Map and Chart--KGS


Devonian-Mississippian black shales are widespread across North America and underlie nearly 70 percent of Kentucky (Kepferle and Roen, 1981; Ettensohn and others, 1988). These black-shale units are among the most thoroughly investigated format ions in the commonwealth, because t hey have sourced most of t he conventional hydrocarbons (Gooding and Ettensohn, 2008; Gooding, 2013), have been major producers of gas in both the Illinois and Appalachian Basins, and have major potential as unconventional producers in both basins. In fact, maturation indicators such as vitrinite reflectance and total organic carbon, from both basins, show that the shales are most ly mature and had a high potent ial to generate hydrocarbons (East and ot hers, 2012; Gooding, 2013; Ryder and others, 2013). In Kentucky, however, temporal and stratigraphic relationships between basins differ, and the units in each basin are known by different names, making cross-basin correlations difficult (Ettensohn and others, 1988). Thus, the purpose of this chart is to provide preliminary interbasinal correlations based on five cores (A-E) available at the Kentucky Geological Survey Earth Analysis Research Library. This chart correlates organic-rich shales across the Cincinnati Arch via radioactive stratigraphy and supplemental biostratigraphic control. Where available, commercial gamma-ray logs were used for correlation, but where unavailable, artificial gamma-ray logs, or radioactivity profiles, were produced using a hand held scintillometer (Ettensohn and others, 1979).

Publication Date



Series XIII

Report Number

Map and Chart 5

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Statement of Benefit: This cross section shows the continuity of rock layers and correlations between the Appalachian and Illinois Basins. These relationships could be useful in developing unconventional oil and gas resources in both basins.

Title of the textual content on the map is "Correlating Devonian-Mississippian Black Shales Across the Cincinnati Arch in Kentucky."

Related Content

Cores are available for study at the University of Kentucky Kentucky Geological Survey Earth Analysis Research Library, 2500 Research Park Drive, Lexington, KY 40511