Journal Picks Up Work of Concord “Rock” Prof

For Immediate Release: 
Oct 19 2006

CONTACT: Anita Moody, Director, Public Relations/Marketing
1-304-384-5288, FAX 384-6017,

Journal Picks Up Work of Concord “Rock” Prof

Athens, W.Va. - The journal, “Sedimentary Geology,” has accepted a paper based upon work from the doctoral dissertation of Concord University Assistant Professor of Geology, Dr. David L. Matchen. The paper was co-written by Matchen’s doctoral advisor, Dr. Thomas W. Kammer from West Virginia University.

The paper is entitled “Incised valley fill interpretation for Mississippian Black Hand Sandstone, Appalachian Basin, USA: Implications for glacial eustasy at Kinderhookian-Osagean (Tn2-Tn3) boundary.”

“The research was conducted in an attempt to unify Lower Mississippian stratigraphy within the Appalachians,” said Dr. Matchen. Stratigraphy is the study and analysis of the layering of sedimentary rocks.

The study was undertaken to better understand the relationships of the sandstones in Ohio to those in West Virginia.

“The relationship between sandstones of Ohio and West Virginia was not well understood. The Lower Mississippian sandstones of West Virginia have been a primary producer of both oil and natural gas for many years, however, they have few equivalents at the surface, meaning that most of what we know is gleaned from oil and gas wells,” Dr. Matchen said.

“Exploitation of geological resources often requires the use of a surface example for understanding the subsurface resource. Geologists often use rock exposed at the surface of the Earth as examples for study when the actual resource-bearing rock is difficult to access,” Dr. Matchen explained. “My research has demonstrated that the Black Hand Sandstone is a surface equivalent to oil and gas bearing rock deep beneath the ground in West Virginia. If we would like to more efficiently extract gas from the rock beneath West Virginia, for example by using fewer gas wells to extract more gas, we can study the arrangement and distribution of sedimentary rock within the Black Hand.

Skills and concepts developed during this research have been incorporated into geology classes at Concord, and there are opportunities for undergraduate research in the Black Hand.


CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Jesse Call, a senior majoring in political science and history, wrote this press release. His hometown is Pocahontas, Va.