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critical moment

1. n. [Geology]

The time of maximum depth of burial of a hydrocarbon source rock. The critical moment is the time of highest probability of entrapment and preservation of hydrocarbons in a petroleum system—after traps form and hydrocarbons migrate into a reservoir and accumulate—and marks the beginning of preservation in a viable petroleum system.

See: accumulationgenerationmigrationpetroleum systempreservationreservoirsource rocktrap

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