For quick reference, here are several maps associated with shale gas, in the US and in North Carolina.

Map of major US shale gas plays, courtesy of US Energy Information Administration

Map of Triassic Basins in NC, courtesy of NC DENR

The Cumnock Formation, shown here grouped with the Sanford and Penick Formations, has the highest potential for natural gas in NC given its chemistry and thickness. Data courtesy of NC One Map.

The Southern Environmental Law Center has a broader map on their website of public water supply systems, both groundwater sourced and surface water sourced, in context of the Triassic Basins in NC (there is a second map of the southeast US displaying the Triassic Basins and National Forests).

To learn whether you own the mineral rights on your property, contact your county’s Register of Deeds. Here are the links to contact information and access to searchable databases for these NC counties’ Register of Deeds:

Lee County

Chatham County

Moore County

The Lee County GIS/Strategic Planning Department has a searchable GIS map online with a layer of properties that have signed mineral leases.

Old USGS map of the Cumnock coal fields. Map courtesy of These beds crop out along the Deep River along the border of Lee and Chatham Counties, roughly 7 miles northwest of Sanford.

A geological cross-section of the Sanford sub-basin with the Cumnock Formation clearly marked (and also the Dan River Basin), courtesy of NCGS. Those of you not familiar with a geological cross-section, imagine cutting into a two-layer cake, and after removing that piece looking into the cake and seeing the icing, the cake, the middle icing, and more cake – and that is the simplistic explanation of what we see in a geological cross-section.



6 thoughts on “Maps

  1. Pingback: “Reference sites” and “Maps” pages updates | Triassic Basins water & shale gas

  2. David

    Wow.. look at that last figure with the Geologic cross section. This shale pocket is less than half a kilometer deep!! It doesn’t even have an impermeable barrier above it (like limestone in the Marcellus in PA) to contain the contamination that fracking would produce. Mark my words, if big companies are allowed to discharge explosives underground, and frack at such a shallow depth, there WILL be a mess afterward in the surrounding landowners wells and streams!!

  3. Bea

    Has any of these companies done their research on the history and land surrounding these areas?? I want for anyone and everyone to Google, Farmville coal mine, or coal glen or the egypt mine in sanford/ chatham counties. look at how many NATURAL DISASTERS have happened around the areas in which fracking will take place!!! If there’s one thing i’ve learned, history will always repeat it’s self, it’s not safe to frack in lee chatham or moore counties. what about our children living in these areas? what about the land owners rights? Big oil Industry does not care what negative effect’s theses hazards will wreak upon us property owner’s

    1. mark Volker

      How do you know it’s not safe? Are you a risk analyst? Driving to work isn’t safe, shooting a gun isn’t safe, sex with a aids infested hooker isn’t safe. I work in the oilfields of ND but I’m from ENC. Yes nasty chemicals are used but they are mixes with water and are very deluded. If it meansbring good paying jobs to NC and me being able to leave ND I’m all for it! You just have to wear a seat belt, wear ear and eye protection, a and wear a condom a and hope for the best!

      1. Science Sue NC Born and Bred

        It is all about you. So you don’t like working in the fields of ND and you wanna come home!!! Cry us all a glass of water you baby. Please do use a condom to make sure your “nasty chemicals” don’t filter any further into human DNA.

  4. scottL

    You people are hilarious! As a six year veteran of permian basin fracking, I suggest you all write you governor and ask him how coal ash can contaminate 70 MILES ! of pristine river and not be held responsible. And then travel 20 miles east and look at the design of the spent fuel pool at Shearon Harris, With fuel from Brunswick, over forty years old that WILL NEVER be removed from that pool because its so “oxided”. Pick your poison, you already got plenty of it. Same design as Fukushima minus the Pu from MOX fuel.


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