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The Serpent Mound Disturbance of Southern Ohio: A Structurally Complex Impact Site with Hydrocarbon Potential from the Ordovician and Cambrian System Reservoirs

Mark T. Baranoski1 and R. Doyle2
1Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Columbus, OH
2Wright State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Dayton, OH

The Serpent Mound disturbance, a recently confirmed impact site, has deeply eroded, folded and faulted Ordovician through Mississippian bedrock exposed at the surface. Of the seven exploration wells that have been drilled into this structure, the two deepest wells reached total depth in the Cambrian Knox Dolomite. Reprocessed seismic reflection data indicate a faulted structural depression extending from the Ordovician Lexington/Trenton Limestone downward into Precambrian basement and is apparently surrounded by a fault-bounded ring anticline. This structural low is very enigmatic because it is approximately coincident with a central uplifted area and localized gravity low. The seismic reflection data also reveal anomalously thin Cambrian Knox Dolomite and Rome Formation beneath the central uplift area. The eastern portion of the Serpent Mound structure holds the most promising structural and stratigraphic traps, which have not been tested. Scattered hydrocarbon shows reported from the Ordovician Lexington/Trenton Limestone and Cambrian Knox Dolomite and Conasauga, Eau Claire, and Rome Formations of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky suggest promise in a largely untested region. These intervals contain the least explored sequence of potential reservoirs in this region and may warrant acquisition of additional seismic data to define prospective locations.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90900©2001 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Kalamazoo, Michigan