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The Mupe Bay oil seep: a detailed organic geochemical study of a controversial outcrop

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Farrimond


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This paper is part of the special publication Development, evolution and petroleum geology of the Wessex Basin (ed J.R. Underhill). The oil seep in an intraformational conglomerate at Mupe Bay has attrached much interest as providing possible evidence of oil generation in the Wessex Basin by the early Cretaceous (Wealden). Previous organic geochemical studies investigating whether oils of different maturity exist in the clasts and matrix of the conglomerate have been complicated by the effects of heavy biodegradation of the oil. In this work, we present detailed molecular organic geochemical data from a significantly larger suite of samples than has been previously studied. These have been screened using a multivariate statistical approach to identify those samples which have been least influenced by biodegradation. Conventional molecular maturity parameters applied to the subset of samples which have suffered no detectable modification to their biological marker (hopane and sterane) distributions indicate that the oil in the clasts is of exactly the same maturity as that in the matrix. However, this observation does not preclude two phases of staining, although it remains to be proven that the clasts contained oil at the time of their deposition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Parfitt MA, Farrimond P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Year: 1998

Volume: 133

Pages: 387-397

Print publication date: 01/01/1998

ISSN (print): 0305-8719

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Geologial Society of London


DOI: 10.1144/GSL.SP.1998.133.01.20


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