Triassic Rift Basins in the Southeastern United States
Convincing evidence of the existence of Triassic age rift or extension stretch basins is found in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The most notable rift basin feature is the Rome Trough that extends from eastern Pennsylvania southwest through West Virginia and into eastern Kentucky. Indications of extensions of the Rome Trough from basement faulting may be that the feature even reaches north to southern Ohio and south into Tennessee. The Rome Trough has been extensively drilled in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and the western edge in southwest Pennsylvania corresponds to highly naturally fractured areas with high oil and natural gas production rates of the very productive Marcellus shale play currently being exploited with the latest horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies.
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