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Did the Chicxulub Area Contribute to Oil Reserves?

  1. May 2, 2017 #1
    Many petroleum rich areas are located within the Chicxulub impact effects radius, including Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. Cantarell, a supergiant petroleum field, is located directly within the impact crater. Did Chicxulub play any role in creating and/or preserving proto-petroleum fields to the modern day (especially through the creation of caprock), or are the petroleum rich areas found nearby just a coincidence due to the large area within the effects radius?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2017 #2
    Oil is collected in anti/-synclinal geologic features (in general) and the crater you mentioned is possibly contributed to the favorable geological conditions for trapping oil reserves.

    But, the Chesapeake Bay is an even bigger, newer impact crater and there's as of yet not a particularly amazing amount of oil found there, so the correlation doesn't appear to be strong.
  4. May 2, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Report by a petroleum Geologist for management readers, I think. This means its readable. The bottom line is the impact craters in some areas are of great interest for finding new petroleum reserves - in a limited way:
    From: http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-96/issue-19/in-this-issue/general-interest/north-american-impact-structures-hold-giant-field-potential.html [Broken]
    Have a read. I think IDneon is on the right track. But not all craters or astroblemes have petroleum.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  5. May 3, 2017 #4
    I had a research project out in the Gulf Of Mexico in 1984, since we were a research vessel,
    we were out past the shelve, so as not to disruptthe crews actually making money.
    The live plotter records like every 10th line, but is readable.
    We recorded what many said was the largest salt dome they had ever seen,
    it looked to be about 1000 feet high, and about 90 miles across.
    It was also under about 5400 feet of water!
    There is a massive formation under the Gulf of Mexico, weather it is a result of the
    big impact off of Mexico would be difficult to say, but geophysical activity does
    change the strata and allow traps to form.
  6. May 3, 2017 #5


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    Is it? Wiki pages give half the diameter of Chicxulub.
  7. May 10, 2017 #6

    Mark Harder

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    I'd expect any impact event would create fractures in the crust (at least), and these would provide paths through which existing petroleum can percolate. If the cracks are disposed radially from the impact point, then fluids would preferentially move towards or away from their center, depending on pressure gradients. The presence of preferential paths of diffusion and convection is what generally leads to the formation of ore deposits of all kinds, so I wouldn't expect petroleum to be much different.
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