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Carbon dioxide from a submarine seep in Norton Sound, Alaska, carries a minor component of gas- and gasoline-range hydrocarbons. The molecular and isotopic compositions of the hydrocarbon gases and the presence of gasoline-range hydrocarbons indicate that these molecules are derived from thermal alteration of marine and/or nonmarine organic matter buried within Norton basin. In the gasoline-range hydrocarbons, individual cyclic and branched-chain molecules are much more abundant than straight-chain hydrocarbons. This distribution suggests that the hydrocarbon mixture is an immature, petroleumlike condensate of lower temperature origin than normal crude oil. The submarine seep provides a natural example in support of a carbon dioxide solution transport mechanism thought to be operative in the migration of hydrocarbons in certain reservoirs.
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