Reflectance data of sedimentary organic matter samples from six liquid-dominated geothermal systems are strongly temperature-dependent. Geologic evidence indicates that reaction duration ranges from approx 103 to 106 yr in these systems that appear to have near-maximum temperatures. The strong temperature dependence of vitrinite reflectance indicates that after about 104 yr, reaction duration has little or no influence on metamorphism of organic matter in liquid-dominated geothermal systems. These data indicate that vitrinite reflectance can be used to determine the maximum temperature reached in hot sedimentary basins of moderate longevity. -after Author
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Influence of time on metamorphism of sedimentary organic matter in liquid-dominated geothermal systems, western North America.