Advances in Earth Science ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (2): 199-208. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2017.02.0199

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Formation Conditions and Main Controlling Factors of Uranium in Marine Source Rocks

Yuwen Cai 1, 2, 3( ), Huajian Wang 2, 3, Xiaomei Wang 2, 3, Kun He 2, 3, Shuichang Zhang 2, 3, Chaodong Wu 1   

  1. 1.School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University,Beijing 100083,China
    2.Key Laboratory of Petroleum Geochemistry, China National Petroleum Corporation,Beijing 100083,China
    3.Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development,Beijing 100083,China
  • Received:2016-10-20 Revised:2017-01-02 Online:2017-02-20 Published:2017-02-20
  • About author:

    First author:Cai Yuwen(1989-), female, Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province, Ph. D student. Research areas include petroleum

  • Supported by:
    Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Influences of biology, ocean and geology in the formation of marine source rocks and their coupling relationships”(No.41530317);The Young Scientists Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Effects of radioactivity of uranium on organic matter maturation and hydrocarbon generation”(No.41602144)

Yuwen Cai, Huajian Wang, Xiaomei Wang, Kun He, Shuichang Zhang, Chaodong Wu. Formation Conditions and Main Controlling Factors of Uranium in Marine Source Rocks[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2017, 32(2): 199-208.

The research of petroleum exploration demonstrates that source rocks, developed in petroleum-bearing sedimentary basins worldwide, are accompanied by uranium to different degrees.As a special element with catalytic, oxidative and radioactive features, uranium may play important roles in the source rock formation and hydrocarbon generation. In this paper, we systematically discussed the formation conditions and main controlling factors of uranium in marine source rocks based on the comprehensive analysis of uranium contents in the worldwide source rocks and the interactions of uranium with minerals, organic materials and microbes. The results indicated that oxidative degrees of ancient atmosphere and palaeo-ocean were governing factors of uranium enrichment in source rocks. Oxidative weathering and hydrothermal solution might be the two main sources of marine sedimentary uranium. In addition, iron-bearing minerals, phosphate minerals, clay minerals, organic materials, and microbes were of great significance in promoting the transformation of the uranium valence states. They could also act as carriers to absorb or combine uranium, resulting in the enrichment of uranium in sediments. Therefore, the enrichment of uranium might be an inevitable result of source rocks formation.

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