Hydrocarbon Maturation in Thrust Belts: Thermal Considerations

  1. Raymond A. Price
  1. Kevin P. Furlong1 and
  2. Janell D. Edman2

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM048p0137

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

How to Cite

Furlong, K. P. and Edman, J. D. (1989) Hydrocarbon Maturation in Thrust Belts: Thermal Considerations, in Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources (ed R. A. Price), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM048p0137

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

  2. 2

    Exlog/Brown & Ruth Laboratories, Inc., 8100 South Akron, Suite 310, Englewood, Colorado 80112

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904528

Online ISBN: 9781118666654

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • Sedimentary basins—Congresses;
  • Mines and mineral resources—Congresses;
  • Power resources—Congresses

Summary

Sedimentary strata within thrust belts experience transient thermal histories which perturb the maturation paths of organic material contained within the rocks. Calculation of the thermal history, including perturbations which occur with overthrusting, for a particular sequence of tectonic events, allows us to evaluate the timing of maturation reactions and the remaining generative potential in the source rock during the evolution of the geologic terrain. In addition, thermal-maturation indicators can be used to constrain tectonic models for a region and eliminate nonviable geologic interpretations. We have utilized a numerical model to evaluate the thermal response to burial, erosion and thrusting. This model allows us to specify reasonably complex (and geologically reasonable) tectonic histories, including time varying erosion and sedimentation, syn-thrusting erosion, and multiple thrusting events. Such complexities are not easily incorporated in analytic thermal models of thrust belt evolution. In case studies of the western overthrust belt of Wyoming, thermal modeling of geologic histories provides insight into maturation processes, timing and geometries of thrust sheets, and pre-thrusting tectonism. In particular, the timing of thrust sheet motion in the Wyoming portion of the thrust belt appears to be younger than normally thought. Much of the thin skinned thrusting evaluated here appears (from a thermal perspective) to be of similar age to Laramide thrusting in the region.