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.

Related Articles


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 November 29, 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 November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

AP (Nov. 28, 2014) — A volcano in southern Japan is spewing volcanic magma rocks. A regional weather observatory says this could be Mt. Aso's first magma eruption in 22 years. (Nov. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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