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Using Paleoclimate Models to Predict Source Rock Occurence: Results from the Gandolph Project

Christopher Scotese1, John Zumberge2, Previous HitHaroldTop Illich2, Thomas Moore3, and Scott Ramos4
1Earth & Environmental Sciences, Univeristy of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
2GeoMark Research Ltd., Houston, TX
3PaleoTerra Inc, Bollingbrook, IL
4Infometrix inc, Bothell, WA

Understanding the temporal and spatial distribution of source rocks, especially in unexplored and under-explored frontier regions is one of the greatest challenges in hydrocarbon system analysis. In order to address this problem, GeoMark Research Ltd, together with the PALEOMAP Project and PaleoTerra Inc., for the past 3 years, have been building a GIS atlas of plate tectonic, paleogeographic and paleoclimatic maps that illustrate the paleoenvironmental setting of known source rocks and oils (GANDOLPH Project). Eight of 12 planned intervals have been completed (mid-Miocene, C/T, Early Cretaceous, Late Jurassic, Late Triassic, Early Permian, Late Devonian, and latest Ordovician-early Silurian). One of the principal research goals of the GANDOLPH Project has been to test the paleoclimatic predictions made by the paleoclimate simulations with information about source rock paleoenviornmental conditions obtained from biomarkers in the oils. A second major research goal of the project has the construction of a tool (Source Rocker) that uses multivariate statistical techniques to 1) identify the kinds of paleoenvironments in which source rocks are likely to have formed, and 2) to estimate the reliability of these source rock predictions. In this talk we will briefly review the results from all eight time intervals, and then discuss, in detail, the results from the C/T (Cenomanian/Turonian) and Late Devonian simulations. We will describe how we built the SourceRocker tool, and will review the predictions it has made regarding the occurrence of probable source rocks in unexplored, and under-explored frontier regions.


AAPG Search and Discover Article #90078©2008 AAPG Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas