Structural framework of the Appalachian Plateau of central West Virginia



Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Jaime Toro

Committee Co-Chair

Pete Sullivan

Committee Member

Tom Wilson


The Appalachian basin has attracted great interest recently due to the gas potential from the Marcellus Formation. 2D seismic data has brought new insights to areas, particularly Webster County, WV, that were once considered low potential due to the lack of knowledge of the deep structures in the Appalachian Plateau. It has been previously thought that no faults were likely to exist in Webster County due to the gentle dip of surficial Pennsylvanian and Mississippian units observed in the field though recent collection of seismic data suggests otherwise.;This seismic data demonstrates Pennsylvanian age detachments, found in Devonian to Pennsylvanian deposits, which were affected by basement thrust reactivations. These reactivations were also responsible for an E-W Pennsylvanian age transfer fault with associated effects visible in gravity data. The locations of these structures are significantly further west from the structural front than what was once thought likely. These faults have the potential to produce small fractures and offsets within the Marcellus Formation that will likely affect well locations and production potential. Therefore, understanding the deep structure its affects the shallow structure is essential to geologists working in this region.;Fore and back thrusts are observable in the Greenbrier Limestone through 30 gas well and 200 shallow coal well correlations. LIDAR data visualizes the effect that the faults play on the immediate surface (for example, controlling location of stream valleys) while removing other trees and brush that make it difficult to map small faults penetrating the surface in the field. The combination of this new data improves the resolution of present maps along with the understanding of the structural framework of the Appalachian Plateau of central West Virginia.

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