ABSTRACT The Cambrian Mt. Simon Sandstone (MSS) is a possible unconventional gas reservoir in the Illinois, Michigan, and Appalachian Basins, but comparatively little is known about the unit. This study used core and well logs from two deep exploratory wells to interpret the depositional environment of the MSS under western Ohio, where the MSS is about 120 m thick and found 1060 m below ground surface. In western Ohio, the MSS unconformably overlies the Precambrian Middle Run Formation, is conformably overlain by the Cambrian Eau Claire Formation, and has a distinctive gamma-ray log-signature. In well DGS-2627, the MSS consists of tan, friable, moderately sorted, rounded, coarse- to very coarse-grained siliceous quartz arenite with minor heterolithic sandstone-mudstone couplets (rhythmites) and quartz granule conglomerate. Features indicative of tidally-influenced, shallow marine settings include tidal rhythmites, lenticular-, flaser-, and wavy-bedding, herringbone cross-bedding, mud-drapes, tidal bundles, reactivation surfaces, intraclasts, and bioturbation. The unit generally coarsens- and thickens-upward, and is interpreted as migration of a tidally-influenced transgressive barrier sequence. A subsurface facies model for the MSS is developed by interpreting geophysical logs and cores from DGS-2627l, and this model is semi-quantitatively tested by first interpreting well BP-4 using geophysical logs alone, then confirming the results using core.
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