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He, Z., 1989

Multiple thermal indicator tomography; paleoheat flux and geological parameters

Bibliographic Reference

He, Z., 1989, Multiple thermal indicator tomography; paleoheat flux and geological parameters: Columbia, South Carolina, University of South Carolina, Ph.D. dissertation, 150 p.


A quantitative tomography model is developed to determine simultaneously several geological, geochemical, and geothermal parameters associated with the reconstruction of the geohistory and thermal history of sediments in a well. Using vitrinite reflectance data from the well Inigok-1, National Petroluem Reserve of Alaska, the numerical algorithm was tested and found to be effective in delineating the variation of heat flux with time. In addition, the size and timing of a major unconformity were also bracketed. Application of tomography using apatite fission track distributions with depth as a thermal indicator enabled us not only to determine the thermal history of four wells in the NW Canning basin of Australia, but also to constrain the chemical parameters associated with fission track annealing. The results of both the Alaska study and the Australian study were consistent with the qualitative behavior inferred from current geological models. In cases where multiple thermal indicators are available in the same well, multiple thermal indicator tomography is applied to determine parameters that are not readily resolvable with just a single thermal indicator. Since the heat flux histories determined individually with different thermal indicators may differ, by demanding a unique thermal history to fit more than one thermal indicator, the resolution with which we can determine the heat flux, and the reliability of the resultant thermal history are improved. For two case histories, the multiple thermal indicator tomography model is used to determine the thermal history and the kinetic parameters of the thermal indicators more accurately than is otherwise possible. In particular, activation energies of biomarkers are determined and found to be consistent with the results of previous studies.

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