Basin Analysis Principles and Application to Petroleum Play Assessment

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/26/2013
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Basin Analysis is an advanced undergraduate and postgraduate text aimed at understanding sedimentary basins as geodynamic entities. The rationale of the book is that knowledge of the basic principles of the thermo-mechanical behaviour of the lithosphere, the dynamics of the mantle, and the functioning of sediment routing systems provides a sound background for studying sedimentary basins, and is a pre-requisite for the exploitation of resources contained in their sedimentary rocks. The third edition incorporates new developments in the burgeoning field of basin analysis while retaining the successful structure and overall philosophy of the first two editions.

The text is divided into 4 parts that establish the geodynamical environment for sedimentary basins and the physical state of the lithosphere, followed by a coverage of the mechanics of basin formation, an integrated analysis of the controls on the basin-fill and its burial and thermal history, and concludes with an application of basin analysis principles in petroleum play assessment, including a discussion of unconventional hydrocarbon plays. The text is richly supplemented by Appendices providing mathematical derivations of a wide range of processes affecting the formation of basins and their sedimentary fills. Many of these Appendices include practical exercises that give the reader hands-on experience of quantitative solutions to important basin analysis processes.

Now in full colour and a larger format, this third edition is a comprehensive update and expansion of the previous editions,  and represents a rigorous yet accessible guide to problem solving in this most integrative of geoscientific disciplines.

Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com/go/allen/basinanalysis.

Author Biography

Philip Allen graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and a PhD from Cambridge University. He held lectureships at Cardiff and Oxford, and professorships at Trinity College Dublin, ETH-Zürich and Imperial College London. He is a process-oriented Earth scientist with particular interests in the interactions and feedbacks between the solid Earth and its ‘exosphere’ through the critical interface of the Earth’s surface.

John Allen has over 30 years of experience in the international oil and gas industry as a petroleum geologist, exploration manager, senior exploration advisor, and business strategist with British Petroleum (BP) and BHP Billiton, as well as several years of experience as a non-executive director.  He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.

Table of Contents

Preface to Third Edition


1 Basins in their geodynamic environment


1.1 Introduction and rationale

1.2 Compositional zonation of the earth

1.3 Rheological zonation of the Earth

1.4 Geodynamic background

1.5 Classification schemes of sedimentary basins

2 The physical state of the lithosphere


2.1 Stress and strain

2.2 Heat flow

2.3 Rock rheology and strength profiles


3 Basins due to lithospheric stretching


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Geological and geophysical observations in regions of continental extension

3.3 Uniform stretching of the continental lithosphere

3.4 Modifications to the reference uniform stretching model

3.5 A Dynamical approach to lithospheric extension

3.6 Estimation of the stretch factor and strain rate history

4 Basins due to flexure


4.1 Basic observations in regions of lithospheric flexure

4.2 Theory: Flexure of the lithosphere: geometry of the deflection

4.3 The flexural rigidity of oceanic and continental lithosphere

4.4 Lithospheric buckling and in-plane stress

4.5 Orogenic wedges

4.6 Foreland basin systems

5 Effects of Mantle Dynamics


5.1 Fundamentals and observations

5.2 Surface topography and bathymetry caused by mantle flow

5.3 Mantle dynamics and magmatic activity

5.4 Mantle dynamics and basin development

6 Basins associated with strike-slip deformation


6.1 Overview

6.2 The structural pattern of strike-slip fault systems

6.3 Basins in strike-slip zones

6.4 Modeling of pull-apart basins

6.5 Characteristic depositional systems


7 The sediment routing system


7.1 The sediment routing system in basin analysis

7.2 The erosional engine

7.3 Measurement of erosion rates

7.4 Hillslope-channel processes

7.5 Long-range sediment transport and deposition

7.6 Joined-up thinking: teleconnections in source to sink systems

8 Basin stratigraphy


8.1 A primer on process stratigraphy

8.2 Stratigraphic cycles: Definition and recognition

8.3 Dynamical approaches to stratigraphy

8.4 Landscapes into Rock

9 Subsidence history


9.1 Introduction to subsidence analysis

9.2 Compressibility and compaction of porous sediments: fundamentals

9.3 Porosity and permeability of sediments and sedimentary rocks

9.4 Subsidence history and backstripping

9.5 Tectonic subsidence signatures

10 Thermal history


10.1 Introduction to thermal history

10.2 Theory: the Arrhenius equation and maturation indices

10.3 Factors affecting temperatures and palaeotemperatures in sedimentary basins

10.4 Measurements of thermal maturity in sedimentary basins

10.5 Application of thermal maturity measurements

10.6 Geothermal and palaeogeothermal signatures of basin types


11 Building Blocks of the Petroleum Play


11.1 From Basin Analysis to Play Concept

11.2 The Petroleum System and Play Concept

11.3 The Source Rock

11.4 The Petroleum Charge

11.5 The Reservoir

11.6 The Regional Topseal

11.7 The Trap

11.8 Global Distribution of Petroleum Resources

12 Classic and Unconventional Plays


12.1 Classic Petroleum Plays

12.2 Unconventional Petroleum Plays

12.2.5 Gas Hydrates

12.2.6 Oil Sands and Heavy Oil

12.3 CO2 Geosequestration: an emerging application


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