trilobite - Isotelus gigas
Trenton Black River Project
Appalachian Basin


Technical Papers/Documentation: Data:

Welcome to the Trenton-Black River Project Website


The objectives of this research project were to:

  • develop an integrated, multi-faceted, resource assessment model of Trenton-Black River reservoirs in New York, Ohio and West Virginia;
  • define possible fairways in which to conduct detailed studies, leading to further development of the gas resources in Ordovician fractured carbonates across the basin;
  • and develop an integrated structural-diagenetic-stratigraphic model for the origin of Trenton-Black River hydrothermal dolomite reservoirs, leading to better seismic models.

These objectives were achieved by the creation of an industry-government, Trenton-Black River Research Consortium to partially fund and conduct geologic, geophysical, petrographic and geochemical studies in eight task areas and five Appalachian basin states.

The Final Report (see below) and this website, with its interactive mapping application, represent the fruition of those efforts.


In the early 2000's, there was renewed interest to explore the Ordovician Trenton and Black River carbonates. This endeavor followed previous exploration success in several Appalachian locations. Speculation among geologists in the basin was that many additional producing reservoirs of this type may be found along dolomitized fracture and fault zones throughout the basin. A basinwide collaborative effort to understand the play and delineate potential trends was seen as an opportunity to accelerate and optimize the development of this natural gas resource. The effort included structural and seismic investigations; stratigraphic analysis; petrographic analysis; isotope geochemistry and fluid inclusion analysis; petroleum geochemistry; analysis of production data and horizontal drilling results, and development of a web-based GIS database. This effort will be implemented through the creation of a new consortium consisting of companies active in the play that will commit cost share funds and data to the project, the New York State Museum and four state geological surveys (Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia) who are members of the Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium (AONGRC).


Original Project Synopsis, Creating a Geologic Play Book for Trenton-Black River Appalachian Basin Exploration on DOE-NETL:
DOE Award Number: DE-FC26-03NT41856
Project Start Date: September 23, 2003
Project End Date: March 30, 2006
Website: (this site)
Interactive Map

Final Report:

image of report cover of A Geologic Play Book for Trenton-Black River Appalachian Basin Exploration

⟶ Downloadable Report: A Geologic Play Book for Trenton-Black River Appalachian Basin Exploration, Final Report, 2006
(PDF, 112 MB, 601 pages)

⟶ The Report can also be found via US DOE, NETL under "Additional Information":

Note: The report is a rather large PDF and it is best to right click on the link above and choose to download and save it rather than to open it in a browser. Once you right click, choose:
* "Save target as..." (Microsoft Internet Explorer)
* "Save Link As..." (Mozilla Firefox)
* "Save link as..." (Google Chrome)
Then you can choose to save it to a location on your computer unless you've not changed the default settings of your browser, otherwise, it will save to "Downloads". You can view this PDF in Internet Explorer and Firefox, but you may experience problems with Google Chrome (downloads and then "disappears").

Also, see our other Project Reports.

Project Research Partners:

National and Academic:

NETL logo
National Energy Technology Laboratory,
U.S. Departoment of Energy
Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas
Research Consortium

State Geological Surveys:

KGS logo
Kentucky Geological Survey
New York State Museum logo
New York State Geological Survey
Ohio Geological Survey logo
Ohio Geological Survey
PAGS logo
Pennsylvania Geological Survey
WVGES logo
West Virginia Geological
and Economic Survey

Information on "Telly" the trilobite image: The image of the trilobite used on this web site is of Isotelus gigas.
These fossils are commonly found in Trenton limestone. Further information on this trilobite can be found at:
Kentucky Geological Survey's Trilobite PageOhio Trilobites, (PDF, 289 KB) ♦ Isotelus: Ohio's State Fossil, (PDF, 285 KB)

WVGES button

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Page last revised February 13, 2024

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