--> Abstract: Geochemistry of Organic Shale in Contact with Igneous Dikes and Sills, by Alexander Hamilton; #90199 (2014)

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Geochemistry of Organic Shale in Contact with Igneous Dikes and Sills

Alexander Hamilton
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
[email protected]


The goal of this project is to better understand the products and processes that occur in the contact aureole of an igneous body. Utilizing Rock-Eval pyrolysis and vitrinite reflectance, I will reconstruct the thermal profile of several contact aureoles. Trace element concentrations, determined by mass spectrometry, will document the behavior and mobility of volatiles and trace metals in the aureole, gleaning insight into the mechanisms of heat and fluid transfer.

Several road-cuts along highways in southern Colorado expose meter-scale dikes or sills intruding organic-rich shales. At each site I will collect shale samples from the contact aureole, with greatest sampling density in the shales immediately adjacent to the intrusion. I will collect 15-20 shale samples adjacent to the intrusion, along a line for 2-3 intrusion widths, along with samples of the intrusion itself and unaltered shales distal from the intrusion.

Once I have assembled these data from multiple sampling locations, I will generate a mathematical model to describe the systems, incorporating thermophysical parameters based on the lithologies of the host rocks and intrusive bodies. If a reasonably accurate model can be made to describe the heat transfer, it will be extrapolated for the length of the dike, and the total hydrocarbon production for the intrusion can be estimated.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects