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Regional Cross Section and Correlation Chart of Subsurface Geology from the Michigan to Appalachian Basin for Understanding Carbon Sequestration Possibilities

Steven Greb¹, Tomas Sparks¹, Dave Barnes², William Harrison III², Cristian Medina³, John Rupp³, Mark Baranoski4, Ronald Riley4, Michael Solis4, Christopher Perry4, Eric Lewis5, Kristen Carter6, and John Harper6
¹Kentucky Geological Survey
²Western Michigan University
³Indiana Geological Survey
4Ohio Geological Survey
5West Virginia Geological Survey
6Pennsylvania Geological Survey

The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) is a seven-state region with varying geology and stratigraphic nomenclature. In order to make regional maps of the subsurface across the region, a correlation chart of all formations and groups from the surface to the Precambrian in all seven states was constructed. The chart is color coded based on a unit’s potential as a storage interval (regional saline reservoir), confining interval with local potential reservoirs, confining zone, or organic-rich shale, as defined in the MRCSP’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports.

To better visualize lateral stratigraphic changes on the chart from the Michigan Basin to Arches Province to the Northern Appalachian Basin, a detailed cross section was constructed. The section uses 30 deep wells, including all four wells drilled by U.S. Department of Energy-funded projects for testing CO2 storage technology in the region. Twelve wells were chosen along a north-south line from the Core Energy test site in the Michigan Basin to the Battelle-Duke Energy site in Kentucky on the Cincinnati Arch. Eighteen wells were chosen along the Ohio River, in a southwest-northeast trend, in order to link the Kentucky site to the AEP Mountaineer site in West Virginia, to the First Energy demonstration site in Ohio, and northeastward into the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvanian. Wells were chosen along the section which reached the greatest depths or had the best down-hole logs for interpreting subsurface geology. Because all of the wells used did not reach basement, the top of Precambrian and location subsurface faults were determined from existing seismic data and reports. Rock units deeper than 2,500 ft. were color coded according to their sequestration potential as shown on the regional correlation chart. The 2,500 ft depth is the approximate depth needed for CO2 to be in its supercritical (liquid) state, which is an important consideration for industrial-scale sequestration. System boundaries are also colored along the section for easier tracking of units from one basin to the other across the arches.

The correlation chart and cross section are useful tools for demonstrating regional subsurface geology and stratigraphy and for visualizing the changing nomenclature across state boundaries. Color coding helps to show changing depths and thicknesses of potential reservoirs and their confining intervals. A series of charts explaining the geology along the section lines is planned.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90154©2012 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, 22-26 September 2012