Nkechi Oruche Works Toward an Improved Understanding of Basin Development

Friday, August 5, 2016

Nkechi Oruche at the Riverside Roadcut

Nkechi Oruche at the Riverside Roadcut 


Nkechi Oruche is a Ph.D. candidate supervised by Professor George Dix. She chose Carleton after completing a B.Sc. in Geology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Nigeria) and a M.Sc. in Integrated Petroleum Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). The current title of her thesis is "SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY AND BASIN MATURATION OF A MIDDLE TO UPPER ORDOVICIAN FORELAND-BASIN SUCCESSION: THE OTTAWA EMBAYMENT". 

Nkechi examines the foreland sequence stratigraphy of the Ottawa Embayment. The study will be the very first comparison of equivalent stratigraphic successions that lay outside the trace of the paleorift axis, thereby provide the basis for new scientific contributions by defining matches/mismatches with extra-basinal tectonic, depositional, and eustatic events. She will also determine the influence of basement reactivation of the aborted Precambrian rift on the younger basin fill. 

Her secondary focus is basin maturation. She will use PetroMod software to generate 1-D maturation profile and 2-D fluid flow models. 

Nkechi picking out the best zircon grains Nkechi has mapped outcrops and cores located within and outside of the Ottawa Embayment. The geologic sections are mapped with a focus on characterizing the environmental (sedimentology, geochemical) conditions of prominent lithologic transitions. She has already visited up to 20 outcrops (road cut, river cut, quarries) and mapped the Imperial Oil Laggan #1 and GSC Russell #1 cores. 

Nkechi will evaluate approximately 260 carbonate and siliciclastic samples for sedimentological analysis, x-ray diffraction, among other things. In addition, she has already collected more than 200 samples for δ¹³C chemostratigraphy.

Nkechi is currently working with Dr. Sandra Kamo, at the Geochronological lab at the University of Toronto to characterize the bentonite sample collected from L'Orignal quarry (Northwest of Hawkesbury, Ontario). They have concluded the mineral separation procedures, grain selection process (picked out the best elongate and prismatic to massive zircon crystals with well-developed pyramidal termination in the bentonite and the overlying shale) and Leaching. Their next step is to dissolve the grains then analyze them using a mass spectrometer. 

Nkechi's work will provide an improved understanding of basin development and burial history within this foreland-interior region along the cratonic margin.


Nkechi standing in front of L'Orignal Quarry: Chaumont-Napanee-Hull Formational contact

Nkechi standing in front of L'Orignal Quarry: Chaumont-Napanee-Hull Formational contact