Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Wayne D. Pennington


This work is conducted to study the geological and petrophysical features of the Trenton- Black River limestone formation. Log curves, crossplots and mineral identification methods using well-log data are used to determine the components and analyze changes in lithology. Thirty-five wells from the Michigan Basin are used to define the mineralogy of Trenton-Black River limestone. Using the different responses of a few log curves, especially gamma-ray, resistivity and neutron porosity, the formation tops for the Utica shale, the Trenton limestone, the Black River limestone and the Prairie du Chien sandstone are identified to confirm earlier authors’ work and provide a basis for my further work. From these, an isopach map showing the thickness of Trenton-Black River formation is created, indicating that its maximum thickness lies in the eastern basin and decreases gradually to the west. In order to obtain more detailed lithological information about the limestone formations at the thirty-five wells, (a) neutron-density and neutron-sonic crossplots, (b) mineral identification methods, including the M-N plot, MID plot, ϱmaa vs. Umaa MID plot, and the PEF plot, and (c) a modified mineral identification technique are applied to these wells. From this, compositions of the Trenton-Black River formation can be divided into three different rock types: pure limestone, partially dolomitized limestone, and shaly limestone. Maps showing the fraction of dolomite and shale indicate their geographic distribution, with dolomite present more in the western and southwestern basin, and shale more common in the north-central basin. Mineral identification is an independent check on the distribution found from other authors, who found similar distributions based on core descriptions.

The Thomas Stieber method of analysis is best suited to sand-shale sequences, interpreting hree different distributions of shale within sand, including dispersed, laminated and structural. Since this method is commonly applied in clastic rocks, my work using the Thomas Stieber method is new, as an attempt to apply this technique, developed for clastics, to carbonate rocks. Based on the original assumption and equations with a corresponding change to the Trenton-Black River formation, feasibility of using the Thomas Stieber method in carbonates is tested. A graphical display of gamma-ray versus density porosity, using the properties of clean carbonate and pure shale, suggests the presence of laminated shale in fourteen wells in this study. Combined with Wilson’s study (2001), it is safe to conclude that when shale occurs in the Trenton-Black River formation, it tends to be laminated shale.

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