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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 8. (August)

First Page: 1387

Last Page: 1396

Title: Petroleum Origin and Accumulation in Basin Evolution--A Quantitative Model

Author(s): D. H. Welte, M. A. Yukler (2)


Basin data--geologic, geophysical, geochemical, hydrodynamic, and thermodynamic--can be combined for quantified hydrocarbon prediction. A three-dimensional, deterministic dynamic basin model can be constructed to calculate all the measurable values with the help of mass- and energy-transport equations and equations describing the physical and/or physicochemical changes in organic matter as a function of temperature. Input data consist of heat flux, initial physical and thermal properties of sediments, paleobathymetric estimates, sedimentation rate, and amount and type of organic matter. Subsequently, the model computes pressure, temperature, physical and thermal properties of sediments, maturity of organic matter, and the hydrocarbon potential of any source rock as a func ion of space and time.

Thus the complex dynamic processes of petroleum formation and occurrence in a given sedimentary basin can be quantified. For example, hydrocarbon potential maps for any given source rock and any geologic time slice of the basin evolution can be provided as computer printouts. The computer model can be applied to any stage of an exploration campaign and updated as more information becomes available.

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