Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. G. Michael Grammer

Second Advisor

Dr. William B. Harrison III

Third Advisor

Dr. Robb Gillespie

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Ordovician Trenton and Black River carbonates of the Michigan Basin are significant hydrocarbon reservoirs that are characterized by hydrothermal dolomitization. Production has exceeded 132 million barrels of oil with forty new discoveries made in the past three years. The giant Albion-Scipio Trend is often used as a model for other prolific hydrothermal dolomite reservoirs around the world with current models focused on the structural control of reservoir quality dolomite.

Previous studies of the Black River Group have not delimited a well-constrained depositional model. This study integrates high-resolution core interpretations, whole core analysis, and thin section evaluation to determine how primary depositional fabric relates to reservoir quality, and show how the predictability of reservoir units can be enhanced through the application of a sequence stratigraphic framework. Highly interconnected bioturbated facies are a pervasive fabric in the Albion-Scipio Trend and act as highly permeable, dolomitizing fluid migration pathways that extend laterally away from the major fault and fracture zones. By characterizing and constraining the distribution of dolomitized reservoir facies with the Albion-Scipio Trend, predictive distribution models may lead to more targeted exploration in hydrothermal altered reservoirs around the world.

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Geology Commons