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Examination of inertinite within immature Eagle Ford Shale at the nanometer-scale using atomic force microscopy-based infrared spectroscopy

October 5, 2020

The nanoscale molecular composition of sedimentary organic matter is challenging to characterize in situ given the limited tools available that can adequately interrogate its complex chemical structure. This is a particularly relevant issue in source rocks, as kerogen composition will strongly impact its reactivity and so is critical to understanding petroleum generation processes during catagenesis. The recent advent of tip-enhanced analytical methods, such as atomic force microscopy-based infrared spectroscopy (AFM-IR), has allowed for the major compositional features of kerogen and other types of in situ organic matter to be elucidated at spatial resolutions at or below 50 nm. Here AFM-IR was applied to examine inertinite, an important organic matter type, present in a thermally immature Eagle Ford calcareous mudstone. The data show that the nanoscale molecular composition of the examined inertinite is (i) less heterogeneous than solid bitumen in more thermally mature Eagle Ford samples and (ii) more hydrogen- and oxygen-rich than inertinite examined in the New Albany Shale.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Examination of inertinite within immature Eagle Ford Shale at the nanometer-scale using atomic force microscopy-based infrared spectroscopy
DOI 10.1016/j.coal.2020.103608
Authors Aaron M. Jubb, Paul C. Hackley, Justin E. Birdwell, Javin J. Hatcherian, Jing Qu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title International Journal of Coal Geology
Series Number
Index ID 70215059
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center