Todd Thompson
Geological Research at the IGS

Architecture of the Salem Limestone (Mississippian) in the dimension stone district of south-central Indiana

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 1987 Dec 1, 2010 Monroe
Director: Brian Keith
Other Researchers: Todd Thompson
Funding: Indiana University - Indiana Geological & Water Survey
Issue: The Salem Limestone is one of the premier dimension stones in the country. It is also a petroleum reservoir in the Illinois Basin. It has been used extensively for physical testing by both industries. The results of the testing, however, have never been placed within the context of understanding the distribution of the Salem's lithologic facies, and associated petrographic characteristics and porosity and permeability. This contextual information can be of great benefit to both industries.
Objective: The purpose of the project is to determine the architecture of a Salem carbonate shoal and the potential fluid-flow pathways.
Approach: Working in quarries southwest of Bloomington, we are mapping bounding surfaces within the Salem along quarry walls as stone is being removed. Using CAD software, a three-dimensional model of the bounding surfaces showing the distribution of the shoal lithofacies will be constructed. We will collect oriented plugs of architectural elements for thin sections and porosity and permeability measurements. The thin sections will be used to understand cement distribution and diagenetic history. The porosity and permeability measurements will be used with the lithofacies and cement information to reconstruct potential fluid-flow pathways. Financial and in-kind support from industry is being actively sought to support the work.
Products:
Benefits: This project will result in a better understanding of the three-dimensional distribution of the properties of Salem Limestone, which has implications for both the dimension stone and petroleum industries.
Publications:

Evaluation of ground penetrating radar in the study of an ancient carbonate shoal: bedform architecture of the Salem Limestone (Mississippian), south-central Indiana
Tackaberry, W. J., 2005, Evaluation of ground penetrating radar in the study of an ancient carbonate shoal: bedform architecture of the Salem Limestone (Mississippian), south-central Indiana: unpublished M. S. thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 34p.

Fluid-flow pathway model of a carbonate reservoir: outcrop investigations of bedform architecture and diagenesis, Salem Limestone (Middle Mississippian), south-central Indiana
Bannister, K.M., 2001, Fluid-flow pathway model of a carbonate reservoir: outcrop investigations of bedform architecture and diagenesis, Salem Limestone (Middle Mississippian), south-central Indiana: unpublished M. S. thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 150 p.

Physical sedimentary structures in the Salem shoals
Thompson, T.A., Kvale, E. P., and Brown, M. A., 1990. Physical sedimentary structures in the Salem shoals (fieldtrip). In Thompson, T.A., ed., Architectural elements and paleoecology of carbonate shoal and intershoal deposits in the Salem Limestone (Mississippian) in south-central Indiana. Guidebook for the 20th Annual Fall Field Conference of the GLS-SEPM, Indiana Geological Survey Guidebook 14, p. 27-36.

Subtidal stromatolites in the Mississippian Salem Limestone, south-central Indiana
Remmes, K. C., 2005, Subtidal stromatolites in the Mississippian Salem Limestone, south-central Indiana: unpublished M. S. thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 41p.

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