Anthraxolite Evolution and Vanadium Enrichment Mechanism in the Tanjianshan Group, Upper Ordovician in the Northern Qaidam Basin

Abstract

Earlier researchers have examined the interaction between organic matter (OM) and metals, but the paragenesis of anthraxolite and mechanism enrichment of vanadium (V) need further study. Our recent geological field survey discovered that anthraxolite contains a substantial amount of V in the Member “a” of the Tanjianshan Group, Upper Ordovician in the northern margin of the Qaidam Basin. Different organic geochemical studies (fluid inclusions, zircon U–Pb dating, and petrochemistry) were conducted to examine the origin and evolution of anthraxolite, as well as the enrichment of V. The extractable organic matter (EOM) content of anthraxolite is low, while it contains a high amount of non-hydrocarbon and asphaltene. Anthraxolite is over-mature with its equivalent vitrinite reflectance being up to 4.9%. Anthraxolite is sourced from mudstone of Member “a” of the Tanjianshan Group. There were two hydrocarbon charging phases: (i) Late Devonian; and (ii) Carboniferous. Multiple magmatic thermal events took place after the Late Devonian period, resulting in hydrocarbon fluid cracking, metamorphism, and finally the formation of anthraxolite. Marine hot water deposition was irrelevant to enrichment of V. It is inferred that V originated during biological and biochemical processes, then migrated and accumulated with hydrocarbon formation and evolution, and finally enriched in anthraxolite.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41572099 and 41872127). We pay special thanks to Ronald Charpentier of the U.S. Geological Survey for his constructive reviews. We are grateful for Zhengzhe Liu of the University of British Columbia and Awan, Rizwan Sarwar of the China University of Petroleum, Beijing for improving the writing of the manuscript. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their instructive comments. We are grateful to John Carranza, the Natural Resources Research Editor-in-Chief, for the comments and significant suggestions that enhanced the quality of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Chenglin Liu.

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Liu, C., Gong, H., Dun, C. et al. Anthraxolite Evolution and Vanadium Enrichment Mechanism in the Tanjianshan Group, Upper Ordovician in the Northern Qaidam Basin. Nat Resour Res 29, 2127–2145 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11053-019-09545-x

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Keywords

  • Anthraxolite
  • Biogeochemical mineralization process
  • Vanadium
  • Organic matter
  • Qaidam Basin