginia

Philip A. Dinterman, Susan E. Pool, Jessica Pierson Moore, J. Eric Lewis, and Jennifer L. Luczko
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West Virginia, known historically as a coal producing state, has recently experienced a dramatic increase in natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale. Since 2005, over 2100 Marcellus wells have been drilled in the state. A number of vertical wells penetrated and produced from the Marcellus Shale before 2005, but use of the technical combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of wells created a rapid escalation of shale gas drilling in the Appalachian basin. Projections for future production continue to increase. The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey continuously updates a database for all oil and gas activity in West Virginia while conducting geological research. Current research includes the examination of the geological controls on the Marcellus Shale as well as a volumetric resource assessment of Marcellus potential in the State.
One page 84 by 42 inches             (Download the poster pdf icon PDF, 81MB - large!)

West Virginia Earthquakes: Crustal Adjustments along The Rome Trough or Something Else?

Ronald R. McDowell, J. Eric Lewis, and Philip A. Dinterman
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Since 1966, there have been 33 instrumentally recorded earthquakes recognized in western West Virginia within or adjacent to the structural feature known as the Rome Trough. This structure is a fault-bounded graben involving basement rocks thought to be related to failed rifting of the North American plate during the Precambrian. Interestingly, 7 of the 11 "shallow" earthquakes occurred in Braxton County, WV in a single year (2010). We speculate that the "deeper" earthquakes are associated with isolated, recurrent fault movements in response to ancient crustal stresses within and along the margins of the Rome Trough. The "shallow" earthquakes recorded in Braxton County may reflect slip related to injection activity from a saltwater disposal well that injects at a depth of 1.7 km in close proximity to a recently discovered normal fault.
One page 92 by 48 inches             (Download the poster pdf icon PDF, 14MB - large!)

Poster Presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologist's (AAPG) Annual Convention and Exhibition

May 19-22, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Assessing Suitability of Depleted Fields for Enhanced Oil Recovery in West Virginia

Jessica P. Moore, Philip A. Dinterman, J. Eric Lewis, Jennifer L. Luczko, and Susan E. Pool
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Oil production has been a part of West Virginia's economy since 1860. Cumulative statewide oil production rates peaked at 16 million barrels in 1900 and began a steady decline that led to eventual abandonment of many early fields. Of the remaining active fields, several continue to be economically viable today due to secondary recovery water floods and are the focus of examination for potential tertiary recovery via CO2 floods. As part of an effort led by the Midwestern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) to identify potential carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) opportunities, the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey is examining reservoir parameters in an attempt to establish a suitability ranking system for WV oil fields. Key characteristics were derived from existing sources and several fields were identified as potential targets for more detailed characterization. Many of West Virginia's coal-fired power plants are situated within 20 miles of EOR suitable fields and would be readily-available sources of CO2 if the cost of retrofitting the plants became economically viable.
Three panels, each 84 by 42 inches:
(Download Panel 1 pdf icon PDF, 76MB - very large!), (Download Panel 2 pdf icon PDF, 81MB - very large!), (Download Panel 3 pdf icon PDF, 318MB - HUGE!!)

Page last revised: November 6, 2015

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