Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Geology and Geography
Evaluation of the regional resource potential for geologic storage of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, is an essential first step in developing policies for carbon management. Within the central Appalachian basin the Lower Silurian Tuscarora Sandstone, a gas producing anticlinal play, has been identified as a potential CO2 storage target. The Tuscarora extends from New York to Tennessee and is dominantly a white to light-gray, silicacemented orthoquartzite deposited in a fluvial and/or littoral environment. The objective of this study is to analyze the Tuscarora Sandstone in West Virginia to determine its potential for geologic storage of CO2, as well as using additional new well data to develop a sequence stratigraphic framework to understand the depositional environment and the effect on regional reservoir quality.;In order to evaluate the CO2 storage resource assessment, the Tuscarora Sandstone was divided into three informal units: an upper, middle and lower member. These members were described for their lithology based on four core descriptions, well cuttings from twenty three wells and four outcrop descriptions. The depositional facies identified for the lower member are a tidal-influenced fluvial sandstone in the northeast as well as a channel fill in shallow incised valleys to the southeast. Carbonate beds present in the lower member in the southwest are interpreted as shallow marine. The middle member is generally a dark-gray shale deposited in a storm-dominated offshore marine environment in the west and deposited in a muddy embayment to the northeast. Finally, the upper member is fine- to coarse-grained and locally conglomeratic, and interpreted as stacked fluvial sandstone beds in the east, transitioning into incised valleys in the west, with increasing marine influence downdip. Increased marine energy is interpreted towards the top of the upper member as grain size decreases and biologic features increase. An increase in shale content to the west also indicates increased marine energy.;Using the lithologic descriptions and approximately 175 wells with partial-to-full log suites, the units were placed into a T-R sequence stratigraphic model to understand the depositional environments of Tuscarora Sandstone. The lower and middle members are grouped into a transgressive systems tract (TST), with a maximum flooding surface (MFS) occurring within the middle member. Above this MFS is the regressive systems tract (RST) which includes the lower portion of the upper member. Within the upper member, a transgression occurs with a second sequence that continues upwards into the overlying Rose Hill Formation.;The Tuscarora Sandstone is typically a low porosity and low permeability sandstone. Good reservoir properties such as higher than normal porosity and permeability, are observed in the coarse-grained deposits of the RST. Two potential injection intervals for CO2 storage are identified in the sand-rich lower and upper members. The unrisked calculated storage volume of the lower member and upper is 5.26x109 metric tons and 4.21x1010 metric tons, respectively. The high volumes, especially in the upper member, reflect the great thickness and geographic extent of the Tuscarora Sandstone in West Virginia; smaller scale studies are strongly encouraged.
Kramer, Christian T., "Regional stratigraphic framework of the Tuscarora Sandstone: A model for geologic CO2 storage in West Virginia" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 331.