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Abstract: Numerical Simulations of Complex Temperature, Burial, and Erosion Histories for Sedimentary Basins and their Calibration: Examples from Western Germany

C. Buker, R. Littke, D. H. Welte, K. Leischner

The detailed and reliable reconstruction of the geological and thermal evolution of sedimentary basins forms the indispensable basis of any simulation of generation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons. For this purpose - although often not taken into account - analysing and quantifying the uplift and erosion history is as important as the subsidence and temperature history. The reconstruction of the timing of hydrocarbon generation, petroleum expulsion and migration and the changing reservoir characteristics is only possible based on such an integrated approach.

Applying this technique on the Carboniferous Ruhr basin and the Lower Saxony basin (western Germany) by utilising 1-D and 2-D forward modeling approaches resulted in important and new quantitative information on their temperature, subsidence and erosion histories which are of fundamental geological interest. The basin evolution models were calibrated using vitrinite reflectance data, fluid inclusion temperatures, and apatite and zircon fission track data.

The detailed knowledge of the geological and thermal basin evolution then allowed in combination with a new kinetic model for gas generation from coals the modeling of generation, migration and accumulation of methane from Carboniferous coal seams.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France