Glaciogenic reservoirs and hydrocarbon systems: an introduction
Published:January 01, 2012
M. Huuse, D. P. Le Heron, R. Dixon, J. Redfern, A. Moscariello, J. Craig, 2012. "Glaciogenic reservoirs and hydrocarbon systems: an introduction", Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems, M. Huuse, J. Redfern, D. P. Le Heron, R. J. Dixon, A. Moscariello, J. Craig
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Glaciogenic reservoirs host important hydrocarbon and groundwater resources across the globe. Their complexity and importance for exploration and palaeoclimate reconstruction have made glaciogenic successions popular subjects for study. In this paper we provide an overview of the palaeoclimatic and tectonic setting for Earth glaciation and a chronological account of glaciogenic deposits since c. 750 Ma, with particular emphasis on their reservoir potential and associated hydrocarbon systems. Hydrocarbon accumulations within glaciogenic reservoirs occur principally in Palaeozoic (Late Ordovician and Permo-Carboniferous) sandstones in South America, Australia, North Africa and the Middle East, with relatively minor occurrences of shallow gas hosted in Pleistocene deposits in the North Sea and Canada. Groundwater reserves occur within glaciogenic sandstones across the northern European lowland and in North America. The main glaciogenic environments range from subglacial to glacier front to proglacial and deglacial. Rapidly changing environments, hydrodynamic regimes and glacier-front and subglacial deformation often result in very complex glaciogenic sequences with significant challenges for reconstruction of their origin and resource importance, which this volume seeks to address.
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Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems
Glaciogenic reservoirs and hydrocarbon systems occur intermittently throughout the stratigraphic record, with particular prominence in Neoproterozoic, Late Ordovician, Permo-Carboniferous and Late Cenozoic strata. Recent interest in glaciogenic successions has been fuelled by hydrocarbon discoveries in ancient glaciogenic reservoirs in North Africa, the Middle East, Australia and South America. Glaciogenic deposits of Pleistocene age are noteworthy for their content of groundwater onshore and potentially prospective and/or hazardous gas accumulations offshore. The abundant imprints of Pleistocene glaciations in both hemispheres can be used to reconstruct complex histories of repeated ice cover and retreat, and glacier-bed interactions, thus informing our view on the dynamics of older ice caps and predictions of future glaciations. This volume aims to provide a better understanding of glaciogenic processes, their stratigraphic record and reservoir characteristics of glaciogenic deposits. The book comprises 3 overview papers and 16 original case studies of Neoproterozoic to Pleistocene successions on 6 continents and will be of interest to sedimentologists, glaciologists, geophysicists, hydrologists and petroleum geologists alike.