Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How continents thin: New model helps locate oil and gas resources

Date:
November 4, 2010
Source:
University of Royal Holloway London
Summary:
Scientists have revealed a new model that explains how continents thin as well as helping to more accurately predict the location of hydrocarbons such as oil and gas.

Reporting in the journal Nature, scientists from Royal Holloway, University of London and the Institut de Ciencies del Mar (Spanish Research Council) have revealed a new model that explains how continents thin as well as helping to more accurately predict the location of hydrocarbons such as oil and gas.

For oil to be formed, sediments need to be deposited under the right temperatures. "When continents extend, the top of the crust subsides and deepens, creating a space for sediments which may convert into oil," explains Dr Marta Pérez-Gussinyé from Royal Holloway. "Our model presents a conceptual framework to predict more accurately the temperature conditions through which sediments go, therefore helping in the search for oil and gas."

Geologists have long debated the paradoxes arising from their understandings of how continents break apart and drift forming new oceans. Many continents, such as Africa, parts of South and North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, are surrounded by rifted margins, which are the stretched areas where the geological processes of rifting and break-up are recorded.

The new model is based on high resolution images of the tectonic structure of the crust at such margins. These images are obtained using elaborate seismic methods which give a picture of the crust below the oceans, showing where faults and sediments are.

It was previously believed that as the Earth's plates drifted away from each other the rocks in the stretched area broke up by faulting all at the same time. The new concept is that, in fact, the faults form one after another in this region as the crust thins. As the faults are forming, sediments are deposited and the youngest ones are found closest to the new oceans that eventually form.

This model has important implications for the formation of hydrocarbon resources, the style of faulting during continental thinning, sediment deposition and potentially for the opening of oceanic gateways and oceanic circulation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Royal Holloway London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. César R. Ranero, Marta Pérez-Gussinyé. Sequential faulting explains the asymmetry and extension discrepancy of conjugate margins. Nature, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nature09520

Cite This Page:

University of Royal Holloway London. "How continents thin: New model helps locate oil and gas resources." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103151954.htm>.
University of Royal Holloway London. (2010, November 4). How continents thin: New model helps locate oil and gas resources. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103151954.htm
University of Royal Holloway London. "How continents thin: New model helps locate oil and gas resources." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103151954.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins