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The Paris basin, the Aquitaine basin, and the Rhine graben share at least some slices of their geologic histories, even though the diversity of their complete histories largely commands the large variations in their petroliferous characteristics.
The Triassic and Jurassic series belonging to a rifting type basin are favorable to the deposition of both source and reservoir rocks.
The slowing down, then stoppage of subsidence during the Cretaceous and Tertiary Eras in the Paris basin has limited the maturation of source rocks and the formation of structures.
In the Aquitaine basin, the renewal of subsidence during the middle Cretaceous produced large strike-slip faults and the formation of narrow folded troughs. Later, the Tertiary orogenesis renewed the subsidence and formation of structures, resulting in a diversity of traps and the formation of a tar belt on the northern margin of the basin.
The Rhine graben was formed during the Tertiary between 2 large faults nearly north-south in direction. This renewal of subsidence resulted in a new generation of hydrocarbons within a complex faulted structural context.
Subsidence accompanied by fairly high thermal flux appears as one of the main conditions for the generation of hydrocarbons; subsidence may also generate block faulting favorable to their trapping.
On the other hand, too strong a subsidence may produce a poor petroliferous province, because of over-heating, erosion, or loss by seepage.
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