The history of the Michigan basin (Early Ordovician to Early Devonian) is that of a nonuniformly subsiding basin, with the Michigan basin, at times, nearly disappearing as either a topographic feature or a depositional center. This history is interpreted from the analysis of lithostratigraphic units, time stratigraphic features, and log formats (term by J. Forgotson). These units are defined for wells throughout the Michigan basin, and they extended eastward into the Appalachian basin. The definition and thickness mapping of these lithostratigraphic units and formats are accomplished using well cuttings, cores, and wire-line geophysical well logs. Furthermore, these units are correlated to both outcrops and stratigraphic type sections for areas adjacent to the Michigan basin From these data, it is possible to interpret the major aspects of both the subsidence and depositional history of the basin. During deposition of both the Trenton limestones and Early Silurian carbonates and shales, the Michigan basin behaved as if it were part of the greater Appalachian basin, whereas prior to the deposition of the Trenton (Middle Ordovician) and during Middle and Late Silurian, the Michigan basin was an entity separate from, and with an apparent structural independence of, the greater Appalachian basin. However, even during times of Michigan basin structural independence, the stratigraphic and sedimen- tologic characteristics of these two basins were closely related.
The structure and topography of the Trenton prior to the deposition of the Utica Shale was mapped throughout Michigan to provide insight into the nature of petroleum entrapment in the Trenton formation. The structural entrapment of petroleum in southeast Michigan contrasts with the combination diagenetic to structural Albio-Scipio trend of south-central Michigan. Evidence is available that more of these two types of traps occur in unproducing areas of the Michigan basin.