1. n. [Geology]
The formation of hydrocarbons from a source rock as bitumen forms from kerogen and accumulates as oil or gas. Generation depends on three main factors: the presence of organic matter rich enough to yield hydrocarbons, adequate temperature, and sufficient time to bring the source rock to maturity. Pressure and the presence of bacteria and catalysts also affect generation. Generation is a critical phase in the development of a petroleum system.
See: accumulation, critical moment, gas-prone, geochemistry, hydrocarbon, hydrocarbon kitchen, immature, kerogen, migration, oil-prone, overmature, petroleum system, post-mature, primary migration, prospect, pyrolysis, secondary migration, sedimentary basin, source rock, vitrinite reflectance