Chronostratigraphic Age Dating of the Betsie Shale

Grants and Contracts Details


This study will involve the application of new age dating techniques to assign a chronostratigraphic age to the Betsie Shale. The study is a cooperative effort between the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES), and the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) to examine an exploration drill core of the Besties Shale, and underlying Matewan coal bed, from Logan County, West Virginia. The Betsie Shale Member is a widespread geologic unit that can be traced across the Central Appalachian Basin. As such, it represents an important marker bed for stratigraphic correlation. Although the Betsie Shale has been correlated globally with the Vanderbecki marine unit using biostratigraphic methods, a chronostratigraphic age date has not been achieved for this stratigraphically-important unit. This workload of this collective effort will be as follows: 1) The WVGES will provide a core of the Betsie Shale, and underlying Matewan coal. The core will be forwarded to the USGS, where selected intervals will be selected for age dating. Coal and other shale materials will then be shipped to the KGS. 2) The KGS will size samples according to analytical requirement. -20 mesh size material will be used for palynologic and coal petrographic analysis. -60 mesh size material will be forwarded to an independent laboratory for geochemical testing. Coal palynologic and petrographic analyses will be performed at the KGS. Palynologic analysis will confirm a biostratigraphic age determination of the coal and shale samples. Coal petrographic analyses will help to determine the type of paleomire the Matewan coal bed resulted from. Remaining sample material will be forwarded to the WVGES for archival purposes.
Effective start/end date8/1/131/31/14


  • US Geological Survey: $5,002.00


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