Global hydrogen reservoirs in basement and basins

John Parnell (Corresponding Author), Nigel Blamey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Hydrogen is known to occur in the groundwaters of some ancient cratons. Where associated gases have been dated, their age extends up to a billion years, and the hydrogen is assumed also to be very old . These observations are interpreted to represent the radiolysis of water and hydration reactions and migration of hydrogen into fracture systems. A hitherto untested implication is that the overwhelming bulk of the ancient low-permeability basement, which is not adjacent to cross-cutting fractures, constitutes a reservoir for hydrogen. Results: New data obtained from cold crushing to liberate volatiles from fluid inclusions confirm that granites and gneiss of Archean and Palaeoproterozoic (> 1600 Ma) age typically contain an order of magnitude greater hydrogen in their entrained fluid than very young (< 200 Ma) granites. Sedimentary rocks containing clasts of old basement also include a greater proportion of hydrogen than the young granites. Conclusions: The data support the case for a global reservoir of hydrogen in both the ancient basement and in the extensive derived sediments. These reservoirs are susceptible to the release of hydrogen through a variety of mechanisms, including deformation, attrition to reduce grain size and diagenetic alteration, thereby contributing to the hydrogen required by chemolithoautotrophs in the deep biosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalGeochemical Transactions
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017

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Hydrogen
hydrogen
basin
Associated gas
Sedimentary rocks
Radiolysis
Fluids
deformation mechanism
Crushing
crushing
hydration
Hydration
clast
gneiss
biosphere
fluid inclusion
craton
Groundwater
sedimentary rock
Archean

Keywords

  • hydrogen
  • granites
  • fluid inclusions
  • deep biosphere

Cite this

Global hydrogen reservoirs in basement and basins. / Parnell, John (Corresponding Author); Blamey, Nigel.

In: Geochemical Transactions, Vol. 18, 2, 20.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Global hydrogen reservoirs in basement and basins",
abstract = "Background: Hydrogen is known to occur in the groundwaters of some ancient cratons. Where associated gases have been dated, their age extends up to a billion years, and the hydrogen is assumed also to be very old . These observations are interpreted to represent the radiolysis of water and hydration reactions and migration of hydrogen into fracture systems. A hitherto untested implication is that the overwhelming bulk of the ancient low-permeability basement, which is not adjacent to cross-cutting fractures, constitutes a reservoir for hydrogen. Results: New data obtained from cold crushing to liberate volatiles from fluid inclusions confirm that granites and gneiss of Archean and Palaeoproterozoic (> 1600 Ma) age typically contain an order of magnitude greater hydrogen in their entrained fluid than very young (< 200 Ma) granites. Sedimentary rocks containing clasts of old basement also include a greater proportion of hydrogen than the young granites. Conclusions: The data support the case for a global reservoir of hydrogen in both the ancient basement and in the extensive derived sediments. These reservoirs are susceptible to the release of hydrogen through a variety of mechanisms, including deformation, attrition to reduce grain size and diagenetic alteration, thereby contributing to the hydrogen required by chemolithoautotrophs in the deep biosphere.",
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note = "The authors are grateful to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for funding, through Grant NE/G00322X/1. Samples were kindly contributed by K. Condie, M.J. Hole, and D. Muirhead. We are grateful to reviewers for their criticism.",
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AU - Blamey, Nigel

N1 - The authors are grateful to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for funding, through Grant NE/G00322X/1. Samples were kindly contributed by K. Condie, M.J. Hole, and D. Muirhead. We are grateful to reviewers for their criticism.

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N2 - Background: Hydrogen is known to occur in the groundwaters of some ancient cratons. Where associated gases have been dated, their age extends up to a billion years, and the hydrogen is assumed also to be very old . These observations are interpreted to represent the radiolysis of water and hydration reactions and migration of hydrogen into fracture systems. A hitherto untested implication is that the overwhelming bulk of the ancient low-permeability basement, which is not adjacent to cross-cutting fractures, constitutes a reservoir for hydrogen. Results: New data obtained from cold crushing to liberate volatiles from fluid inclusions confirm that granites and gneiss of Archean and Palaeoproterozoic (> 1600 Ma) age typically contain an order of magnitude greater hydrogen in their entrained fluid than very young (< 200 Ma) granites. Sedimentary rocks containing clasts of old basement also include a greater proportion of hydrogen than the young granites. Conclusions: The data support the case for a global reservoir of hydrogen in both the ancient basement and in the extensive derived sediments. These reservoirs are susceptible to the release of hydrogen through a variety of mechanisms, including deformation, attrition to reduce grain size and diagenetic alteration, thereby contributing to the hydrogen required by chemolithoautotrophs in the deep biosphere.

AB - Background: Hydrogen is known to occur in the groundwaters of some ancient cratons. Where associated gases have been dated, their age extends up to a billion years, and the hydrogen is assumed also to be very old . These observations are interpreted to represent the radiolysis of water and hydration reactions and migration of hydrogen into fracture systems. A hitherto untested implication is that the overwhelming bulk of the ancient low-permeability basement, which is not adjacent to cross-cutting fractures, constitutes a reservoir for hydrogen. Results: New data obtained from cold crushing to liberate volatiles from fluid inclusions confirm that granites and gneiss of Archean and Palaeoproterozoic (> 1600 Ma) age typically contain an order of magnitude greater hydrogen in their entrained fluid than very young (< 200 Ma) granites. Sedimentary rocks containing clasts of old basement also include a greater proportion of hydrogen than the young granites. Conclusions: The data support the case for a global reservoir of hydrogen in both the ancient basement and in the extensive derived sediments. These reservoirs are susceptible to the release of hydrogen through a variety of mechanisms, including deformation, attrition to reduce grain size and diagenetic alteration, thereby contributing to the hydrogen required by chemolithoautotrophs in the deep biosphere.

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