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TitleEffect of mineral matrix and seam thickness on reflectance of vitrinite in high to low volatile bituminous coals: an enigma
AuthorGoodarzi, F; Gentzis, T; Snowdon, L R; Bustin, R M; Feinstein, S; Labonte, M
SourceMarine and Petroleum Geology vol. 10, issue 2, 1993 p. 162-171,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 34591
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta
Lat/Long WENS-116.0000 -114.0000 51.0000 50.0000
Subjectsfossil fuels; sedimentology; vitrinite reflectance; coal seams; coal; bituminous coal; organic materials; minerals; clay minerals; thermal history; sedimentary basins; Jurassic; Cretaceous
Illustrationsstratigraphic columns; tables; plots; graphs
AbstractThe variation of vitrinite reflectance with respect to mineral matrix (lithology), the thickness of coal seams and coal lenses and the type of organic matter was studied from two cores in a 550 m sedimentary succession from the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous Kootenay Group. The data obtained indicate that reflectance in high to low volatile bituminous coals (%RO, max = 0.8 - 1.35) with depth of burial is affected by the percentage of organic matter in the samples. A positive correlation between the vitrinite reflectance and the percentage of organic matter and a negative correlation with the percentage of mineral matter exist and the thicker the coal interval, the higher the vitrinite reflectance. Thick coal seams (>1 m) with a mineral content <20% generally showed higher vitrinite reflectance than adjacent thin coaly lenses (15 - 30 cm thick) with a mineral content >20%. Vitrinite dispersed in sandstone and to a lesser extent siltstone and carbonaceous shale has the lowest reflectance. Variations in vitrinite reflectance may be attributed to chemical differences in the organic matter, possibly induced by degradation and diagenesis syn- or post-depositionally, and to the effect of some clay minerals present in the sediments, which may act as catalysts. Differences in the thermal conductivity of the strata have demonstratably not accounted for the observed variations in reflectance with lithology. The differences in the vitrinite reflectance of organic matter between lithotypes is substantial and is thus an important consideration in resolving the time-temperature history and generation of hydrocarbons from a sedimentary succession.

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