Subsurface Relationships between the Sebree Trough and Carbonate-Siliciclastic Mixing in the Upper Ordovician Lexington-Trenton and Point Pleasant-Utica Intervals in Ohio, USA, using Multivariate Statistical Well Log Analysis


  • Julie M. Bloxson Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Beverly Z. Saylor Case Western Reserve University
  • Frank R. Ettensohn University of Kentucky



Trenton and Lexington limestones, Point Pleasant and Utica shales, Sebree Trough, multivariate analysis, electrofacies


The Upper Ordovician (lower Katian; upper Chatfieldian-lower Edenian) Lexington-Trenton limestone and Point Pleasant-Utica shale intervals are important subsurface stratigraphic units across Ohio as they are the sources of significant conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. However, both units exhibit anomalous distributions across the state and heterogeneous relationships, especially in areas where they intertongue. The limestone units show a peculiar SW-NE thinning trend across Ohio, whereas the overlying shale units show an anomalous thickening along the same trend—a trend associated with the poorly understood Sebree Trough, a supposed Late Ordovician paleobathymetric low related to the coeval Taconic Orogeny. To explore relationships amon Lexington-Trenton carbonates, Point Pleasant-Utica shales, and the presumed Sebree Trough, multivariate statistical analysis was used to compare geophysical well logs across the state with well logs referenced to the mineral content of 4 Lexington-Trenton-Point Pleasant-Utica cores. Comparing well-log responses with the mineral content of the reference cores allowed the discernment of 10 electrofacies, keyed to lithofacies in the cores. Software analysis of many other well logs across the state then made electrofacies assignments by comparing well-log responses from the other wells with well-log responses from the reference cores preset into the software. Electrofacies responses were color-coded, mapped in wells at 0.6 m (2 ft) resolution, and used to make section lines and isopach maps of similar electrofacies. Isopach maps and cross sections confirm the presence of the Sebree Trough across Ohio, with trends that parallel existing and projected basement structures. This suggests that the Sebree Trough in Ohio was a bathymetric low, which was, at least in part, controlled by reactivation of basement structures due to far-field Taconic stresses.