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Landsat Analysis of East-Central Tennessee

Bill Clark, Richard Kent, James A. Noel, Sid Sers

Regional Landsat analysis was completed in an area of east-central Tennessee, about 65 mi southeast of Nashville. The study area encompassed the eastern edge of the Great Basin, the Highland Rim, and the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau. The area is roughly bounded on the north by Interstate 40 and on the south by U.S. Highway 41.

The study was undertaken to learn the relationships between the fracture production of gas from the McMinnville field and the surface areal extent and orientation of the fractures, if any. Production from the McMinnville gas field is primarily from fractures in the Trenton Limestone. Density logs show that formations penetrated have very low interstitial porosity.

The eastern edge of the Great Basin is underlain by sediments of lower Paleozoic age, which are successively overlain by limestone and shale of Mississippian age in the Highland Rim. Sandstone, shale, and coal of Pennsylvanian age top the Cumberland Plateau and its erosional outliers on the eastern edge of the Highland Rim.

Three sets of lineaments were evident on the enhanced Landsat imagery. The dominant set trends northeast-southwest, and parallels the thrust faults of the Sequatchie Valley and the Valley and Ridge province to the east. The second set trends at right angles to the first, and the third set trends at some angle to the other two. On the west side of study area is a broad arcuate anomaly that is not expressed on topographic maps nor in the outcrop patterns of geologic maps, but may be a feature of the rim of the Great Basin.

Subsurface mapping of the McMinnville field, which is still proprietary, indicates that the field is a small dome of low closure with several normal faults located parallel to the lineament systems.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.