Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Amy Weislogel

Committee Co-Chair

Bascombe Blake

Committee Member

Steve Kite

Committee Member

Jaime Toro

Committee Member

Shikha Sharma


Fluvial deposits represent some of the best hydrocarbon reservoirs, but the quality of fluvial reservoirs varies depending on the reservoir architecture, which is controlled by allogenic and autogenic processes. Allogenic controls, including paleoclimate, tectonics, and glacio-eustasy, have long been debated as dominant controls in the deposition of fluvial strata. However, recent research has questioned the validity of this cyclicity and may indicate major influence from autogenic controls. To further investigate allogenic controls on stratal order, I analyzed the facies architecture, geomorphology, paleohydrology, and the stratigraphic framework of the Middle Pennsylvanian Allegheny Formation (MPAF), a fluvial depositional system in the Appalachian basin, to test for the dominant allogenic and/ or autogenic controls during deposition.

A sedimentological process based approach has been used to analyze controls on the depositional reservoir quality of fluvial sandstone units. In this research, I utilized facies architectural analysis to identify four depositional styles for channel deposits of the MPAF. The depositional facies were used to identify paleoclimatic controls on fluvial sedimentary fill. I introduced a new, efficient numerical model to aid in channel geometry and paleohydrological modeling of the MPAF channels. The new numerical modeling method increased the accuracy of estimated channel geomorphology and hydrologic processes. I proposed a sequence stratigraphic framework, which utilized surfaces of floodplain paleosols and erosional channel bases, to correlate fluvial depositional packages across the Appalachian basin. The integration of facies architectural analysis and sequence stratigraphic allowed the differentiation of accommodation and controls on accommodation within vertically stacked deposits of the fluvial depositional system.