Appalachian stress study. 2. Analysis of Devonian shale core: some implications for the nature of contemporary stress variations and Alleghanian deformation in Devonian rocks

K. F. Evans, G. Oertel, T. Engelder

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Detailed stress measurements in three boreholes penetrating horizontally bedded Devonian siltstones, sandstones, and limestones above a prominent salt decollement in the Appalachian Plateau of western New York have revealed variations in horizontal stress magnitudes which correlate with lithologic and stratigraphic units in all wells. High differential stress levels (up to 20MPa) were found in shales of very high clay content, contrary to the proposition that such materials have negligible long-term strength. Elastic modulus data show that stiffer beds generally host higher stress levels and suggest that sand/shale stress contrasts result in large part from elastic shortening of the section in response to regional ENE compression. No correlation between stress and Poisson's ratio was found. However, a major systematic drop in stress level within the generally massive shales, which occurs across a group of sand beds near the base of the Rhinestreet formation, appears to be of different origin. The stress offset corresponds to the top of a section which we conclude, on the basis of local and regional total strain data derived from chlorite fabric measurements, once hosted abnormally high pore pressures. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7155-7170
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1989


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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