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  • Faults in the Appalachian Basin of New York State: A Reprise

Faults in the Appalachian Basin of New York State: A Reprise

  • February 19, 2014
  • 5:30 PM
  • Pearl Street Grill & Brewery 76 Pearl Street Buffalo NY 14202


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Drs. Jacobi and Fountain and a squadron of graduate students began a detailed multidisciplinary mapping project in Allegany County in 1990 that suggested that a significant number of faults existed in Allegany County. The detailed mapping incorporated stratigraphy, traditional structure, fracture analyses, soil gas, 2D seismic, seismicity, lineaments from remote sensing, well log analyses, gravity, and aeromagnetics. Further work both to the east and west over the next several years indicated that it wasn’t just Allegany County that had faults - field and remotely sensed data in all the areas they worked seemed to indicate the presence of faults. By 2002 they proposed that in detail the Appalachian Basin in New York State did not present simple layer-cake geology; rather, the cake was cut into many slices, partitioned by faults and fracture zones. The faults can be separated into several groups including northerly trending faults that reflect pC basement faults, an arcuate fault set (in plan view) that began life as Iapetan-opening faults, NW-trending cross-strike discontinuities (CSDs), and NNE-NE striking faults in the eastern part of the basin related to Taconic collision tectonics as well as Iapetan opening. All the fault sets demonstrate  long motion histories that influenced the depositional facies. Some of the faults systems remain active today such as the Clarendon-Linden Fault System and the Saratoga-McGregor fault system. In the last several years 3D seismic collected by the oil and gas industry has confirmed the inferences made with the older integrated data sets - faults are a significant component of the story of the Appalachian Basin.


Robert Jacobi (PhD, Columbia, 1980) has taught for 34 years at the University at Buffalo, NY, where he is a Full Professor (currently part time). He is also a Senior Geology Advisor at EQT Production (Pittsburgh, PA). Prior to EQT, he was Director of Special Projects at Norse Energy Corp. USA, and has been a consultant for more than 20 years to business and environmental associates in oil and gas, mining, and seismic hazards. He has worked for 40 years in the northern Appalachian Orogen and Basin and for 15 years in marine geology and geophysics in the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean oceans. Dr. Jacobi's present research is focused primarily on PA, WV and MD as well with students in the Ordovician of the Mohawk Valley; the research integrates several sub-disciplines in order to identify, understand, and predict faults, fractures, and folds, and their effects for issues such as contaminant transport, seismicity hazards, oil and gas production, and potential CO2 sequestration. He has authored or coauthored over 300 journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and technical reports in tectonics, structure, sedimentology and stratigraphy, marine geology and geophysics, remote sensing, seismic reflection, seismicity, and gravity and aeromagnetics. Dr. Jacobi is past-President of the ES-AAPG, NE-GSA, ES-SEPM, and NYSGA. He is the recipient of several awards, including the “Outstanding Educator Award” by the ES-AAPG, for which the citation reads: "To an educator whose contribution transcends the classroom. He brings the world to his students and prepares them as a gift to the world"

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