Geologic Resources Chapter 21 Oil Field in Wyoming
Geologic Resources Chapter 21 Oil Field in Wyoming Geologic Resources and Earths Systems Geologic resources - valuable materials of geologic origin that can be extracted from the Earth Many geologic resources originate in the hydrosphere Petroleum and coal come from organisms that lived and died in water Halite (salt) and other evaporite minerals come from dry lake beds
Weathering interactions between geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere produce metal oxide ores Humans (biosphere) interact directly with the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere when extracting and utilizing geologic resources Groundwater (hydrosphere) is a renewable geologic resource If it cant be grown, it must be mined Types of Geologic Resources
Geologic resources are grouped into three major categories: Energy resources - petroleum (oil and natural gas), coal, uranium, geothermal resources Metals - iron, copper, aluminum, lead, zinc, gold, silver, platinum Non-metallic resources - sand and gravel, limestone, building stone, salt, sulfur, gems, gypsum, phosphates, groundwater, etc.
Resources and Reserves Resources - the total amount of a valuable geologic material in all deposits, discovered and undiscovered Reserves - discovered deposits of geologic resources that can be extracted economically and legally under present conditions The short-term supply of a
geologic materials Energy Resources - Coal Fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) account for nearly 90% of U.S. energy Coal is a sedimentary rock that forms from the compaction of plant material that has not completely decayed Forms from shallow burial and
compaction of peat Energy Resources - Coal Four varieties of coal Lignite (brown coal) is soft and crumbly Sub-bituminous and bituminous coal (soft coal) black and dusty burn with a smoky flame commonly strip-mined Anthracite (hard coal)
shiny and dust-free burns with a smokeless flame low-level metamorphic rock Burning of high-sulfur coal can produce acid rain; strip mines can scar landscape U.S. coal reserves could last for centuries Energy Resources -Petroleum Petroleum - oil and natural gas
- occurs in underground pools Occurrence of oil pools requires: A source rock (rich in organic matter) A reservoir rock in which it can be stored and transmitted (e.g., sandstone) An oil trap (set of conditions holding rock in reservoir rock and preventing migration) Deep enough burial (and sufficient time) to cook the oil and gas out of the organic matter
Structural Traps for Gas and Oil 2300 m 4600 m = Oil formation 4600+ m = Gas formation Energy Resources - Petroleum Eroded anticline forms trap in Landers oil field in Wyoming.
Other Oil Traps in Geological Structures Petroleum Recovery Oil fields are regions underlain by one or more oil pools Largest in U.S. are in Texas and Alaska Oil and natural gas are removed through wells drilled down into an oil trap within a reservoir rock
Negative environmental effects resulting from oil recovery and transport include oil spills, brine contamination of surface water, and ground subsidence Oil Peak, Oil Panic ? (Study by Amos Nur - Stanford) U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, UK, are the biggest consumers of oil reserves worldwide.
Oil Peaks 1960's In the 1850's oil mainly used for kerosene lamps remaining was burned or disgarded. Current oil production rates peaked in 1960's but U.S. consumption rates increase dramatically above this. Don't panic! -Try to conserve energy
-Seek alternative energy sources Petroleum Reserves At current rate of use, worldwide oil reserves should last 30-40 years, and natural gas reserves somewhat longer (estimates from USGS) Petroleum Reserves As petroleum prices rise, alternate petroleum sources, such as heavy crude, oil shale and oil sand, will
be increasingly exploited Heavy crude is dense, viscous petroleum Oil shale is black or brown shale with high solid organic matter content from which oil can be extracted by distillation Oil sands (or tar sands) are asphalt-cemented sand or sandstone deposits Jobs and Salaries in Geology Starting salaries for petroleum geologists with 0-2 yrs experience.
Mixture of B.S. and M.S. Degrees. Jobs and Salaries in Geology Geologists in Environmental (e.g. EPA, Geotechnical firms) and Geologists in Government make $ 50 K 75 K Geology Ph.D. faculty starting salaries in 2007 ($70 K 80 K)\ Metals and Ores Metal ores - naturally occurring materials that can be profitably mined
Whether or not a mineral deposit is an ore depends on chemical composition, the percent extractable metal, and current market value of the metal Metallic ore deposits originate from crystal settling in igneous intrusions, hydrothermal fluids cooling in pores and factures, chemical precipitation in water, or sedimentation in rivers (placers)
Mining and Metals Mining can be done at Earths surface (strip mines, open-pit mines, and placer mines) or underground Metals mined include iron, copper, aluminum, lead, zinc, silver, gold and many others With care, negative environmental effects of mining, including unsightly tailings piles, surface scars, land
subsidence, and acid mine drainage can be minimized Non-metallic Resources Non-metallic resources - not mined to extract a metal or an energy source construction materials sand, gravel, limestone, and gypsum agriculture phosphate, nitrate and potassium compounds)
industrial uses rock salt, sulfur, asbestos) gemstones diamonds, rubies, etc. household and business products glass sand, fluorite, diatomite, graphite)
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