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AAPG Memoir 70: Abnormal Pressures in Hydrocarbon Previous HitEnvironmentsNext Hit
Edited by B.E. Law, G.F. Ulmishek, and V.I. Slavin
Copyright © 1998 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.
Memoir 70, Chapter 1: Abnormal Pressure in Hydrocarbon Previous HitEnvironmentsNext Hit, by Ben E. Law and C.W. Spencer, Pages 1 - 11

Chapter 1

Abnormal Pressure in Hydrocarbon Previous HitEnvironmentsNext Hit

Ben E. Law1
C. W. Spencer
U.S. Geological Survey Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
1Present Affiliation: Consulting Petroleum Geologist, Lakewood, Colorado, U.S.A.


Abnormal pressures, pressures above or below hydrostatic pressures, occur on all continents in a wide range of geological conditions. According to a survey of published literature on abnormal pressures, compaction disequilibrium and hydrocarbon generation are the two most commonly cited causes of abnormally high pressure in petroleum provinces. In young (Tertiary) Previous HitdeltaicTop sequences, compaction disequilibrium is the dominant cause of abnormal pressure. In older (pre-Tertiary) lithified rocks, hydrocarbon generation, aquathermal expansion, and tectonics are most often cited as the causes of abnormal pressure.

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