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The application of illite crystallinity(IC) to reconstruct thermal history of the marine carbonates: a case study from northeast Sichuan basin, southwest China

International Journal of Petrochemical Science & Engineering
Wang Xiaofang,1,2,3,4 Tan Xiucheng,1,2,3 Zhang Shaonan,1,2 Qiu Nansheng,5 Zheng Lunju,6 Yang Qi,6 Fu Xiaodong,4 Li Chang,2,4 Imran Haider Shamsi7

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Paleogeothermometer is one of the uppermost parameters of the reconstruction of thermal history  in  sedimentary  basins.  Because  there  is  no  suitable  paleogeothermometer  in  the  Lower  Palaeozoic  sequences  which  are  composed  of  highly  and  excessively  mature  carbonates,  the  reconstruction  of  thermal  history  and  hydrocarbon  generation  history  is  a problem impeding the pace of petroleum exploration of the marine carbonates in China all  the  time.  This  paper  aims  at  researching  the  possibility  of  illite  crystallinity(IC)  as  the  paleogeothermometer  of  marine  carbonates.  By  thermal  simulation  experiments,  the  quantitative relationship between illite crystallinity(IC) and vitrinite reflectance (Ro)  has  been established and applied to the reconstruction of thermal history in Northeast Sichuan Basin.  The  result  of  simulation  experiments  shows  that  in  Northeast  Sichuan  Basin,  the  value of paleoheat flow was 53.5mW/m2 at Middle Silurian which increased gradually from Middle Silurian to Late Permian, and from the beginning of Late Permian it went up to the maximum abruptly (65.3mW/m2). After that it dramatically decreased, reaching 50.3mW/m2 at Early Triassic. The value of paleoheat flow decreased gradually up to 44mW/m2.


carbonates, illite crystallinity, paleogeothermometer, thermal history, Sichuan basin, China