Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

1999 Edition
| Editors: Clare P. Marshall, Rhodes W. Fairbridge


  • Alain Prinzhofer
  • Martin Hale
  • Scott M. McLennan
  • J. Koŝler
  • Carol D. Frost
  • Thomas Staudacher
  • Wolfgang H. Runde
  • David R. Janecky
  • Mary P. Neu
  • James R. Budahn
  • Laurence Galoisy
  • A. M. R. Neiva
  • Elisabeth A. Holland
  • Nathaniel E. Ostrom
  • Peggy H. Ostrom
  • Cyanthia E. A. Palmer
  • J. N. Goswami
  • J. Faganeli
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-4496-8_13

Natural gas

Sedimentary accumulations of gas contain a limited number of compounds: saturated light hydrocarbons from methane to pentane, CO2, H2S, N2 (Durand, 1993) and traces of noble gases, mercury and hydrogen (Sokolov, 1974). All of these gases, except mercury and the noble gases, may come from organic matter, either from bacterial activity, or by thermal degradation. Inert gases may also have mineral origins: N2 from ammonium of shales or from the deeper crust, H2S from thermo-reduction of sulfates (with hydrocarbon as a reducing agent), and CO2 from thermal alteration of carbonates or mantle contamination. Nevertheless, they are clearly identified in some fields as generated from organic matter.

Hydrocarbon gas generation and accumulation

Part of the organic matter buried during sedimentation undergoes several transformations. In the shallower sediments, organic diagenesis induces biochemical changes, transforming the organic matter into kerogen, with the possible production of...


Nitric Oxide Isotopic Composition Neutron Activation Analysis Neutron Capture Platinum Group Element 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Prinzhofer
  • Martin Hale
  • Scott M. McLennan
  • J. Koŝler
  • Carol D. Frost
  • Thomas Staudacher
  • Wolfgang H. Runde
  • David R. Janecky
  • Mary P. Neu
  • James R. Budahn
  • Laurence Galoisy
  • A. M. R. Neiva
  • Elisabeth A. Holland
  • Nathaniel E. Ostrom
  • Peggy H. Ostrom
  • Cyanthia E. A. Palmer
  • J. N. Goswami
  • J. Faganeli

There are no affiliations available