Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:10 AM
DR. JOHN M. DENNISON, SHALE SCIENTIST BEFORE THE CURRENT "SHALE REVOLUTION" IN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
John Dennison began studying shales while growing up in Keyser, WV. His master's thesis project at West Virginia University was a geologic map of the Keyser 7.5 minute quadrangle. John said that was the first time Needmore Shale was used as a mapable unit in West Virginia. John went on to expand his studies of the Needmore and its facies equivalents, the Huntersville Chert and Onondaga Limestone, for his dissertation at the University of Wisconsin. John continued his studies of Devonian units with numerous plane-tabled measured sections along the Allegheny Front in WV, MD, and VA. These sections became the basis for his new stratigraphic nomenclature of the Greenland Gap Group. In the course of this work, John was also looking at the older Devonian units, with his students. In the late 1970's, John and Ken Hasson received funding from the US Department of Energy's Eastern Gas Shales Program to compile their outcrop studies of the Devonian Shales.
John enjoyed sharing his detailed observations with others, and led many field trips to examine these rocks, including 2 for the Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists, 4 for the Eastern Section AAPG, 3 for the Southeastern Section GSA, 1 for the International Geological Congress, 1 for the AAPG annual meeting, and several AAPG field seminars, which ran the length of the Appalachian Basin. John looked at shales because he believed he could recognize time lines within the Devonian of the Appalachian Basin as well as sea level changes. His work stands today as a multistate outcrop stratigraphic framework, 60 years in the making.