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Some of the eight properties of sediments from different parts of the United States that have been investigated as a possible means of recognizing source beds of petroleum appear to be of value in the recognition of source rocks in Oklahoma and Kansas. As a basis for study, sediments near oil zones have been assumed in general to be relatively rich in source material in comparison with those far from oil zones. For the purpose of averaging out the effect of anomalies caused by exceptions to this generalization, an unusually large number of samples--many thousands of samples--from many areas in the United States have been analyzed. The four properties named below were observed to be approximately the same in sediments near and far from oil zones, and hence seem to be of li tle value as indices of source beds: (1) the total quantity of organic matter in the sediments; (2) the color of the sediments; (3) the reducing power, which is a measure of the quantity of chromic acid the sediment can reduce; and (4) the oxidation factor, which is a measure of the state of oxidation of sediments, and specifically is the ratio of the carbon content to the reducing power of the sediments. The three following properties were noted to be slightly greater in sediments near oil zones than in those far from oil zones, and therefore apparently offer fair promise as indices of source beds: (1) the ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the sediments; (2) the quantity of volatile materials; and (3) the degree of volatility, which is a measure of the relative volatility of the organic co stituents of sediments and specifically is the ratio of the volatility to the reducing power. The eighth property, the nitrogen-reduction ratio, which is the ratio of the nitrogen content to the reducing power, was found to be distinctly lower in sediments near oil zones than far from oil zones, and consequently seems to be particularly encouraging in the study of source beds. In fact, in several oil areas in Oklahoma and Kansas it seems to be 65 to 75 per cent effective as a means of recognizing source beds.
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