2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 320-7
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM


BOWERSOX, J. Richard1, GREB, Stephen F.2, MOECHER, David P.3 and HICKMAN, John B.2, (1)Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, (2)Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, (3)Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, 101 Slone Bldg, Lexington, KY 40506

The Middle Run Formation is a Precambrian lithic arenite, which occurs beneath the Cincinnati Arch and extends westward from the Grenville Front as a foreland basin fill of the Grenville orogeny. In 2012, the Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Storage drilled the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) No. 1 Marvin Blan well in Hancock County for CO2 sequestration testing. The well is located 115 mi (185 km) west of the Grenville Front, towards the western margin of the basin, which is only approximately located from limited seismic data and basement tests. The Middle Run was penetrated at 7584 to 8126 ft (2311.6 to 2476.8 m), and an oriented core was cut at 8000 to 8030 ft (2438.4 to 2447.5 m).

The detrital zircon age spectrum from the core contains Meso/Paleoproterozoic age modes, a single Archean age, and a major peak at ca. 1125 Ma, but only two grains younger than that: 1022 and 1031 Ma. The ca. 1000-1050 “Ottawan” age mode, so characteristic of Neoproterozoic through Phanerozoic sediments derived from Grenville basement in the Appalachian orogen, is mostly absent. The two young ages require that the Middle Run is not younger than ca. 1000 Ma, and is likely a Grenville synorogenic clastic unit.

The Middle Run is a brick-red, fine-grained, lithic arkose, with an illite clay matrix, and hematite cement. Petrographic analyses from nine thin sections shows sixty percent of grains are rhyolite lithic fragments derived from underlying Granite-rhyolite province igneous rocks and sparse grains of metamorphic rocks derived from Grenville basement. Quartz and feldspar grains are angular suggesting a local source, whereas lithic grains are rounded, suggesting a more distant source.

The brick red color of grains in the unit make differentiation of sedimentary features difficult in some parts of the core, but fluvial and tidal facies are interpreted from visible sedimentary structures in the core; including crossbeds, flaser bedding, reactivation surfaces, scours, mudstone rip-up clasts, and tidal rhythmites. Tidal rhythmites provide evidence that the Middle Run basin was open to the sea at least during highstands. Also, at ca. 1025, the tidal rhythmites are some of the oldest known from Midcontinent North America.