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Thermal maturity can be calculated with time-temperature indices (TTI) based on the Arrhenius equation using kinetics applicable to a range of Types II and III kerogens. These TTIs are compared with TTI calculations based on the Lopatin method and are related theoretically (and empirically via vitrinite reflectance) to the petroleum-generation window. The TTIs for both methods are expressed mathematically as integrals of temperature combined with variable linear heating rates for selected temperature intervals.
Heating rates control the thermal-maturation trends of buried sediments. Relative to Arrhenius TTIs, Lopatin TTIs tend to underestimate thermal maturity at high heating rates and overestimate it as low heating rates. Complex burial histories applicable to a range of tectonic environments illustrate the different exploration decisions that might be made on the basis of independent results of these two thermal-maturation models.
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