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Thermal maturity of the Michigan Basin

K. R. Cercone and H. N. Pollack
Thermal maturity of the Michigan Basin (in Early sedimentary evolution of the Michigan Basin, Paul A. Catacosinos (editor) and Paul A. Daniels (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (1991) 256: 1-11


Almost all Paleozoic strata in the Michigan Basin display elevated levels of organic maturity that cannot be explained by present-day burial depths, geothermal gradients, and heat flow. Likewise, higher heat flow from the basement in the past is unsatisfactory as an explanation of the elevated maturities, particularly for the younger sediments. Previous studies have concluded that a significant amount of Permo-Carboniferous overburden has been removed from this region by early Mesozoic regional uplift and erosion. If the missing overburden were sufficiently thick and thermally resistive, a "thermal blanket" effect would have caused elevated temperatures throughout the underlying stratigraphic section during late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic time. Models of organic maturation that take into account this "thermal blanket" effect as well as other variations in thermal conductivity attributable to lithologic differences can explain the anomalous maturity of most strata in the Michigan Basin without postulating any increase in ancient heat flow. An overburden thickness of 2,000 m with a gradient the same as that observed in the present-day Carboniferous section would provide an adequate explanation for the elevated maturities. Lesser thicknesses of overburden would require correspondingly higher geothermal gradients, a reasonable possibility if the missing overburden was a fluvio-deltaic sequence containing low-conductivity carbonaceous strata.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 256
Title: Thermal maturity of the Michigan Basin
Title: Early sedimentary evolution of the Michigan Basin
Author(s): Cercone, K. R.Pollack, H. N.
Author(s): Catacosinos, Paul A.editor
Author(s): Daniels, Paul A., Jr.editor
Affiliation: Indiana Univ. Pa., Geosci. Dep., Indiana, PA, United States
Affiliation: Delta Coll., Dep. Geol., University Center, MI, United States
Pages: 1-11
Published: 1991
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 0-8137-2256-X
Meeting name: AAPG, Eastern Section 15th annual meeting
Meeting location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA, United States
Meeting date: 19861986
References: 40
Accession Number: 1991-038328
Categories: Sedimentary petrologyStratigraphyEconomic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N41°45'00" - N48°25'00", W90°15'00" - W82°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Petro-Hunt Corp., USA, United StatesUniv. Mich., USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1991
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