Inderscience Publishers

The hidden benefits of maturity modelling

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Most 1–D modelling studies are carried out with the explicit objective of calculating maturity and hydrocarbon generation. This focus on bottom–line output has caused most modellers to overlook a major additional value of such studies: the knowledge acquired while building internally consistent geologic models. During model construction one should carefully consider the following factors: events during unconformities, subsidence and sedimentation rates, palaeobathymetry and palaeoelevation, changes in lithology, tectonic events, isostasy, eustasy, and palaeoheat flow. The process of building such models requires that we integrate these disparate types of data derived from disciplines that rarely communicate with each other. Maturity modelling thus becomes a general tool for geologic investigation and integration. These techniques are illustrated using examples from around the world. The education we receive in developing internally consistent, fully integrated geological models will often result in new exploration concepts, and thus can aid exploration programs in unanticipated ways. [Received: March 12, 2011; Accepted: September 06, 2011]

Keywords: maturity modelling, basin modelling, geohistory, rifts, subsidence history, sedimentation rate, rifting heat flow, isostasy, foreland basins, pull–apart basins, porpoise structures, Gulf of Campeche, North Sea, Algeria, Mexico, Gulf of Guinea, Colorado Plateau, geological models, palaeobathymetry, palaeoelevation, lithology, tectonic events, eustasy, palaeoheat flow, knowledge acquisition

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