Advances in Earth Science ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (12): 1224-1242. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2023.083

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Using CiteSpace to Visualize Black Shale Research of China

Qingshan WANG( ), Chao CHANG, Laiyuan WU, Xingliang ZHANG( )   

  1. State Key Laboratory of the Continental Dynamics, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Early Life and Environments, Department of Geology, Northwest University, Xi’an 710069, China
  • Received:2023-07-05 Revised:2023-11-09 Online:2023-12-10 Published:2023-12-26
  • Contact: Xingliang ZHANG;
  • About author:WANG Qingshan, Master student, research area includes paleontology and stratigraphy. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(42242201);The Shaanxi Provincial Natural Science Basic Research Program(2022JC-DW5-01)

Qingshan WANG, Chao CHANG, Laiyuan WU, Xingliang ZHANG. Using CiteSpace to Visualize Black Shale Research of China[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2023, 38(12): 1224-1242.

Black shale is the product of the joint action of life and non-life processes under the condition of multi-circle linkage in the deep inside and on the surface of the Earth and contains abundant energy resources indispensable for social development. To comprehensively understand the research status of black shale in China, clarify the notable research topics, deeply assess the research frontiers and hot spots, and grasp their development trends; a knowledge graph analysis of the literature on black shale in China included in the CNKI (1 466 articles) and Web of Science (1 069 articles) databases was performed using CiteSpace visualization software. The results showed that the number of published papers has increased annually since the beginning of this century, inter-institutional and international cooperation has gradually strengthened, and academic influence has notably expanded. The core research topics included shale gas, Longmaxi Formation, the Sichuan Basin, and other keywords. The research frontier clusters cover 12 subdomains, including “Southern North China Basin”, “Wufeng-Longmaxi Formation”, “Ordovician-Silurian Transition”, “Early Cambrian”, “Ni-Mo Polymetallic Sulfide Bed”, “Ediacaran Radiogenic Sr Isotope Excursion”, “Ordovician-Silurian Wufeng-Longmaxi Shale”, “Ordos”, “South China”, “Shale Gas Potential”, “Cambrian Facies”, and “Early Cambrian Black Shale”. The research on black shale in China is concluded to be in a stage of rapid development, with the most notable research discipline being petroleum geology. The hottest research area is the Sichuan Basin, and the hottest strata include the Wufeng-Longmaxi and Niutitang formations. Frontier research topics have shifted from mineral deposits and sedimentology to petroleum geology. Overall, biased attention has been given to black shale research in China in terms of the discipline, targeted regions, and strata. Multidisciplinary collaborative research remains rare, and its scientific strengths require to be adequately explored. In addition, the study of black shale has been mainly limited to sedimentary environments and redox conditions, whereas the sedimentary processes and mechanisms have not been adequately studied. Currently, an urgent requirement prevailsto strengthen interdisciplinary cooperation and integration and perform major comprehensive research projects on black shale to lead scientific research frontiers and serve the developmental needs of our country.

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