Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geological Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


James R Wood


The Michigan Basin is located in the upper Midwest region of the United States and is centered geographically over the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It is filled primarily with Paleozoic carbonates and clastics, overlying Precambrian basement rocks and covered by Pleistocene glacial drift. In Michigan, more than 46,000 wells have been drilled in the basin, many producing significant quantities of oil and gas since the 1920s in addition to providing a wealth of data for subsurface visualization.

Well log tomography, formerly log-curve amplitude slicing, is a visualization method recently developed at Michigan Technological University to correlate subsurface data by utilizing the high vertical resolution of well log curves. The well log tomography method was first successfully applied to the Middle Devonian Traverse Group within the Michigan Basin using gamma ray log curves. The purpose of this study is to prepare a digital data set for the Middle Devonian Dundee and Rogers City Limestones, apply the well log tomography method to this data and from this application, interpret paleogeographic trends in the natural radioactivity. Both the Dundee and Rogers City intervals directly underlie the Traverse Group and combined are the most prolific reservoir within the Michigan Basin. Differences between this study and the Traverse Group include increased well control and “slicing” of a more uniform lithology.

Gamma ray log curves for the Dundee and Rogers City Limestones were obtained from 295 vertical wells distributed over the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, converted to Log ASCII Standard files, and input into the well log tomography program. The “slicing” contour results indicate that during the formation of the Dundee and Rogers City intervals, carbonates and evaporites with low natural radioactive signatures on gamma ray logs were deposited. This contrasts the higher gamma ray amplitudes from siliciclastic deltas that cyclically entered the basin during Traverse Group deposition. Additionally, a subtle north-south, low natural radioactive trend in the center of the basin may correlate with previously published Dundee facies tracts. Prominent trends associated with the distribution of limestone and dolomite are not observed because the regional range of gamma ray values for both carbonates are equivalent in the Michigan Basin and additional log curves are needed to separate these lithologies.

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