In the 300 km wide Adak-Amlia sector of the central Aleutian Trench ??? 36 000 km3 of offscraped trench fill makes up the wedge-shaped mass of the Aleutian accretionary body. Within this wedge, seismic reflection profiles reveal an abundance of potential hydrocarbon-trapping structures. These structures include antiforms, thrust and normal faults, and stratigraphic pinchouts. Maximum closure on these features is 2 km. In addition, the silt and possibly sand size sediment within the offscraped turbidite deposits, and the porous diatomaceous pelagic deposits interbedded with and at the base of the wedge, may define suitable reservoirs for the entrapment of hydrocarbons. Potential seals for these reservoirs include diagenetically-altered and -produced siliceous and carbonate sediment. The organic carbon input into the central Aleutian Trench, based on carbon analyses of DSDP Legs 18 and 19 core samples, suggests that the average organic carbon content within the accretionary body is approximately 0.3-0.6%. Heat flow across the Aleutian Terrace indicates that at present the oil generation window lies at a depth of 3-6.5 km. At depths of 8 km (which corresponds to the maximum depth the offscraped sediment has been seismically resolved beneath the lower trench slope), the probable high (170-180??C) temperatures prohibit all but gas generation. The dewatering of trench sediment and subducted oceanic crust should produce an abundance of fluids circulating within the accretionary body. These fluids and gases can conduct hydrocarbons to any of the abundant trapping geometries or be lost from the system through sea floor seepage. In the Aleutian accretionary body all the conditions necessary for the formation of oil and gas deposits exist. The size and ultimate preservation of these deposits, however, are dependent on the deformational history of the prism both during accretion and after the accretion process has been superceded by subsequent tectonic regimes. ?? 1984.
Additional Publication Details
Speculations on the petroleum geology of the accretionary body: an example from the central Aleutians