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EARTHSC 1G03 (139)

12 - Geologic Resources

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Earth Sciences
Maureen Padden

12 – GEOLOGIC RESOURCES CASE STUDY ANALYSIS  Deltas: Very fertile areas - good soils; lots of organic content added as river floods and channels migrate across delta  Mississippi Delta: Mississippi river is diverting its flow to the Atchafalaya River and into New Orleans o Problem: It will abandon its current channel and migrate to Atchafalaya basin; could causes flooding and evacuation in New Orleans o A major flood could divert the main flow into the Atchafalaya River GEOLOGIC RESOURECES Geologic Resources are valuable materials of geologic origin extracted from the Earth  Energy resources: petroleum, coal, uranium, geothermal  Metallic resources: iron, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, etc.  Non-metallic resources: sand, gravel, building stone, ground water, fertilizers, etc. Resources are the total amount of geologic material in all deposits, discovered/undiscovered. Reserves are the discovered deposits that can be economically/legally extracted currently.  Canada exports 30% of the energy it produces to the U.S.  2/3 of Canada’s energy is produced in Alberta  Most of Canada’s energy consumption is from fossil fuels (65%) ENERGY PETROLEUM Formation of energy:  Petroleum is crude oil and natural gas o Crude oil: liquid mixture of naturally occurring hydrocarbons o Natural gas: gaseous mixture of naturally occurring hydrocarbons  Hydrocarbons form from organic matter – dead life forms such as plankton –that accumulates w/ fine-grained sediment in marine or lake basins Locating Oil Pools for Extraction:  Formed oil and gas migrates into overlying permeable layers that are under low pressure  Oil pools: valuable underground accumulation of oil: 1. Marine organisms are compressed at depth from overlying sediments; organic-rich mud turns into black shale (source rock) 2. Under heat and pressure, kerogen forms. Kerogen turns to oil from temperature increase; if the conditions are right – the oil can turn into natural gas. 3. Reservoir rock (usually sandstone or limestone) that’s permeable and porous transmit the petroleum (ex. Sandstone)  Porosity: fluid storage capacity of rock or sediment  Permeability: ability to transmit that fluid 4. An oil trap, set of conditions to hold petroleum in reservoir rock and prevent its escape, is present.  Ex. Impermeable shale bed doesn’t allow oil to pass through Porosity and Permeability in Material:  Very fine sediments, like clay, can have high porosity but very low permeability.  Very coarse sediments can have relatively low porosity but excellent permeability.  Aquifer – body of sediment that is both porous and permeable o Oil displaces water b/c of its density TYPES OF PETROLEUM TRAPS: Structural traps:  Anticline – convex-side up, the oil is trapped at the top with gas just above it o Natural gas rises to above oil because of high pressure  Fault – traps occur when permeable reservoir rocks break and slide next to impermeable rocks  Salt dome - Stratigraphic traps:  Reef core – lime stone reefs form a variety ; core of reef is full of large openings formed by irregular growth of coral and algae where oil collects Oil fields:  Regions underlain by one or more oil pools  Largest producing oil field in Canada is in Alberta o Also most production in NA  Largest global oil sources: Middle East (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), Russia, and Azerbaijan, Venezuela, and Mexico OIL SANDS  Oil sands: asphalt-cemented sand or sandstone deposits; asphalt is solid so oil is mined rather than drilled  Best oil sand deposit: Northern Alberta o 30% of oil production comes from there o National Energy Board estimates that by 2025, 70% of Canada’s oil production will come from Alberta asphalt/bitumen deposits  Extraction: (A) strip-mined and trucked to processing plants or (B) oil is mixed in place with hot water then pumped OIL SHALE  Black or brown shale with h
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