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Chapter from: SG
40: Paleogeography, Paleoclimate, and Source Rocks
M. R. Mello, N. Telnaes, and J. R. Maxwell
Geochemistry, Generation, Migration
Published 1995 as
part of Studies in Geology 40
Copyright © 1995 The American Association of Petroleum
Geologists. All Rights Reserved.
Source Potential in the Brazilian Marginal Basins: A Geochemical and Paleoenvironmental
M. R. Mello
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Norsk Hydro Research Center
J. R. Maxwell
University of Bristol
A geochemical survey of Brazilian marginal
basins using a wide selection of source rocks and oils, ranging from Early
Cretaceous to Tertiary in age, has been undertaken. The aims were to review,
assess, and characterize the paleoenvironment of deposition of source rocks
and to correlate reservoired oils with their putative source rocks using
an approach based mainly on the distribution and absolute concentrations
of biological markers. The survey included evaluation of organic carbon
contents, Rock-Eval pyrolysis data, vitrinite reflectance measurements,
carbon isotope ratios, elemental and visual kerogen analyses and molecular
studies involving liquid and gas chromatography, qualitative and quantitative
biological marker investigations using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
(GC-MS) and metastable ion monitoring GC-MS of saturated hydrocarbons.
The metastable ion GC-MS data were evaluated using principal component
Integration of the results with geological
and paleontological data facilitates the recognition and differentiation
of seven depositional regimes: lacustrine fresh/brackish water, lacustrine
saline water, marine evaporitic, marine carbonate, marine deltaic with
carbonate influence, open marine anoxic with a predominance of calcareous
mudstone lithology, and open marine anoxic with a predominance of siliciclastic
The analyses of the oils reveal significant
differences among groups which enable a correlation with putative source
rocks deposited in six of the afore-mentioned depositional regimes. Although
siliciclastic rocks derived from an open marine environment show high lipid-rich
organic carbon contents,
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