The offshore Louisiana Gulf of Mexico is one of the earth's most active margins. The erosional debris of an entire continent is depositing there, in places at over 2 km/Ma. Sediments have accumulated to over 16 km thickness. Temperatures at the base of this section are hotter than those in a pizza oven (∼300° C). Hydrocarbons are maturing, brines expelling, reservoirs filling, hydrates accumulating, and gas and oil migrating into the ocean, and all this is happening today.

We have known for some time how to model hydrocarbon maturation and to some extent migration. We don't know precisely the richness...

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