Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 217–224 | Cite as

Source rock potential of shallow-water evaporites: An investigation in holocenepleistocene Salt Flat sabkah (playa), west Texas-New Mexico

  • Mahbub Hussain
  • John K. Warren


Source rock potential of the shallow-water evaporite-carbonate sequences at Salt Flat sabkha (playa) was evaluated on the basis of total organic carbon TOC), extractable organic matter and Rock Eval pyrolysis.

Sedimentological evidence indicates periodic anoxicity in the Salt Flat brine lake during evaporite deposition. This was caused during wetter intervals when inflowing runoff rested on denser brine, forming a halocline. Brine stratification inhibited free circulation of oxygen in the lake bottom, enhancing the preservation of organic matter.

Organic matter in gypsum-rich horizons is dominantly of algal origin. Average organic carbon content of the sediments is 0.6% but may be 1.2% or more in gypsum-rich sediments. Hydrogen Index is generally high, ranging from a low of 300 mg HC g/Corg for gypsum-rich beds.


Source Rock Evaporite Hydrogen Index Petroleum Geologist Extractable Organic Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahbub Hussain
    • 1
  • John K. Warren
    • 2
  1. 1.Dpartment of Geology Sul Ross State UniversityAlpine
  2. 2.National Center for Petroleum Geology & GeophysicsAdelaideAustralia

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