Björn Sandström (1), Eva-Lena Tullborg (2), Trinidad de Torres (3) and José Eugenio Ortiz (3)
The occurrence and potential origin of asphaltite in bedrock fractures, Forsmark, central Sweden
Asphaltite, bitumen, hydrocarbons, biomarkers, fracture fillings, stable carbon isotopes, Phanerozoic, Pb isotopes, Alum Shale
Occurrences of asphaltite in fractures in the Svecofennian basement have been documented in drill cores from the site investigation for a deep repository for nuclear waste in Forsmark, central Sweden. The carbonaceous material has been found at depths down to 124 m and appears as hardened black fracture fillings. The d13C values of the asphaltite are relatively uniform with values between –29.5 and –30.1‰ (PDB) indicating an organic origin. These results are consistent with previous analyses of asphaltite occurrences in Sweden. One sample collected from a fracture in the Ordovician limestone in Kinnekulle, south-western Sweden was analysed for comparison and shows a similar d13C signature (–29.5‰). Biomarker analyses of the asphaltite samples confirm an organic origin and the organic-rich early Paleozoic Scandinavian Alum Shale is suggested as the source rock. This is supported by comparison of the asphaltite with published biomarker and carbon isotopic data from the Alum Shale. Downward migration of hydrocarbons into the crystalline basement due to the presence of an overpressured basin is a possible mechanism for the emplacement of the asphaltite in the bedrock fractures. It is suggested that the heat source responsible for the migration of the asphaltite was the overburden of the Caledonian foreland basin.
1) Department of Geology, Earth Sciences Centre, Göteborg University, Box 460, SE-40530 Göteborg, Sweden; email@example.com 2) Terralogica AB, Box 4140, SE-44314 Gråbo, Sweden 3) Biomolecular Stratigraphy Laboratory, Madrid School of Mines, Ríos Rosas 21, E-28003 Madrid, Spain
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