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Revised Stratigraphy of Late Triassic Age Strata of the Dan River Basin (Virginia and North Carolina, USA) Based on Drill Core and Outcrop Data

Olsen, Paul E.; Reid, Jeffrey C.; Taylor, Kenneth B.; Whiteside, Jessica H.; Kent, Dennis V.

The lithostratigraphy of the Triassic age strata (Dan River Group of the Newark Supergroup) in the Dan River Basin of Virginia and North Carolina is revised to consist of, in ascending order, the Pine Hall, Walnut Cove, Dry Fork, Cow Branch, and Stoneville formations. The basal Pine Hall Formation is largely fluvial and consists of red, gray, buff and relatively coarse, fluvial clastic rocks. The Walnut Cove Formation (new) consists of black and gray, largely lacustrine mudstone and minor coal. The Dry Fork Formation is comprised of gray, buff, and red lacustrine to fluvial strata. The Cow Branch Formation (restricted) is made up of mostly black and gray, predominately lacustrine mudstone and sandstone. The uppermost unit is the Stoneville Formation consisting mostly of red clastic rocks with abundant gray lacustrine, and gray and red fluvial components. All but the Pine Hall Formation show lithological cyclicity that we interpret to reflect lake level fluctuations paced by orbitally forced variations in solar insolation. Published and newly developed paleomagnetic polarity stratigraphy of the Dan River Basin provides a framework for precise temporal correlation with other Newark Supergroup basins. The extensive organic-rich, high-thermal maturity lacustrine rocks are a potential dry gas resource, given recent advances in recovery technology.

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Southeastern Geology

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