Reports: B246649-B2: Textural Controls on the Geochemical Variability of Argillaceous Hydrocarbon Source Rocks and Potential Application to Precambrian Units

Jeffrey Robert Chiarenzelli , St. Lawrence University

Research Results

Work associated with the no-cost extension of my ACS-PRF grant (PRF No. 46649-B2) has been completed.   The highlights of the research this year include compilation of trace metal concentrations in the Marcellus and other New York shales and completion of a Nd isotopic study of Silurian mud rock units of the northern Appalachian basin.  This work has been facilitated by the use of Carleton University’s Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada.

Among the major conclusions are:  1) relatively little change in the source of sediment occurred in the Appalachian Basin from the Late Ordovician to the Late Silurian; and 2) while somewhat enriched in certain trace metals, all members of the Marcellus shale, across its breadth in the northern Appalachian Basin, have relatively low trace metal concentrations in general.

Impact on Student Learning and Training

During the fourth year of the project, a undergraduate student, Wendell Caeasar, worked closely with Dr. Chiarenzelli.  Wendell Caesar, completed a directed study on the trace element concentrations of New York shales.  Wendell’s work led to two poster presentations one on the results of the Nd isotopic studies presented at Denver, Colorado at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America and one on the trace element concentration at the sectional meeting of the Northeastern Geological Society of America in Pittsburg.. 

Dissemination of Results 

In order to disseminate the research results, presentations have been given in various venues (America Association of Petroleum Geologists and national and sectional meetings of the Geological Society of America).  The publication phase of the project has begun.  A paper summarizing comparing data from the Marcellus shale and shales of the Windermere Supergroup with those of local high-grade Precambrian metasedimentary units is currently being revised for special issue on Precambrian sedimentology in the Precambrian Research.

Future Plans

Future plans include dissemination of the results of the project with emphasis on:  1) a paper on the results of the Nd isotopic study of Ordovician through Silurian shales of the northern Appalachian Basin; and 2) a paper on the trace element content of the Marcellus and other New York shales.

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