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Oil in a quartz crystal


Oil in a quartz crystal

In the photo - a drop of oil (yellow) in a quartz crystal. She hit the growing crystal and was walled up inside. In the process of their formation, crystals capture and block up everything foreign that gets in the way of their growth - liquids, gas bubbles, other minerals, organic particles. But the gas bubble in this oil drop was not captured by the crystal, but was formed during the compression of the oil.

A quartz crystal has become a real oil trap for this drop of oil (see 3-3-3321. The hydrocarbon trap 3-3-3328.) - It is very unusual for oil workers who are accustomed to imagine such traps as special places in the folded rock mass, most often 3-3-3323. sedimentary 3-3-3158. , where oil gets in the process of its migration, cannot move further and accumulates, forming reservoir .

Any inclusions in crystals of minerals, including petroleum, are crystalline defects. They bear the imprint of the stage of crystal growth and the medium in which this growth took place. Crystalline quartz can form under very different conditions, but for oil to enter it, it is important that the growth goes at 3-3-3329. supersaturated feed solution - hydrothermal fluid 3-3-3158. (mineral solution saturated with gases) - in the thickness of sedimentary rocks. As it grows, the crystal interacts with the fluid solution, which is the nutrient medium and the supplier of all the necessary components for 3-3-3333. crystallization of 3-3-3158. (transition to a crystalline state), as well as with foreign objects (in this case, oil) that come across it, which it captures and walled up in itself.

Oil, being liquid, has excellent migration properties, falling through cracks and pores in the sedimentary stratum from the deposits into the void areas with the feed solution. Initially, the oil droplets are homogeneous and are in suspension in solution at a temperature not exceeding the temperature of liquid destruction 3–3–337. hydrocarbons 3-3-3158. (200–250 ° C). Then the droplets settle on the surface of the growing crystal and adhere to it. The molecular composition of hydrocarbons can tell about the temperature conditions under which a crystal grew, because each organic compound is destroyed at a certain temperature.

For oil to be in the crystal, it must grow unevenly - this happens when the nutrient temporarily stops flowing. In conditions of “starvation”, the capture of a foreign substance becomes more likely. Contributes to the capture and the fact that the nutrient medium and the oil that gets into it do not mix (try stirring the oil in a glass with water!).

"Canned" fluid inclusions 3-3-3158. can be primary when the crystal grows around droplets of oil that have fallen on it.


Oil in a quartz crystal

Primary inclusion of oil with a compression bubble in a quartz crystal. Photo from the site commons.wikimedia.org


And secondary - they are formed after healing of crack defects of an already formed crystal, into which oil has fallen. In the main photo, the inclusion is more likely secondary. Very often, primary and secondary inclusions are present in the crystal, between the formation of which millions of years can pass. Oil inclusions can be either single or in the form of a group with random distribution. The latter are more often characteristic of the primary type of inclusions.


Oil in a quartz crystal

Secondary inclusions of oil in the intergrowth of quartz crystals. Photo from the site pinterest.ru


Many oil inclusions contain not only clear yellow oil, but also small dark balls 3-3-3391. bitumen formed most likely after the capture of oil. For example, in crystals fluorite with oil inclusions from the group of fluorite-lead-zinc deposits of the southern Illinois ( West Green Mine , Southern Illinois, USA) oil in inclusions may consist of 3-3-3158. of several immiscible phases after the process of incomplete decomposition: dark asphalt-like, wetting the walls of inclusions, and light, consisting of lighter hydrocarbons. Also in the oil inclusion there can be a compression bubble (as in the main photo) - this gas bubble is formed when the formed crystal is cooled with oil, since the thermal coefficient of volumetric compression of a liquid is greater than that of a crystal, the liquid contracts more and a gas bubble appears.


Oil in a quartz crystal

Secondary inclusion of yellow oil with a compression bubble and bitumen balls. Photo from the site flickr.com


The sizes of oil inclusions in quartz crystals can be from tens of micrometers to several millimeters. The largest inclusions are more characteristic of the secondary type (since crystal cracks can be much larger than the droplet size of the primary inclusion). The form of primary inclusions is most often spherical, but it can be, for example, bottle-shaped, when a certain number of drops fall on its upper part before the drop is completely closed with a crystal. The shape of the secondary inclusions corresponds to a fractured void space.


Oil in a quartz crystal

Microphotographs of primary oil inclusions in fluorite from fluorite-lead-zinc deposits in southern Illinois (USA). Left - spherical; right - bottle-shaped from the fluorite-lead-zinc region of Cave in Rock ( Cave-in-Rock , Southern Illinois, USA). Image from the book by E. Redder. Fluid inclusions in minerals 3-3-3158. , 1987 chapter 11 “Conditions of sedimentation,” pp. 49–50


The study of oil inclusions in crystals helps to understand not only their origin, but also 3-3-3153. give answers about the migration routes of oil itself. So, in quartz crystals from South West Africa, enclosed in rocks over 700 million years old, hydrocarbons of a certain composition were found, which, as it turned out, migrated from overlapping younger sedimentary rocks.

Photo from the site reddit.com .

The author devotes this picture of the day to the 90th anniversary of the Russian State University of Oil and Gas named after I.M. Gubkin.

Anton Ulyakhin

22 май 2020 /
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