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Restoration of Circum-Arctic Upper Jurassic source rock paleolatitude based on crude oil geochemistry

September 28, 2010

Tectonic geochemical paleolatitude (TGP) models were developed to predict the paleolatitude of petroleum source rock from the geochemical composition of crude oil. The results validate studies designed to reconstruct ancient source rock depositional environments using oil chemistry and tectonic reconstruction of paleogeography from coordinates of the present day collection site. TGP models can also be used to corroborate tectonic paleolatitude in cases where the predicted paleogeography conflicts with the depositional setting predicted by the oil chemistry, or to predict paleolatitude when the present day collection locality is far removed from the source rock, as might occur due to long distance subsurface migration or transport of tarballs by ocean currents. Biomarker and stable carbon isotope ratios were measured for 496 crude oil samples inferred to originate from Upper Jurassic source rock in West Siberia, the North Sea and offshore Labrador. First, a unique, multi-tiered chemometric (multivariate statistics) decision tree was used to classify these samples into seven oil families and infer the type of organic matter, lithology and depositional environment of each organofacies of source rock [Peters, K.E., Ramos, L.S., Zumberge, J.E., Valin, Z.C., Scotese, C.R., Gautier, D.L., 2007. Circum-Arctic petroleum systems identified using decision-tree chemometrics. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin 91, 877-913]. Second, present day geographic locations for each sample were used to restore the tectonic paleolatitude of the source rock during Late Jurassic time (???150 Ma). Third, partial least squares regression (PLSR) was used to construct linear TGP models that relate tectonic and geochemical paleolatitude, where the latter is based on 19 source-related biomarker and isotope ratios for each oil family. The TGP models were calibrated using 70% of the samples in each family and the remaining 30% of samples were used for model validation. Positive relationships exist between tectonic and geochemical paleolatitude for each family. Standard error of prediction for geochemical paleolatitude ranges from 0.9?? to 2.6?? of tectonic paleolatitude, which translates to a relative standard error of prediction in the range 1.5-4.8%. The results suggest that the observed effect of source rock paleolatitude on crude oil composition is caused by (i) stable carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthetic fixation of carbon and (ii) species diversity at different latitudes during Late Jurassic time. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title Restoration of Circum-Arctic Upper Jurassic source rock paleolatitude based on crude oil geochemistry
DOI 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2008.01.016
Authors K. E. Peters, L.S. Ramos, J.E. Zumberge, Z. C. Valin, C.R. Scotese
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Organic Geochemistry
Index ID 70000295
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse