A 1-km profile of in situ stress and geophysical log data was acquired in the Wilkins well to study the relationship between rock properties and in situ stress contrasts. The Wilkins well penetrates Devonian clastic rocks on the Appalachian Plateau near the town of South Canisteo, New York. Open hole hydraulic fracture stress measurements were made in stratigraphic sequences where geophysical logs indicated significant bed-to-bed variations in elastic and lithologic properties. Analysis of stress magnitudes and interval-averaged geophysical data shows that principal horizontal stress magnitudes correlate directly with elastic stiffness and inversely with clay content. A similar relation is found for older Paleozoic strata penetrated by a well at Auburn, New York. Correlations between stress magnitude and geophysical properties observed in the Wilkins and Auburn wells provide strong evidence that bed to bed stress variations arise from a uniform ENE-WSW directed strain acting on beds of different Young's modulus rather than from variations in rock shear strength. Because of their high Young's modulus, sandstones, siltstones, and limestones in the northern Appalachian Basin are likely to be stronger barriers to hydraulic fracture propagation than shales. Porosity logs in the Wilkins well show that the large decrease in horizontal stress found at the base of the Rhinestreet Formation occurs where shales are less compacted. The correlation with undercompaction is consistent with a paleo-overpressure drainage mechanism as the cause for the stress decrease.
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