Abstract: The Potsdam Subcrop in New York State Revisited
ROBINSON, JOSEPH E.
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
The Upper Cambrian Potsdam Sandstone along with overlying Lower Ordovician sediments in Central New York State was deposited along the northern edge of the early Appalachian Basin. Knox erosion beveled these units resulting in a wedge with a zero edge close to and roughly parallel to the south shore of Lake Ontario. Later Ordovician deposition covered the exposed area creating the Potsdam-Theresa subcrop and providing a major stratigraphic trap that has interested explorers for more than a century.
The most prospective area for gas and oil reservoirs is near the northern boundary where the Potsdam and remnants of the overlying Theresa form a nearly continuous sandstone section extending from the Niagara River in the west to Utica some 190 mi to the east. With the indicated waterline some 25 mi to the south, the total area of interest approximates some 4750 square mi. Recorded gas production dates from 1896 and many early tests had gas shows. There are less than thirty modern or reasonably modern wells that delineate the prospective area. Logs show variable, often good porosity; and many suggest gas potential. Locally there is proven porosity, permeability and oil staining. At present, there is one short seismic line in the entire area.
The Potsdam subcrop in New York is an old play that is still in the frontier stage of development. It deserves a fresh look.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90930©1998 AAPG Eastern Section, Columbus, Ohio