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maturity

1. n. [Geology]

The state of a source rock with respect to its ability to generate oil or gas. As a source rock begins to mature, it generates gas. As an oil-prone source rock matures, the generation of heavy oils is succeeded by medium and light oils. Above a temperature of approximately 100 oC [212 oF], only dry gas is generated, and incipient metamorphism is imminent. The maturity of a source rock reflects the ambient pressure and temperature as well as the duration of conditions favorable for hydrocarbon generation.

See: generationhydrocarbonimmaturemetamorphismnatural gasoil-proneovermaturepetroleumpost-maturepyrolysissource rockvitrinitevitrinite reflectance

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