Application of Gas Isotopes to the Thermal History Analysis of Basins
Xinyu Xia, Yongchun Tang, 2012. "Application of Gas Isotopes to the Thermal History Analysis of Basins", Analyzing the Thermal History of Sedimentary Basins: Methods and Case Studies, Nicholas B. Harris, Kenneth E. Peters
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Carbon isotope composition can be used to derive natural gas generation temperature and source rock maturity by applying a rigorous parallel first-order reaction model based on quantum chemistry and microkinetics. In gas generation reactions, the breaking of 13C–12C and 12C–12C bonds has different frequency factors and activation energies. After the optimizing of these kinetic parameters with laboratory experiments, we can use the model to derive natural gas formation temperature and source rock maturity with given carbon isotope composition data. This method is useful for analyzing the thermal history of a basin along with petroleum generation and accumulation history of reservoirs, especially for strata that lack vitrinite for reflectance measurements.
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Thermal histories of sedimentary basins are critical sources of scientific and practical information. They provide us with windows into past and present tectonic processes and the configuration of the crust and mantle. Using records of present and past temperature distributions, we can identify and constrain interpretations of tectonic events, distinguish different basin types and interpret pathways of fluid flow. These insights can be used calibrate basin and petroleum system models and to interpret and predict the distribution of minerals and petroleum, diagenesis and reservoir quality, and the geomechanical properties of rock units. This volume summarizes the current state of the art for many modern approaches used to estimate paleotemperature. Many techniques are now available based on both organic and inorganic components in the rock. Even techniques that are now many years old, such as apatite fission track analysis, have und