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Fault Systems and the Trenton/Black River Play in New York State

Jacobi, Robert D.1, Stuart Loewenstein2, Gerald Smith3, John Fountain3, Courtney Lugert3, Tom Mroz4, and John Martin5
1 UB Rock Fracture Group, Geology Dept., University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
2 Quest Energy, Amherst, NY
3 UB Rock Fracture Group, Geology Dept, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
4 DOE/NETL, Morgantown, WV
5 NYSERDA, Albany, NY

Fracture migration by hydrothermal fluids promoted dissolution, dolomitization and vuggy porosity characteristic of carbonate reservoirs of the Trenton/Black River (TBR) play in the Appalachian Basin of central New York State (NYS). On seismic lines, narrow grabens with increasing offset upsection through the Trenton/Black River mark many of the fields. Seismic lines in central NYS show that the controlling faults involve Precambrian basement.

Do similar faults exist outside the central NYS plays? In western NYS seismic data indicate that faults in the Precambrian basement also extend through the TBR. Examples include the N-striking Clarendon-Linden Fault System (CLF) and West Valley Fault System. Seismic data and well logs indicate that these and other N-striking faults were extensional (normal) faults in early Taconic times, consistent with tectonic models that indicate E-W Laurentian plate extension related to plate flexure over the peripheral bulge. The N-striking faults thus were “open”, and probably promoted fluid migration at this time (as did the ~ N-striking faults in the Mohawk Valley). North-trending seismic lines in western NYS also display TBR features, which appear to be controlled by Iapetan opening/Rome Trough-related faults and NW-striking cross-strike discontinuities (CSDs). Faults associated with the CSDs were perhaps open during the late Taconic collision. In eastern NYS, seismic data also demonstrate TBR grabens. Most of the fault trends were established by integrating Landsat lineaments with topographic lineaments, geopotential field gradients, fracture intensification domains, and soil gas anomalies.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90031©2004 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, October 3-5, 2004