Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science


Geology and Geological Engineering

First Advisor

Brian Platt

Second Advisor

Brian Platt

Third Advisor

Lance Yarbrough

Relational Format



The Upper Cretaceous Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) is a gray to black fissile marine shale deposited at depth of between 10,000 and 20,000 ft near the ancient Gulf of Mexico. The TMS has been gradually developed as a hydrocarbon reservoir in the past several decades. But there are rare researches evaluating geochemical properties based on chemostratigraphy of the TMS. The objective of this research is to spatially evaluate geophysical properties and chemostratigraphy of the TMS, to characterize elemental changes along well paths and to evaluate the effect of basic sample clean on XRF results. The data available for this study were geophysical logs and well cuttings from two lateral wells (B-NEZ 43H 001 and B-NEZ 43H 002) from Little Silver Creek Field, Tangipahoa County, Louisiana. Resistivity and total gamma are the geophysical properties that were available for this study. X-ray fluorescence (XRF), which measures elemental abundances, was used to directly represent the geochemical properties of the 175 available well cuttings from the TMS. Chemostratigraphic profiles and elemental analysis can help to evaluate drilling accuracy. Geophysical properties from the vertical portions of the wells were used to pick formation tops. The XRF results, including major and trace elements, were used to make chemostratigraphic profiles for the horizontal portions. Based on principal component analysis, chemical changes and proxy-based mineralogical analysis define six interbeds in the B-NEZ 43H 001 and five zones in the B-NEZ 43H 002. Mineralogical analysis consists of oxides calculated from elemental concentrations using element-oxide conversions. Cleaning the well cuttings with magnets and distilled water successfully removed contamination by drilling mud, which is necessary to acquire reliable formation data.

Included in

Geology Commons



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