Supercomputer Analysis of Sedimentary Basins

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Science  15 Jan 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4837, pp. 261-267
DOI: 10.1126/science.239.4837.261


Geological processes of fluid transport and chemical reaction in sedimentary basins have formed many of the earth's energy and mineral resources. These processes can be analyzed on natural time and distance scales with the use of supercomputers. Numerical experiments are presented that give insights to the factors controlling subsurface pressures, temperatures, and reactions; the origin of ores; and the distribution and quality of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The results show that numerical analysis combined with stratigraphic, sea level, and plate tectonic histories provides a powerful tool for studying the evolution of sedimentary basins over geologic time.