Dangers of Tmax as an Indicator of Thermal Maturity
Presented by Peter Crosdale (Energy Resources Consulting Pty Ltd)
Tmax from programmed pyrolysis (Rock Eval) is commonly used as an indicator for thermal maturity and is often converted into an equivalent vitrinite reflectance value. This procedure fraught with dangers from a variety of points of view. The most dangerous of these is the assumption that the value recorded for Tmax does indeed represent the thermal maturity of the sample. For example, in Australian Proterozoic rocks, Tmax values of around 320°C are often recorded for overmature sequences, where the thermal maturity should yield a Tmax of around 620°C. Why this happens will be discussed along with tell-tales to watch out for when you think your Tmax data may be spurious. The value of the reflectance of the organic matter will also be discussed in aiding to verify the Tmax values as indicators of thermal maturity.
About the presenter
Peter Crosdale obtained a BSc(Hons) in Geology from the University of Newcastle (NSW) and a PhD in Coal Geology from the University of Auckland (NZ). He has worked as a mud logger, coal petrographer, research scientist and lecturer at James Cook University and the University of NSW. Peter has published numerous scientific papers and has contributed to the community through activities in the Geol. Soc. Australia, PESA, TSOP and FESQ. He is currently vice-President of the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology (ICCP). He currently runs his own business “Energy Resources Consulting” which provides laboratory analysis of organic matter in rocks, especially petrography, programmed pyrolysis (Rock Eval) and adsorption isotherms.
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