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Petrofacies and Detrital Geochronology of Pottsvilee Formation, Cahaba Synclinorium, Alabama

Ziaul Haque
Geology and Geography, Auburn, AL, USA
[email protected]

Abstract

The Pottsville Formation is a Lower Pennsylvanian clastic wedge that was deposited in eastern United States in response to collision of Laurentia and Gondwana. The sequences in Pottsville Formation are cyclothemic and consist of alternating sandstone, siltstone, claystone, shale and several coal beds with orthoquartzite sandstone and conglomerates. The Pottsville has three distinctive rock cycles i) the conglomerate, ii) the sandstone and iii) the mudstone measures. Sediment composition and detrital geochronology will reveal the provenance history for these fluvial-deltaic to shallow marine sediments. Petrofacies analyses can help discriminate various tectonic settings and interpret plate interactions in the geologic past. The geochemical analysis of mudstone and shale will reveal the potentiality of this formation as an unconventional source for oil and gas.

In order to determine the provenance several analyses will be carried out. 1) Petrographic analysis will be done by following the conventional Gazzi-Dickinson method. 2) For the detrital geochronological study 40Ar/39Ar age dating and 3) microprobe analysis will be done. 4) Facies association and lithofacies models will be done to determine the depositional environment. For analysis of unconventional hydrocarbon prospects of the Pottsville Formation the 5) Total Organic Carbon and the 6) illite crystallinity will be studied. This is anticipated that this study will lead to development of a more comprehensive model for the evolution of the southern Appalachian and its tectonics during the final Alleghanian continent-continent collision. Also, these studies will also further our understanding about the Pottsville Formation as a potential repository for unconventional hydrocarbon.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects