Thermal alteration of organic matter in an impact crater and the duration of postimpact heating

John Parnell, G. R. Osinski, P. Lee, P. F. Green, M. Baron

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30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 24-km-diameter Tertiary Haughton impact structure formed in rocks that contained preexisting liquid hydrocarbons. Biomarker ratios in the hydrocarbons show a consistent pattern of variation in degree of heating across the structure. The heating reached a maximum at the crater center and is attributed to hydrothermal activity following impact. Kinetic modeling suggests a time scale of similar to 5 k.y. for the heating, at a maximum temperature of 210 degrees C. The short time scale suggests that in moderate-sized craters, which are abundant on Mars, heating is not so extensive that fossil or extant organic matter would be obliterated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-376
Number of pages3
JournalGeology
Volume33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Keywords

  • Haughton impact structure
  • impact craters
  • biomarkers
  • thermal maturity
  • thermal alteration
  • Mars
  • ARCTIC CANADA
  • KINETIC-MODEL
  • MATURITY
  • ORIGIN
  • REFLECTANCE
  • MATURATION
  • GENERATION
  • LIFE
  • OILS

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